Saturday, August 6, 2016

Uncle Glenn's First Visit to Governor's Island

     Our Uncle Glenn took us out into the wilderness of Colorado and now it was our turn to take him out into the "wilderness" of New York City. Glenn drove out to from Colorado and made a stop in Brooklyn to stay with us. He had his sights on Governor's Island, a small island in New York Harbor, in the vicinity of Ellis and Liberty Island and just a stones throw, or a 10 minute ferry ride, from the Southern tip of Manhattan.
     In the Denver Post, he had read about these new hills, built on the island, opening up a whole new area to explore. The island is quite small, but relative to it's size, it was a large space. The hills were lovely- you could clamber up some granite slabs or opt for the longer, easier route, paved switchbacks. One hill, the tallest offered lovely views of the surroundings- like Liberty Island and the statue that sits atop it.
     Another smaller hill had a wood chip trail, if you're feeling rugged (I use that term very lightly) and the third hill had slides! My husband demo'd the largest of the slides in the rain, which resulted in a wet and wood-chipped back and bum. Way to take one for the team!
     Despite the rain that came after we got to the top of the tallest hill, we had a really great time and I'm glad our uncle got to check that off his "to-do" list.
     Enjoy the rest of the sights:
Ferries before a certain time are free, we got on the first at 10am, from the ferry terminal in Manhattan.
The house sparrows are foraging on the sea lettuce covered rocks that surround the island.
...Just another testament to being a successful invasive, the ability to adapt to new sources of food and secure that nutrition.
An immature herring gull out for a stroll.
Photo credit to the husband who snapped this picture of the Statue of Liberty and Liberty island from the top of the tallest hill. Look at all the tourists along the edge! True fact, as a native New Yorker, I have not visited the Statue or Ellis Island ever!
A wet herring gull, looking like he is having the best day ever! Or he is making the "ugh, tourists!" face. 
This herring gull was not so shy and seemed to "talk" to us. Making funny little sounds, most possibly just simply concerned with the mammalian bipeds who were staring him down.
Making on of his odd sounds, if a gull could mumble, that's how I would compare this call to their regular gull calls.

Thank goodness for an pil or preening gland. This gull doesn't look like a wet rag because by using his bill to spread that oil over his feathers, it helps him stay waterproof. Unfortunately the head is the hard to reach spot with your bill, so it seem like he "missed a spot," or his whole face.
I still think he's pretty adorable.
The old coastguard piers are no longer in use, by humans - but they are in use by birds. They are now protected nesting areas for the common tern colony. Here a chick greets it's parent- if you can call it that. It's more like mom/dad hasn't yet gotten in the house and the kids are asking for 20 things...
A little vocalizing after feeding has occurred. The other chick clearly does not belong to this adult, or it is the less dominant chick if it does belong to this adult.
And off to find more food, and off are we to get back to Brooklyn!