Saturday, October 22, 2016

Braving the Weather for a Good Find

     I got no sleep last night, all I heard was the pouring rain. And all I could think about was whether or not the bird walk would happen today that I signed up for at Floyd Bennett Field. After waking up early, skipping coffee, and checking my email, it appeared that we were still on.
     The winds were gusty, like over 30mph gusty, the air was cold, and the rain made things soggy. My rain gear kept me dry, but the cold was really not something I was enjoying.
     While I was being whimpy in my head, the tiny birds were toughing it out. From small field sparrows to some late osprey, they were out there. The smaller birds staying out of the wind, but a few could be spotted on the wing.
     One of the pluses of FBF is that you can bird from the car, which we did, scanning fields, groups of birds and driving to sites. We scanned a group of gulls we saw earlier and I noticed a small egret with them, hunkering down from the wind...
One of these birds is not like the other ones...
A small egret, stocky, shorter bill than a snowy egret-- a cattle egret.
Our leader, Rob was jokingly mentioning prior to this sighting how maybe we'd see a cattle egret as we walked past the farm that they seasonally set up next to the Aviator complex. With cattle present, why not? I don't think we actually expected to run into a cattle egret!
Cattle egret are small, and here he/she is dwarfed by herring gulls who were resting/preening on this grassy field, next to the community garden area.

I think we've been spotted.
But being little, I would assume you need to be rather aware of anything above you, bigger than you.
Despite the wind, cold, and rain- this made the trip worthwhile. Glad I was able to get out and spy this little egret with the group!