I figured to keep it close to home, so I took the car (so that means I did not stick to that close to home thing at all) and went to Bush Terminal Park, as I haven't birded there much and it gets decent waterfowl in the winter and I also went to Bay Ridge, in the hopes of seeing some purple sandpipers, along the Belt Parkway.
A good showing for some quick outdoor time, zero complaints about these sights...
|All was quiet when I walked in to the park, a few Buffleheads and American Wigeon on the water, so I walked to path over past the fields and heard kestrel calls... Angry kestrel calls. The calls were due to the presence of this guy...|
|A Cooper's Hawk dodges the swoops of this female Kestrel. She was NOT happy that he was in her stomping grounds. And don't let her size fool you, swooping at high speeds with sharp talons and beak, can do a fellow bird in, causing injury.|
|I don't often get to see Cooper's out in the open, they are usually in trees up high, so this was a treat. Having the Kestrel and Coop in the area explains why I really saw nothing else in the small perching bird department.|
|I love how tough she is, yet so delicate, as her feather wisp in the winds off of the harbor. I admire them so much, and they happen to be gorgeous raptors at that.|
|You can see, in comparison to a chain link, she is not a big bird, a pigeon has more heft to it than a kestrel. They are really amazing little falcons.|
|On my way out, I found the male kestrel. The kestrels are almost always present in this park, lots of open fields with larger grasses to harbor their foods they enjoy, from insects to rodents, to small sparrows.|
|I admire the male kestrels because they are a sexy raptor, he looks amazing! American Kestrels are easy to tell the sexes apart as they are dimorphic (appear different in color AND size).|
|In Bay Ridge, I managed to get my purple sandpipers, just two, who seemed to be basking in the sun, very inactive, resting.|
|Oh, hey! These birds spent a lot of time looking up, probably with an eye out for the resident Peregrine falcons who would surely try to make a snack out of these guys if they could get one.|
|This might be my favorite picture I got today, how cool is this little bird that spends its winter on the rocks along NY Harbor, adjacent to the Belt Parkway?|