Saturday, May 20, 2023

Spring Migration

     I have most certainly been getting out and enjoying the birds out there. I just have not been super compelled to update this thing. It seems to be an ebb and flow of motivation to keep this thing going. 

    In the last month a number of birds have arrived, and I have had the pleasure of birding with friends, getting to special birding places, and keeping up as best I can with the plovers. I'll just dump the best pictures I have here.

A Northern Waterthrush in its element in Prospect Park's upper pool.

A great blue heron looking spiffy in its breeding plumage.
Check out the monster sliders and cooters in the background.

A cute shipping sparrow foraging among the fallen petals of the spring trees.

I love veerys. I love them veery much.

I birded the western side of the Marine Park Salt Marsh before work one day and was treated to a number of termite hatch-outs, which brought some birds with it.
A northern parula, one of very many.

Singing it's northern parula song.

A house wren gathers nesting material, got family on the way!

A not-so-shy black-and-white warbler, feeding upon the termites taking their nuptial flight.

For the termite in the beak of this indigo bunting, that flight was very short lived.

A female common yellowthroat hawked termites like a yellow-rumped warbler would.

A blackpoll warbler gets in on the feast and signals this warbler migration coming to an end.

Red-eyed vireos are one of the common songs being heard in the tree tops.

On a very-dog filled plover outing, I spotted this American Oystercatcher on its two eggs.

A piping plover taking a rest in a small divot in the sand.

For this walk, I had one single plover on my walk out, and encountered around 8 dogs on the beach.
But when I walked back, all but one dog, a service animal, had exited. And once the dogs were gone, I finally got to see the plovers, as they came out and down to feed.

Looks like a stretch of relief to me!

Love these little loves.

This years birdathon raised money for NYC Plover Project. Our team, Smooth Like Bittern, saw 115 bird species across Brooklyn.
Including this Magnolia Warbler.

We stumbled upon a termite hatch-out while standing on a bridge, giving us nice tree-top, eye-level views of warblers, like this chestnut-sided warbler.

 A black-and-white warbler stealing a few termites.

A crappy picture of a robin with some piebald leucism. 

The birdathon took us out to Plumb Beach where we enjoyed this semi-palmated sandpiper who was with least sandpipers.

t Floyd Bennett Field, we nearly stumbled over a nesting killdeer - a reminder to watch your step on any fields this time of year!

Our final stop of the birdathon was Shirley Chisholm SP and we enjoyed this gingery little field sparrow.

On Mother's Day, I did no birding. I was exhausted from the birdathon. Instead, I napped.
But Monday, I worked from my in-laws and did a pre-work birding trip to Doodletown.
Greeted just up the hillside by this indigo bunting.

The forest was filled with birds and their song, but it was hard to see much.
This Carolina wren was one of three wrens working on a fallen log.

American redstarts were everywhere. I like this natural vignette looking through a tulip trees leaves.

There were so many Ceruleans and a picture was dang hard to get- and I did have to start my work day. SO this is the best I got. Belting out its song.

Also enjoyed the other expected warblers there, like this blue-winged warbler, worm-eating warbler, hooded warbler, and even heard a black-billed cuckoo call.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Some Recent Birds and an Anhinga

    Here I am trying to avoid all the bird FOMO when I'm working and then a flipping Anhinga shows up IN BROOKLYN. A bird that is pretty much found in every waterside ditch in Florida is here. SO I went and saw on my commute in to work today.
    I also did some plover patrol last weekend and had some lovely looks at a young Iceland Gull along with some other beach birds. 
    Anyway, pictures, here you go:
Part of the beach soundscape, the American Oystercatcher. I liked this one all perched up on the rocks overlooking the waves.

A silver gull in front of the Silver Gull Beach Club.


Just in case you didn't hear them.
Also wants you to know that they are a first winter Iceland gull.

Squaring off with a juvenile ring billed gull.

Doing a glam beach walk through the surf...

Always a treat to see!

A very rotund piping plover. I love a good round bird.

A plover we are monitoring with NYC Plover Project.
You can join us, training is May 6th!

Some cruddy pics of the Anhinga, but I'll take it! This is my 322nd bird for New York and my 272nd bird for Kings (Brooklyn).

Found by Birder, Radka yesterday, this bird is bringing everyone out to see it.

I was lucky enough to see it swim and surface with a speared fish that it then flicked back, caught, and swallowed. So maybe this bird will stick around. Word on the street is they have been moving northward more and more.

The warblers have barely dropped in, so looks like there is still much excitement to come!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Earth Week 2023

     This Earth Week I made sure to spend some time with birds. I had some opportunities after work, and took advantage of work being down the street (and a few blocks) from Prospect Park to take a peep at some local migratory wonders. I am feeling fortunate these days and am excited that these feathered wonders manage to make it in this big city. Here are some of their little faces... from Marine Park, to Prospect, to Green-wood, and back!

Palm warblers may be one of the more common and easy to see warblers, but who is complaining?! Their bright yellow is a welcome addition to the spring palette.
This one seemed to be the welcome committee to the Marine Park Nature Center. 

A typical sight at Marine Park, osprey and large flocks of European starling.

This story is a touch disheartening. This killdeer (photo taken from a distance as to not disturb) is very much exhibiting nesting behavior and likely sitting upon and egg or few. She is nesting in a cleared section of the park that was a burn site a few weeks earlier by who ever really enjoys setting fire to this park - it is on fire often. 
This bird is nesting near an official footpath that even a leashed dog could access her and snatch her eggs. And let's also not ignore the outdoor and feral cat population in this park. Needless to say, less than a week later, she was gone and no trace of a nest.
I wish our parks had more resources to help protect native nesting birds, control the owners of dogs who use this (always on-leash rule) place as their own dog run and allow their dogs to chase wildlife. This park in the last few years has become really abused by its visitors and lack of enforcement, the desire paths that have been carved throughout its landscape just encourage people unknowingly to go off trail into the marsh, the delicate grasslands and trample habitat, deter wildlife from living there, and just treating this place as their own personal photo studio.
Please stay on trails, please treat wildlife with respect, and leash your dogs.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

A quaker parrot feasts on some local fruits on a tree in Marine Park.

At Avenue T and Stuart Street, the red-headed woodpecker is still holding court.

His or her red head has come in quite nicely! Males and females both have the distinctive red head.

They have amazing fidelity to this specific site so they are quite reliable to get a very lovely look at. Just be prepare to look up! Maybe a few head rolls and stretches' to prepare yourself.

A post-work visit to Prospect Park gave me a lovely red tailed hawk pair (this is just one of them), while I awaited a glimpse of the Prothonotary warbler that has been there.

A view is a view! Prothonotary warbler, they overshot their south eastern destination and ended up in the big city.

These gorgeous warblers nest in marshy places just south and west of where we are.

A quick visit to Green-wood bagged me a yellow throated warbler. A look is a look. And these days as a full time employee and mom, I can get by with a subpar picture and a tick on my year list.

But also, this lifestyle helps me appreciate the all around regulars. Isn't this female cardinal stunning?

Walking down a steep slope gave me this level look at a male cardinal foraging in the grass.

One of the two male wood ducks on the dell water. This one kept doing this yawn, not vocalizing, to my ears at least.

He also took a very splash-tastic bath.

I'm just glad my kid doesn't bathe like this.

Lurking among the wood ducks was this prehistoric looking common snapping turtle. I love these reptiles and look forward to seeing them in dell water every year.

Gotta get that nest together! This American robin and a number of other birds can be seen gathering materials for their nests right now.

This blue jay was sunning itselk along the wall of the Dell water. It was a gorgeous sight, I think their blues are just so beautiful, and for once, this blue jay just sat, in the open.
This behavior is thought to help birds control and rid themselves of ectoparasites like lice. I savored this moment because blue jays hate eye contact, with me, at least.

An Eastern towhee doing Eastern towhee things, like foraging in the tall grasses under the leaf litter.

Back to Marine Park on Earth Day proper, a female red-wing blackbird. 

The air at MArine Park is filled primarily with the songs of red-wing black birds.

The songs of the song sparrows are a very close second to the blackbirds in the area's soundscape.

As I was leaving, a pair of ducks flew in. The female was not a mallard. Vibes were pintail and a match! A rare sight for the salt marsh, especially now, a northern pintail hen seems to have taken to this drake mallard.
Spring is heating up, lots of good birds are coming and going, I hope you get a chance to see!