Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Waterfowl

     I almost didn't go, because the grey sky and cold enticed me to just stay in a blanket on the couch. I knew I'd regret not getting out, so I just put on my thermals, bundled up and got out on my own for a bit. I headed out to Jamaica Bay and the waterfowl were plentiful. Among today's sightings were brant and Canada geese, Northern pintails, buffleheads, gadwalls, ring-billed gulls, herring gulls, black back gulls, black ducks, mallards, mute swans, and an unidentifiable raptor. Nothing super remarkable was seen, but I'm glad I made the decision to get up and out, before the weather turns super-wintry tomorrow with cold and snow.
A dapper ring-billed gull on the beach area when you first arrive on Broad Channel.
A northern pintail with some black ducks.
The Canada geese win for having the most personality and character today.
Mute swans are shadowed by the Empire State Building. If I were a mute swan I'd consider moving, NY may not be so welcoming.

This gull swears that his landing was actually much better than what it appears...
The Freedom Tower from Jamaica. A raptor sits on a platform on the lower left, I could not ID, even with binoculars.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My First Snow Day!

     This is my first year as a teacher and this is my first snow day experience! Last night we received about 6-10 inches of snow and I woke up at 5:30 and went right back to bed, since all New York City public schools were closed.
     I was of course lured outside to enjoy the lovely super-powdery snow. My husband and I walked to Prospect Park, up Lookout Hill, and back home. It was quite comfy, we were nicely bundled and the trees and buildings blocked most of the wind. It's beautiful out there today!
I thought the poor thing was stuck, but the swan was okay and just snuggled up all warm.
The lake is pretty frozen!
Gulls gather on the lake - it looks like further back there may be open water.
 A downy woodpecker forages on Lookout Hill.
A cardinal comes in for a landing
White throated sparrow foraging on some exposed shrubs and grasses.
House finch
Song Sparrow
The squirrel was calling out on Prsopect Park SW
Love the snow flakes on his face!