Saturday, March 22, 2014

First Spring Excursion

     It was a fine day for a walk, temperature in the 50's, the sun shining, and a blanket of snow on the ground at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I walked the trail to get around to the far side of the west pond and I heard so much honking. I figured so many Canada Geese were waiting for me on the bay, but to my surprise a huge flock of snow geese were covering the marsh. Snow geese are a first for me, so I was very happy getting to see them. Also sighted were killdeer and osprey (both back for the season), bufflehead duck, brant, house finch, and red wing blackbirds.

Snow geese! The only kind of snow I want to see at this point.
Snow Geese in New York City!
Mourning dove
In being so close to JFK International Airport, migratory birds and planes do not mix. According to a recent article I read, many species of bird are killed off each year in hopes of preventing air strikes. Could this be done without all the killing? It's a tough question to answer, but the number presented in this article really shocked me. 
The geese were super restless and by time I was leaving there was a lot of flying and photo ops.

House finches on the feeder outside the center.
A male house finch all handsome for the ladies.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


     With a high in the 50's today, getting out of the apartment was an absolute requirement. My husband mentioned Central Park, and after a visit to the zoo, we walked North. Our walk took us through the mall, the ramble, and out to the West side, near Strawberry Fields, right in front of the Dakota, where John Lennon lived, and his family still resides.
     The highlight was at the end of our walk as we watched a red tail hawk swoop and dive, perch up on an iconic building, and collect nesting material. Enjoy!

A blue jay forages amongst the first flowers of spring, snowdrops, at the entrance to the mall.
This raccoon found a nice place to sleep in the ramble. You have moments here where you forget you are in the middle of Manhattan. Birds are calling, buildings are out of view from the hills and trees, then, from time to time you get a reminder of where you are from the sirens off in the distance.
A red tail hawk sighting before we exited the park.
The mate of the hawk above perched on a corner of the Eldorado on the Upper West Side.
They look so regal.... then they have to collect sticks for their nest, and they just look sloppy. 
More nesting material being collected in front of the Eldorado.
It was so hard to get even a semi decent picture, as runners were dodging me on the path.
The Eldorado.
Flying with nesting material...
He is very, very, very high in the sky. He is very much looking for some real estate, he has some serious standards, just like any New Yorker.
PERFECT! On the Eldorado, park view, covered, East facing....
Maybe not perfect, back out with twig in talon...