Monday, November 20, 2017

Prospect Rarities

     Haven't posted in a while. Spent two weekends ago with my husband, and some birding in between as we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Then last week I came down hard with a stomach virus, it sucked, 100%. Yesterday I finally felt well enough for walking and going out to find the Common Gallinule that has been hanging around at Prospect Park since last week. A few other bonuses also showed up too...
From across the way... I noticed a goose that was not like the others...

I present, a cackling goose!

With its wings looking almost too long for its body, smaller size, and wedge-shaped, small bill, this is a separate species from the Canada geese.

The one furthest back is definitely a cackling-- I question the one right in front of it.

Oh yeah... I was looking for that gallinule- the cackling was a little distraction. But then, distracted again- this great blue heron was on a mission...

While hordes of people skated just 100 yards away, this great blue heron found lunch. And no one but me watched it al go down.

A tasty frog that it even dipped, gently in the water to get it nice and wet so it could easily swallow it down.

Then a gust of wind came and even knocked this bird off-balance.

It was a great afternoon though, to photo pied billed grebes. These funny little birds are often shy, but today they were busy hunting in the tangles of the now dying lilies.

Also, lots of plump ruddy ducks, close to shore doing the same as the grebes.

Looking like a baby dinosaur...

Swimming through reflecting autumn colors.

And now for sub-par photos of the common gallinule. Not a year bird for me, but a county bird, for sure! 

My coworker and friend found it last Sunday, and I am so glad it stuck around!
While a bird like this could be in NYC, as it is within its range, we just don't have a lot of its preferred habitat. In places upstate, even into Canada, these birds are not rare occurrences as the summer and breeding range extends north of here. I did see these birds last winter in Florida at Merritt National Wildlife Refuge, in large abundance.

This is very much a juvenile bird and a fun one to tack on to your Kings County list, if it isn't there already!

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