Friday, April 20, 2018

Red, Blue, and Yellow

     Today was a super exciting day, even though the weather was wonky. I wore two layers of pants, 3 layers up top, mittens, and a winter hat -- not your typical attire for April 20th, more like February 20th.
     I began the day at Green-Wood a few birds had been recorded there over the last few days that I was hoping to see and then I went to Prospect Park, for the same reason. I took a lot of pictures, so we'll just get on with it:
Like an over exposed becon-- target bird #1 was found in moments of arriving to Green-Wood.
Summer Tanager.

This bird must have overshot where it intended to go... we are North of its breeding range.
Migration is happening and this is the fun part, sometimes birds come in that over shot, got taken off course, and end up in other places. This bird's beak shows evidence that it may have been eating some fresh buds or leftover winterberries, but it was probably also going after insects that gathered in the sun.

A wind swept chipping sparrow.
At the Sylvan water I ran into some familiar faces (human ones) and as we sat and chatted the place was just swarming with birds. Many instances of birds taking a quick turn before flying into you. For us this was perfect, for those with a bird phobia, this was a Hitchcock movie.

A nice sight to be had in Brooklyn, a Blue Grosbeak.
Target bird #2.

This one is a nicer blue than the one last year in Prospect Park- very handsome!

Blue in nature is an amazing color, this bird must be outlandish in the ultraviolet spectrum.

And while we stood and chatted birds, an early Swainson's Thrush walked by.

Prepare yourself for birds in Cherry Trees....
Up first, a handsome yellow-rumped warbler.

The yellow-rumped's look super great right now in their breeding plumage.

There was a 4th-- a small group of great blue herons flying through and over the Sylvan water.

A Palm Warbler wants you to look at him...

So does this Indigo Bunting.
Target Bird #3.

And so does this red-eyed vireo... 

You best be looking.

Indigo bunting finds a new perch for you to better look at him.

The vireo and bunting are normal birds to see here, but they are early. Did they catch the worm? Probably not- they don't really eat worms.

Also an early bird (that also doesn't eat worms), an Eastern Kingbird. 1 or two hanging out at Sylvan water.

... And in case you were wondering, their eyes really are red.
Red-eyed Vireo.

My friend Marc and I walked to the Dell Water, heard lots of singing and beautiful house finches. Both male and females. This one is a male.

A regular Romeo...

Some of the house finches were so brilliant they had us questioning if they were house finches. But alas, they are.

Palm warbler is still making sure you are looking at him!
But for real, if you are into blooming trees, you should go to Green-Wood, things are just coming into or are at full bloom. The magnolias are nearly there, the cherries look great and some of the smaller fruit trees have beautiful, vivid buds on them.

On the Crescent Water we added a Louisiana Water Thrush and Black-and-White Warbler to our day list.

Walked back to Sylvan water for some last looks, the amazing thing about it being SO BIRDY is that there were lots of close passes by ravens (that's a raven), and red tail hawks-- the hawks even making passes trying to catch little birds-- or unassuming photographers.

One of the two Eastern Kingbirds on the tree I always expect to see them on. It droops into the water at the edge, isn't super tall, and is a great place to launch and catch insects from.

Next stop was Prospect Park. Alternate side ended, I could park my car grab "lunch" (a potato roll and banana?) and go!
Lots more handsome yellow-rumped warblers here. This one showing us why it is also sometimes called "butter butt." 

A great egret with the water ripples reflecting back onto it. I love these birds, so damn beautiful. Crazy they were once almost hunted to extinction. Migratory bird act has since protected migratory birds greatly until the guy some other people voted to be our president decided that corporations would not be held accountable for killing birds due to their own activity... you know, like oil spills. But that's getting us off topic -- but if you want to read more, you should here.

Woah, except I think this blue-grey gnatcatcher heard the news, and this bird is not too pleased.

I was pleased though to get a couple of decent shots of a bird that moves, always, is super small, usually up high, and moves (always).

Despite their "angry eyebrows," I love these little birds- a sign of spring, migration, and dare I say.... cute?

yeah-- they're pretty cute!

A half blurry picture of a Louisiana Waterthrush. 

A tree fell over the lower pool, and it's like the best thing ever. It's blooming, it's full of insects, and the birds are all over. Including this (target bird #4) Prairie Warbler!

And after watching this guy for a few minutes I just happened to take a look at twitter to see that a bird I was looking for was over in an area I just passed, so naturally I walked back there as fast as I could...

And there it was, a yellow-throated warbler. Target Bird #5.

I love bold colors, deep contrast, and I think that's why birds like this one and the yellow-rumped warblers appeal to me.

Yellow-throated warblers are well known for their party tricks and catching insects-- see the gnat at its beak tip? 
But truly known for their party tricks.

This bird was so active catching insects all around. I was perched on a bridge so I had eye level, bird eye views, and sometimes this bird too just perched up on the bridge. Had really great sights of this individual, this was some of the best looks I have ever had of a yellow-throated warbler so I am very pleased in having seen this bird!

And one for the road, the ruddy ducks are in their beautiful breeding plumage. Blue bills, auburn backs- they are gorg!

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