Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Weekday Weekend of Birding!

     I spent my Monday-Tuesday Weekend Birding! I know, you're not surprised. I have upped my year list to 189 species and I'm pretty happy about that! Lots of warblers in Prospect and down by the shore, not much excitement -- yet. But it was nice to walk Plumb Beach, it's been a while!
I began my day yesterday with a very long walk in Prospect Park.
A chestnut-sided warbler, my FOY -- and one of those warblers that come fall does a 100% wardrobe change.

Lots of this in the park.

The only time you can get an ok shot of an American Redstart-- when it starts to sing. Otherwise this thing is always always moving- taunting you with flashes of orange as it splays its tail and wings.

A little masked bandit-- who will steal your heart. Common Yellowthroat.

I'm pleased with this profile- these birds are smaller than sparrows- so tiny but they are characters. I think the smallest birds are the best because they have attitudes and personalities that are far greater than their size.

Another lucky redstart shot...

I have an obsession with black and orange birds- American Redstarts, Baltimore Orioles, and Blackburnian Warblers are favorites -- toss in a black skimmer, with that carrot-orange bill and I'm still in.

Sing it out, little buddy!
There is so much bird song in the air- nothing more beautiful than male birds begging to the moon and back for a female to mate with him.

You had to work for those birds- and I did, got this aforementioned Blackburnian Warbler (note the orange) AND a bay-breasted warbler.

Spied a raccoon who was woken by the drama of blue jays going after a red tail hawk.

A few stretches, scratches and back to sleep it went.

I love finding bull frogs in the waterways around the park with the warmer weather we are finally having.

A photo of a white-eyed vireo who much rather would not be in full view. Ever.

Gave up and thankful for another birder friend who pointed out a Cape May Warbler who was a tad less tough to capture.

Pretty scenery helps.
Favorite part of my walk, I sat at the Peninsula. I didn't have to crane my neck, had this green heron come over my way and enjoyed a quiet, neck-strain-free moment with my FOY Green Heron.

This bird was on a mission...

It may have a derpy face-- but those forward facing eyes are for a precise strike of the beak.

... But I Love that face!

Like I was saying, precision. This bird caught a fish that probably didn't even know what had hit it!


And then this bird walked closer- like I had to back up because it was out of focus close.

Such a lovely looking creature. 
Today I visited Plumb Beach and The Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center.
Lots of Gull. Lots.
Here a herring gull feasts on a once was spider crab.

Lots of Forster's and a few Least terns. Happy to see them all, back for the summer!

A willet probing for snacks in the water at low tide.

A different willet looking for a friend. maybe.

Orange and black! Black skimmers, I love these birds- they are so weird!!

Check out those amazingly weird beaks!! The lower bill is dragged through the surf and when it touches something like a fish, the birds beak, like a trap snaps shut-- this amazing capture happens without the bird getting whiplash and it continues to fly. It's a sight to see and wonder how this animal manages not to get severely injured with such a feeding method.

At the Salt Marsh I wondered if he wondered what I am thinking...

One of the pair of osprey. The other bird is sitting on the nest.

I wonder what next week will bring... still waiting for clapper rails to show up, I love them. I don't know too many birds I don't love.
And just so you know, here are all the warbler outtakes-- with fast, little birds you get a lot of...

Lots of funny feet, levitating birds, or falling forward.

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