Now, being an old house, of course it came with lots to do- ripping up carpets, painting, installing/refurbishing wood floors, moving (did you know you could saw a box spring in half and reassemble to get it up a flight of tight stairs? me neither!), buying new appliances, installing new appliances, telling the kid neighbors next door that your yard is no longer a place to smoke their joints, fixing things, questioning the thought behind how things were put together by the past owners, and acclimating our pets-- all of that destroyed my free time. Also, I never have been so interested in any of this - matching paints, cleaning, etc - but when you own something and gave your life saving towards this hunk of home, you suddenly have a change of heart.
In the time living here, I noticed a huge difference in my neighborhood birds- blue jays are out of the picture but now I hear gulls, living closer to the water - laughing, herring-- and all the odd noises they produce. The other day, while driving through the neighborhood, I had a glossy ibis fly over- not too shabby!
With the exception of a bird outing on early June with my friend Molly (who is featured in this NY TIMES article) and attaining a life golden-winged warbler- I haven't gotten out much. So today, despite heat soaring into the 90's, I like it hot and I was ready to get out!
|I stopped out at Jamaica Bay hoping to see not just birds, but also a local reptile-- the Diamondback Terrapin.|
|This female was not too far out onto the trail and she was busy digging a hole in which to nest.|
|Heat can be problematic to us creatures that produce our own body heat- but for reptiles, it is power. It raises their metabolism, it gives them energy, and it helps to incubate their eggs.|
|Diamondback terrapins are monitored here by a group of volunteers based from Hofstra University. I was able to let one of them know that this female was hard at work as they put cages up over nests to reduce nest predation by raccoons.|
|Saw quite a few yellow warblers who nest here.|
|This tree swallow is just appalled... at the temperature.|
Birds can't sweat, so open mouth "panting" helps for cooling down.
|Young tree swallow is also pretty warm in that box!|
|I bet this little nugget is calculating costs for installing ductless AC...|
|Soon that young tree swallow will fledge and eventually will take on the amazing plumage of its parents.|
|...speaking of glossy ibis...|
|Spotted another large female simply on the move.|
|I love how each terrapin is such an individual, their spots, blotches, and patterns vary greatly from one turtle to the next.|
|They also have really cool feet- their rear feet have flaps on their heels- I'm sure it helps with swimming a bunch, but also excavating a nest if you're looking to lay eggs.|
|Spotted an osprey not on a nest platform.|
|Now, sprayed down with off-deep woods, I continued on to one of my new neighborhood birding spots- the Marine Park Salt Marsh!|
I enjoyed watching this yellow-crowned night heron on the hunt.
|So, I didn't spray my face with deet-- and that's then where the biting flies and mosquitoes honed their sights on-- I coulda used your help, dude.|
|This was fun to watch- little bird, big attitude!|
A male red-winged blackbird chases off a great egret that flew too close to his singing perch.
|Chased that egret a good 30-40 yards!|
|Family photo. There are three chicks in there!|
|2 of a family of seven barn swallows assess the water feature they should avoid below.|