Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Ringing in 2019 with Birds

     2018 was an insane year, the fact that I saw 257 species of birds while taking on a new role at work and putting a hell of a lot of effort and love into that new role, buying a home and moving across Brooklyn with Tim, and then putting a lot of love and care into our new home... I'm amazed I had any time!
     2019 was rung in last night at a bar with good friends and then this morning with a mild hangover. So, I napped and realizing how WARM it was outside, decided to go for a ride and short walks at Floyd Bennett Field to get some of our first birds in our neighborhood! Going out in just a sweatshirt was all I needed to enjoy some birds in the afternoon sun.
First bird we encountered was a bathing Long-tailed Duck.
With a bill so perfect for plucking shellfish off the surfaces they are on, these are amazing little divers!

I love capturing them just acting naturally.

A nice find, a trio of ring-neck duck drakes.

all my ducks in a row for 2019, that's always a good sign.

A funny vantage... I spotted a harbor seal on the launch for the NYPD helicopter fields. Looks like a mini seal on a pier...

Harbor Seals are a common sign swimming into Jamaica Bay to hunt-- or grab a sunny place to bask on a 60 degree day.

A ring-billed gull washes away 2018...
     Another thing I am excited to really continue doing into the new year is feeding the birds. I have created a feeder station in our front yard with suet, tube feeders, and other types of feeders I vary in and out of use. We mainly have attracted in house sparrows, but have a trio of regular mourning doves, have had a few dark-eyed juncos, and a white-throated sparrow. By feeding the birds I have also noticed some small hawks, a sharp-shinned I have spotted twice within the last month and a Cooper's hawk seen once. I also had a double Merlin flyover last week which was really awesome.
     My favorite and newest regular visitor is a white-breasted nuthatch who I just am tickled by every time they come to feed. Today was very windy so it even sat on the side blocked by the wind just to relax and watch the world.
     By Spring I hope to add native plants to the lawn to support insects and birds in the warmer months, only providing food in the colder months. And I joined Project Feeder Watch and am doing feeder watches on my weekend. I love drinking my morning coffee and watching birds!
     Here is some iphone video I shot of this (what I presume to always be the same individual) bird grabbing a snack before it left.

Wishing all a great 2019, Happy New Year!