It was such a great experience, and I love birding with others and having them help find things - and that was a relief because I can't find everything. It was a great group and I think I would very much do it again.
While the rain was zero threat, we had non-stop winds but really delicious sights of birds at the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park...
|We were greeted by so many snowy egrets plopping themselves among the shore, fishing for a snack.|
|Including this one, just below where we were standing.|
|We watched this double crested cormorant with a prized flatfish (maybe a winter flounder?). It dived and dodged the aerial dives of gulls, greedy for an easy meal they didn't have to catch themselves.|
|Another bird I was happy to see, back in our area, Forster's Tern!|
|Lesser pointy boi and greater pointy boi.|
Lesser (left) yellowlegs and greater (right) yellowlegs. Collectively known as pointy bois.
|We saw at least 3 osprey, as one was hunkered down in the active nest. Maybe with eggs? chicks?|
|And then. As if on cue, I mentioned that the killdeer nest here. And out struts this bird, with much confidence. Meanwhile, one of our group members drops to the floor, because she saw baby killdeer and this parent is like: No. No, you didn't.|
|Distraction Killdeer says:|
"Ya'll didn't see a baby.
Look at me. I'll walk towards you.
Look how dumb I am.
|A blurry, but necessary look at baby killdeer.|
Fair try, adult killdeer.
Did I mention the steady 30mph wind?
|And then, like magic, Merlin.|
|Then before leaving we saw these mute swans get it on and do this grebe-like chest bump, while making a heart with their necks and heads.|
I got this prom date photo of them post cloacal kiss.
|A few of us decided to go out to LI and do more birding. There was a ton of wind there too.|
This American Oyster Catcher didn't care.
It was living its best life in this puddle.
|A glossy glossy ibis!|
The name fits!
Happy to see these birds back in our parts, I do like them quite a lot.
|BEHBEH MUPPETSAURUS REX!|
AKA: Great Horned Owl
|Where to put the squirrels or rats or bunnies or skunks or other fuzzy critters.|
|Future top predator, coming to a park near you.|