I left the baby home today and got some mom time, which of course the best way to pamper oneself is to speed-walk across Green-Wood Cemetery twice, looking for birds.
We have had two weeks of grey, rain, and all around "meh" weather. By the end of the day, the sun peeked from behind the clouds and it was a glorious way to end the week. I slept in today (and so did our awesome baby - thank you, baby) and after breakfast made my way to Green-Wood. From all around reports of birds were very tantalizing. Would I be treated to something awesome, I'd soon find out.
The freedom to walk without a stroller is just incredibly liberating. I could walk up steep inclines, through the grass, over the rugged paths, what a feeling. I love birding with my little buddy, but, it was nice to have a break. Plus, we re-filled our home feeders and got our first tufted titmouse today, so she still got some bird time with me.
Green-Wood was exciting, the place was crawling with birds, mostly Juncos but also a few other special buddies too...
Among the juncos were also quite a number palm warblers where I first began my walk. Lots of birds hunting low, normally palm warblers are low, but phoebes, kinglets, and vireos were also foraging in the grass. Also eager to eat, if you stood still, they would forage right up to you without much care of your presence. A golden crowned kinglet foraging within close proximity. Also foraging in the cemetery were raptors, merlins, kestrels, and red tails were actively hunting - no surprise with the numbers of little birds all around. We reached the Crescent and Dell Water, and while the grosbeaks were not there, some other little little gems were, like this purple finch.
(there were a few purple finches!)
|And not to be overlooked, the house finches!|
|One of our small group called out for a grosbeak! A male and two females (this is a female).|
These are my first Brooklyn Evening Grosbeaks!
|And this is the male. He looks something like a yellow starter jacket I owned in the late 90's.|
We were all in awe.
It is shaping up to be what may be an epic winter of birding. Fellow birder and friend Ryan, has been doing a lot of writing about this and explained to us why we are seeing these grosbeaks, so plentifully. Check out the article they wrote for the Finch Research Network.
|They spent a lot of time with juuuust one stick in the way or in the shadows - but seriously, why am I complaining. Seeing these grosbeaks was really really great. But I'll run out again at another time to get pictures happily.|
So then I walked to head out and as I got close to where I needed to be my camera just crashed to the ground. Hit the asphalt so hard.
I picked it up and I heard glass jingle around.
The crying began. I don't have too many possessions that I am really really fond of, but my camera and my binoculars are so important to me and to see it on the ground brought me to tears. I thought it was all over. My camera is heavy enough that over time dug through the clip for my harness and that is what failed me.
Upon getting home, Tim helped me investigate. Only the lens filter shattered. The camera functioned, the lens worked and focused. A huge wave of relief, but a visit to phototech is already booked as I need to be sure things are truly okay and I do need a small part and the cap replaced. But I will take that - what luck.
I am in the market for a better, more reliable camera harness thought, that's for sure.