Friday, March 12, 2021

Birding With my Little Partner

     At this point, with a 10 month old birding can go incredibly well or off the rails. I also find myself very flustered just trying to get out the door, making sure I am very well prepared for taking her out, it's a much longer process to get out the door. And sometimes she just doesn't want to be in the stroller.

    This last week she begun to go on a sleeping spree (I think she is having a growth spurt, apparently this is a thing) which makes going birding a touch easier. The gentle bumps and uneven ground lull her into the deepest of naps. We both benefit.

    This last week, we together visited Marine Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. The weather finally felt like spring, and I think the fresh air benefitted us both.

So, let me tell you about trying to remember everything...
I walked to Marine Park with the stroller, did a nice brisk pace - the baby weight is off, but I could, um.... shape up... And I throw my birding pack in the stroller, open it up when we get to the nature trail annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd no binoculars.
No binoculars, only a camera, and of course, no strap for said camera.
So I pushed a stroller one handed, used a camera in lieu of binoculars, and tried my ears at birdsong.
And some birds maybe had some empathy and approached us. This chickadee came within 12 feet of us, even PAUSED. But of course, stick.
So really clear photos of a chickadee.... with stick. Can't get 'em all!

As we walked the trail, we noted how many human footpaths have been carved entering the marsh and grasslands, it's a shame there is zero enforcement of park rules. We, who we kidding, she was sleeping at this point, I enjoyed a very close and not shy song sparrow, foraging in the grasses just off trail.

Normally these birds are super skulky, but this one saw us (and our hulking stroller) and just kept on skipping around in the brush.

We'll be saying goodbye to them soon, but for now, they just keep on shoveling.

On our trip to Green-Wood today, we birded for THREE WHOLE HOURS, with only 3 minutes worth of crying. That my friends, is a big W for my book.
Now, we did make sure we took a diaper/snack/snuggle break to make sure we could stretch those little legs. We also sand a lot of little songs to the birds (she has picked up this habit of repeating some high pitch "do-do-do's" and swaying as she sings them. So, I've reinforced that behavior because she gets really happy doing it, so if you saw us singing together while we birded, it's just our thing.
Now upon our arrival, this red tail was swooping at the ducks, causing a bit of drama, so from that moment, I could tell we were going to have a good time out.

So let's talk about why we're really in Green-Wood.

The Timberdoodles, Bog Suckers, American Woodcocks, Potatoes ... they're here!
It's also a real treat to see them and enjoy the view because if they spook and flush, it's mostly a sudden heart attack, in what you get.
These birds are migrating to their nesting grounds and Green-Wood is one of a few Brooklyn Locations that they can be quite dependable to find, when the season is right.

You can see why these birds are often spooked, practically underfoot sometimes. Their cryptic patters are just absolutely perfect camouflaged. They are often hunkered down and remain still to rely on their ability to blend in, but if you're lucky, sometimes you do get to see the "dance," which is presumed to be a way to move the ground underfoot to help coax their favorite food, worms, toward the surface where they can easily be snagged by a hungry woodcock. 

Additional bonus bird: Hermit Thrush.

And first warbler of spring unlocked, Pine Warbler!!!
I thank my little Kestrel for being the best baby today, between the warm weather, the birds, and some tough few weeks of working while momming, I REALLY needed this.
We celebrated at home with a picnic in the backyard in the warm sun.

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