Friday, May 7, 2021

Bird Like a Mother - One Full Year!

    We celebrated Kestrel's first full trip around the sun yesterday. One year of being a mom, one year of life in a pandemic, a year of milestones, growth, and missing our family, a year of challenges, and a whole year of discovering a new way of birding.
    Kestrel went on her first bird outing at two weeks of age with Tim and I at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. Her first birds included yellow crowned night herons, osprey, clapper rail, and scarlet tanagers. While every bird outing isn't always with Kestrel, much of my maternity leave was, and still, many of my outings still include her. I want her to be outside with me, love nature, and feel comfortable in nature. A bonus would be if she too also loves birds.
    Our birding evolved a lot during her year of life. Early on it was a lot of sleeping and diaper changing to what it is now, awake, alert, curious about the world. We now even have to stop to sit in the grass or loosen our stroller straps to get better views and be able to more freely look around. Today she stuck it out with me for two and a half hours of birding, and not a single nap. She did enjoy some snacks which might now be the newest trick I add to my arsenal of birding with baby tactics.
    Today we enjoyed some warblers, heard our first of the year great crested flycatcher and saw our first of the year blue grosbeak. We also enjoyed collecting sticks along our walk, making silly sounds and faces, and potentially leaving a trail of cheerio's for any lucky chipmunks.
A horrid photo, but we walked in and immediately sighted a rose-breasted grosbeak. A sure sign we'd have a really lovely walk!

Magnolia Warblers were around most everywhere we went.

While breaking for a snack and diaper change, a blue grosbeak made two appearances near to where we sat. How lucky were we!?

We stopped to admire this gray catbird that immediately begun to sing its lovely song after snapping some photos.

We saw 4 pairs of wood ducks all along the water features in the park.

One of three Veerys we enjoyed. This one was quite close at the lower pool.

Also at the lower pool, this northern water thrush who took a few strides right in front of us!

Chipping sparrows are so lovely in those little red caps!

We left the park being serenaded by the beautiful song of a Baltimore oriole.

And just because I failed to share any pictures last week, we were so busy celebrating our little girl, some bonus images of a CHUCK-WILLS WIDOW that my good friend Akilah found last week on her birthday bird walk!

A rarity in NYC, maybe you'll see them in Eastern LI or the coastal parts of NJ, but not so much here. This was found on May 1st in Prospect by my friend, Akilah!

I was having my arm tugged on, with intensity as Akilah repated "Oh my god, that's a BIRD!!!!"

Not a common nighthawk... too big and flat headed for an Eastern whip-poor will, some rufous coloring -- yup, chuck-will's widow (named after its call).

These are denizens of the night, the rest and nest on the ground. Those eyes are quite big, and don't let that beak fool you.

That tiny beak leads to a very wide gape, the extends down to where its eyes are. Those little whiskers are feathers that help it feed on flying insects from dusk till dawn.

Life bird #416, state bird #302, county bird #260!

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