Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I stayed close to home today, riding the 6 train to 92nd and heading over to Central Park. I covered the southeastern end of the reservoir and was rewarded with an American Black Duck, a first for me. I also saw an Eastern Kingbird, and a small group of Cedar Waxwings. I headed over to where the park abuts the Conservatory Garden at Fifth Avenue and 105th St. In a brief space of time, maybe 20 minutes, I saw
American Redstart (Female)
House Wren
Chipping Sparrows
and a delightful Black and White Warbler

Much closer and just as rewarding as the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Jones Beach offers plenty of space and foliage to birds, and in migration seasons it pays to bring the bins along. I spent no time looking for birds at the beach yesterday, but a red-winged black bird presented itself, as did a yellow warbler (too briefly for me to get a good look, but it was nice to see. Lots of peeps along the shore line, and the usual assortment of gulls (laughing, black-backed, ring-billed and herring).
Lots of fun. It was a good birdday, even without the effort.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

I made the trek to the today. I left the house @8 AM; #6 train, transfer to the 4 at 14th St.; transfer to the A at Fulton,walk from the Broad Channel Station to the center. About 2 hours. Return, walk to the station, ride the A (missed my transfer) to 14th, caught a crosstown bus at 23rd, rode a 3rd Avenue bus from 23rd to 31, where I stopped at a grocery store. Returned home around 2:45, about 90 minutes total travel time.

Was it worth the trip?
I saw:
Great Egret
Great Blue Egret
Glossy Ibis
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Snowy Goose
Least Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
American Crow
Barn Swallow
Gray Catbird
European Starling
American Redstart
Northern Water Thrush
American Robins
Least Flycatcher
House Wren
and something near a small pool, which might be a house wren or a marsh wren or a Carolina wren or maybe a Northern Water Thrush. After reviewing my notes and consulting several bird identification guides I have decided this was a Carolina Wren. The deciding factor was the Kenn Kaufman Birds of North America. This has been a good addition to my array of birding materials.

Or a Northern Waterthrush
The behavior and size matches this bird, but I am not sure about the speckled breast. I wasn't focusing on that, and don't have my birding chops back yet, so can't focus on more than one thing at a time.

I like birds and trying to ID them: I never said I was an expert.

Yes,it was worth the trek. Plus they have a new facility which is delightful, particularly the restrooms, where in one finds a hand drying blower which is so powerful I had to hold on to the sink so as not to be blown away.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Starlings, rock doves, sparrows, that's it for the neighborhood, except for the Mourning Dove nest where I still see only one chick. I don't look too closely for fear of spooking the Mama.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mama MoDo and the chick. The picture is not good. Even at this distance she seems to know when I pick up the bins or the camera and goes into freeze-mode, with the chick concealed underneath her. I don't like to intrude, so I won't get any good pics.
I was surprised this morning to see her pick up a big piece of egg shell and fly off from the nest. She returned and repeated the procedure. Maybe this is typical behavior, getting rid of the shell, but I didn't know about it. Could be that piece of stark white shell would attract predators to the nest.

Monday, August 07, 2006

It is indeed a Happy Birdday! Mama and Papa Modo have a little strangerin the nest, possibly two, but from my angle I can only make out one. Pictures of the new arrival to follow if I can get them without upsetting anyone.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Egret at Jamaica Bay.

This is a narrow view of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve in Queens, NY. My lens isn't stong enough to get great shots of the birds, but I like looking at the blue water and the green foliage growing at the water's edge. Migration will be in full swing very soon and I hope to use a stronger lens and get better photos, to keep me through the cold winter.

Here's the little MoDo nesting on the fire escape across from my PC station. The due date should be any time now. At least the heat wave has broken.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I've added some links which I've found helpful in birding in the metropolitan area. More to come.
This is the third day of an awful heat wave (no, I don't believe it's "global warming." We had plenty of these days when I was a child. In fact, the weather now seems more like that of my childhood than did the weather of the intervening years.)
Through all this heat the Mourning Doves sit on the nest. I get tired watching.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Solitary and still the Mourning Dove sits in the oven that is Murray Hill. No Mayzie the lazy bird is she, or they, because the male takes his turn on the nest as well.
Rock Doves
House Sparrows
Nothing else,and it's too hot to go looking.