Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hawk? in Central Park

Walking around the duck pond after leaving the zoo, we spotted what we thought was a hawk. It circled around several times and got fairly close to us, but this was the best picture I could manage to get. At one point there were two of them, but we lost the other one quite quickly. It was great!

Ducks squatting at Central Park Zoo

It snowed! We went to walk through the park and the zoo in the snow. Walking by the duck pond, it was nothing but mallards on the water, as usual. Lots of little birds flying around, but I didn't have binoculars and I couldn't really tell them apart.

At the zoo, we went first to the seal habitat, where we saw these ducks. The top picture is a Common Merganser pair, looking snuggly.

Next is a Common Goldeneye, male and female pair.

The third picture is the male, showing off.

Next is a Red Breasted Merganser.

The last shot is the same Red Breasted Merganser again.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cayman: Snorkeling: Lobster!

The water today was gorgeous and super calm. There's a storm coming tonight, and we leave this afternoon. We decided to make one of our bags a wet bag and have one last snorkel! Right away Jack found this gorgeous lobster, then the reef squid! It was wonderful. Then there were the regulars - queen triggerfish, flounder, butterfly fish, parrot fish, box fish, cow fish, etc. It was wonderful!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cayman: Snorkeling: Same Fish, Different Day

The water was quite rough today, we did swim out to the deep area but it wasn't particularly enjoyable. Sometimes when it's rough you see amazing things but this time, it was just work with no great sightings. Back in the shallows, though, we got another good look at the queen triggerfish and this gorgeous flounder.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cayman: Another snorkel

Today the snorkeling was not as magical. A nice shot of the golden boxfish. A scene of lots of fish feeding. And the best shot of the butterfly fish we got during our whole trip. We saw these fish quite a bit each time we went out into the water. Also lots of blue tangs, no good pictures though.

Cayman: Frigate, Iguana, Hermit Crab

Another lovely afternoon lounging on the beach. This brave hermit crab climbed up onto my chair for unknown reasons. The iguana came across the beach on the rocks, then sprinted across the sand to climb up to the pool. And another frigate or three whizzed by too quickly for me to take a decent photo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cayman: Frigate and Snake in Grand Cayman

Tuesday afternoon there was more wildlife. Again the butterflies, occasional gulls, another frigate, and ...... a snake! I was the only one out on the beach, just lounging and reading a Foundation book. I glanced over, and there it was - a snake! I was not expecting that.....

Cayman: Snorkeling: Squid, Flounder, Turtle!

Our first snorkel this trip was pretty spectacular. We got in and started to head out, and right away I spotted the reef squid. As we were taking pictures, the queen triggerfish and the boxfish tried to distract us. After taking a good look at them all (and a bunch of other stuff, mostly blue tangs and butterfly fish and the zillions of fans) we headed out towards the buoys. Then I spotted the flounder! It was too deep for me to get a really good look, but Jack got way down there for the picture. Then it was out to the buoy, where it was really too deep for me to see much of anything, but while we were talking on the surface I saw something next to the buoy. I thought it was either something tied on to the buoy or.... a turtle! We were thrilled to see the turtle, then came back in to the shallows where we found the white spot file fish. Our best snorkel of the trip!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cayman: Butterflies, Frigate, Iguanas

We saw quite a bit of wildlife before we even got in the water! On the way to the hotel I spotted an iguana up in a tree, trying to pass itself off as a fallen palm frond. While lounging on the beach, we spotted these iguanas on the rocks, the frigate, and the butterfly. There were always a few butterflies around, we saw 4 different kinds but only got pictures of these and one other. These are milkweed butterflies.