Saturday, July 3, 2010

Adventures With Paul, Part One: Jamaica Bay

Today we went birding with Paul, branching out from the park.  Our plan was to go to Breezy Point first, then Jamaica Bay.  But the traffic dictated that we do that in reverse order.

At Jamaica bay, we went around the west pond.  Right from the beginning we saw lots of these lovely tree swallows.

We also saw a willow flycatcher (???) briefly, I hoped it was hunting and would come back, but it moved on.

This osprey gave us a nice low flyover, showing off its beautiful markings.  I love that circle!  (wrist circle?)

Once we could see the water, the shorebird bonanza started.  It was quite something!  Ibis in the grass, ibis flying, a song sparrow in the grass nearby serenading us, egrets seemingly all around.  A heron flying over that we decided was probably a little blue heron.

At one point we saw this willet fly over and found it on the shoreline, and then noticed the sandpiper (spotted?) near it.

There was an osprey box that we saw from several points.  At each viewing point, it added another osprey!  Here it is at full house status, 5 osprey, no waiting.  :-)

We saw a few least terns, they fly so differently from the other terns I have seen, it's remarkable.  They are quite frenetic and just look like they are being buffeted all over by every little bit of wind.  In this picture you can see the least tern towards the right side in the water, and to its left a couple of common terns. What a size difference!  No wonder it's called the least tern!  I still think the name's a bit rude though.

Here's the only shot I got of a skimmer flying, it actually did skim briefly, but I didn't get a shot of that.

Here's my first yellow crowned night heron, I'm very happy to finally see this guy!

We didn't get a close-up view, but we did see him a couple of times including a flyover.

Here's a yellow legs that generously allowed a sandpiper (least?) to share its picture.

This Eastern black swallowtail butterfly first attracted our attention by fluttering by, then landed just to our left, spreading its wings and just begging to be photographed.  So, um, okay little fella, here's your fame and glory.

I love this shot, it totally looks like the ibis is an underling asking a harsh superior for something, and a bit nervous about what the goose might say.

There was one area on the shoreline where the birds seemed to congregate.  There were loads of geese, a bunch of cormorants, a black-crowned night heron, a few oystercatchers, a couple of great white egrets, and a few miscellaneous gulls and ducks.  Amazing!

Just past there, we passed this pair of egrets - a great white and a snowy - posing so that we could see their differences.  The snowy looks like some sort of dwarf species, so funny.  I don't know why they are so close together, I thought that was a little odd.

Of course it's hard to pass a wooded area with Paul, he'll try to find every last bird in there.  And so he did!  This female common yellow-throat teased him for a while, but then did agree to show herself, albeit partially and briefly.

Next was this waxwing, who apparently knew Jack was coming, and made an appearance.  Thanks waxwing!

This tree swallow showed us who the boxes are for.

The yellow warbler was reluctant, but Paul eventually spotted it and coaxed it to come out long enough for just one picture.  Luckily I had the camera pointed at the right spot, because he was outta there!

Next, more shorebirds.  There was a flock of glossy ibis in the water, taking turns showing us their beaks.  Then they all took off at once!  We have no idea what triggered that.  The black-crowned night heron and snowy egret are not quite so easily moved.  Hahaha, actually they left right after.  :-)

On the way back, Paul found a white-eyed vireo and an american redstart, but they declined the photo op.  Oh well, maybe someday.

It was a great time, we're so glad we went!

No comments:

Post a Comment