Sunday, July 31, 2011

Audubon Eco-Cruise

Jack and I finally made it to the Audubon Eco-Cruise!  :-)  It was wonderful, led by Gabriel Willow who did a great job.  I would love to go again.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, I thought maybe it would be just basically a regular water taxi ride with some birders along in a separate little group.  But that wasn't it at all!  Gabriel had a microphone and narrated the whole tour, and the whole thing was looking at the islands in the East River that the cormorants and egrets and herons nest on.  It was great!  Jack and I sat up top, right at the front, on the right.  It was a great spot for viewing, terrible for telling Gabriel when we saw something.  I tend to see stuff, so it was not ideal.  The views were so great though, I would probably head right for that spot again!

Anyway, first we saw the cormorant island, which was great - I love these guys!

This one was a late arrival.

Next was an egret island, with lots of great egrets, but no pictures turned out at all.  Unless you like conceptual art pictures depicting flying egrets as angels.  In which case you're in luck!  We also a few black crowned night heron juveniles, and I thought I saw one yellow crowned night heron, but it flew off before I could point it out to Gabriel.  At least Jack saw it!

Then we tooled along, and I saw a great blue heron hanging out, and it stayed long enough to point it out to Gabriel.  First time ever for this tour!  I felt so happy!  :-)  We even got to see it fly away, which just looks like it's never going to work, and there's always a sense of waiting for the bird to just drop like a stone.

More egrets and black crowned night herons, we did get a good look at an adult, which was nice. And on the way back a falcon circling over us, another nice treat!

No snowy egrets or ibis, but a wonderful time.  :-)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Northern Waterthrush and Yellow Warbler!

Today I went into the ramble in Central Park briefly, mostly because I was nearby, and, well, why not.  I didn't really expect to see anything unusual, maybe a black crowned night heron (which I did, once at the upper lobe and again on the west shore of the lake a bit south of the upper lobe) and it was threatening to rain, so I brought my rain jacket and umbrella.  Which all adds up to a full heavy bag, which leads to a trade-off decision.  Yep, emergency binocs only, and no camera.  No camera!

So when I saw the northern waterthrush I could only take pictures with my phone!

I'm sure as phones go it's quite a nice camera.  However, taking bird pictures with it.........

Video was even more of a challenge.  Sorry for the shaking!

After that I did get quite a good look at a yellow warbler, but the pictures are much worse - I ~think~ the warbler is in the frame, based on my memory of taking the pictures...... but I cannot find it.  :-(  I'm so tempted to go back tomorrow with real binocs and my regular camera!

Hello, old friend.  I'm so glad to see you again!