Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Migration is On!

There was lots of activity at the upper lobe today, including a possible worm-eating warbler.  I thought I saw one, but I can't have much confidence in that.  Because the few pictures are actually much more consistent with a red-eyed vireo.  Did I just see a sort of stripey head and get excited?  Yeah, actually that sounds possible.  But others saw one there, so maybe they just confused both me and my camera.  Also possible.  Anyway, here's a terrible picture of a red-eyed vireo!

Red-eyed Vireo
 And a chat!  The stories were true!  :-)  There was also a wren, but the wren defeated my camera whereas the chat practically loitered and posed.  I mean, for a chat.
Yellow-breasted Chat
 As I tried to get another look at the worm-eating-warbler, other birds did their best to distract me.  Like this mystery flycatcher.
Mystery Flycatcher
 Ant this thrush!
Mystery Thrush
 And this different mystery flycatcher!  I clearly wasn't going to find that other bird again, so I headed off towards the oven.
(Different) Mystery Flycatcher
 On the way, along the streamlet I saw this American redstart preening.  She is making sure her tail is in prime fanning condition.
American Redstart
 This house finch came by to have a drink.
House Finch
 And so did a bunch of waxwings!  They are quick in the water.  They do not linger or lounge about.  They are all business, and then they are outta there!
Cedar Waxwing
 At the oven there were some grosbeaks looking lovely.  OK looking a bit odd with their beaks wide open the whole time.  But lovely nonetheless!
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
 This male is coming into his breeding finery.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
 A sweet peck on the cheek.
Rock Pigeons
 Back along the path, a waterthrush bobbing its tail like crazy.
Northern Waterthrush
 There were several black-and-whites, mostly going too fast to be anything but a blur in the camera.
Black-and-white Warbler
 Hummingbird!  Yay!
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 And another thrush, I think this one is a veery.  A lovely day!
Mystery Thrush

Monday, August 27, 2012

Stormy Weather

Today I saw that there would probably be showers on my way back from the gym, so I loaded up my rain jacket into my backpack along with my binocs and camera.  When I left the gym it was quite cloudy, but not rainy.  When I got to the upper lobe it started to sprinkle just a tad, but I didn't really care.  Look who I saw!

Black-crowned Night Heron
 I haven't seen an adult in a while, so I was quite happy.  The juvie was not so happy, they did not share the space with joy.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

They did share it with rain, however.  A few warblers were around but I didn't get pictures because it was time to put my camera away, and put my rain jacket on.  I kept walking into the ramble,thinking that a walk in the rain shower would be nice.  However the rain kept getting harder and harder, and it ended up being quite a thunderstorm!

It turns out that being under a tree with small leaves is fairly useless.  And being under a small tree is fairly useless. What you want is a big tree with big leaves.  Like at the upper lobe.  Where I left.  By the time I got back there everything outside my rain jacket was thoroughly soaked.  My shoes were so muddy I had looked for spontaneous streams on the path to rinse them.  My pants needed to be wrung out.  I had mud spattered in some places.

It's really funny seeing another person in the ramble during a storm.  You both look at each other like, What the #3!! are *you* doing here?!?!  Then you just sort of pretend that didn't happen and go back to being alone.

I need to start rechecking the forecast when I leave the gym......  :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hummingbird with my Honey

Today Jack and I went on a medium-length birding walk in Central Park, starting at the upper lobe, where we saw a juvenile black-crowned night heron pretending to be a duck.  Until it started hunting, when it started to look distinctly like a heron.
Black-crowned Night Heron
 I'm sure every adult heron has a story like this one........ the one that got away.
Fish escaping juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
 There were a couple of warblers nearby, but only this black-and-white allowed a photo.
Black-and-white Warbler
 A mystery thrush caught my eye, I think it's a veery, but I'm not very sure.  Hahahaha, see what I did there?
Mystery Thrush
 This American redstart posed for a while by the water, making sure I got her good side.  She loves to fan her tail!
American Redstart
 This common yellowthroat teased me, clearly enjoying my frustration.
Common Yellowthroat
 Hummingbird!  It was such a joy to see this little lady.  We sat on the rocks at the oven for a while, and she came around every once in a while.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
This bird confused me until I remembered my rule - if a bird confuses you, check to see if it might be a female red-winged blackbird.  I have found this to be an excellent rule.
Red-winged Blackbird (Female)
 A female common yellowthroat was around also, although usually it was quite difficult to tell.
Common Yelowthroat (Female)
 As we were leaving we saw this monarch butterfly with each wing torn right in half.  So sad!  But also so beautiful.
Monarch Butterfly

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Birthday Hummingbird and Other Treats

Party like it's my birthday - meaning birding in the park!  I went for a low-key lovely walk visiting my favorite spots.  At the upper lobe this red-eyed vireo caught my eye, but not my camera lens, right away.

Red-eyed Vireo
 I thought this duck looked weird.  A closer look revealed - that's no duck!
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
 Behold the might hunter.  A good-sized meal well earned!
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
 The vireo did not get tired of finding new ways to defeat my camera.
Red-eyed Vireo
 The redstart demonstrated how to pose.  Now there is a sentence I never thought I would write!
American Redstart
 On the way to the oven I got distracted by this black-and-white warbler.  There was actually a hummingbird there briefly too.
Black-and-white Warbler
 At the oven I saw this Canada and a hummingbird (actually two, but only one stayed) but the hummingbird was far back in the jewelweed.  Back to the upper lobe!
Canada Warbler
 A few minutes of watching by the willow and out came this little lovely.  She was a joy to watch, visiting all of the flowers in turn, showing off her flying skills.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 The sun even came out briefly!  What a lovely birthday hummingbird.  :-)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 Oh, and also, there was a Carolina wren nearby.  Yay!
Carolina Wren

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fantastic Fall Day!

Today I brought my binocs and camera to the gym, and walked home through the park after Pilates.  I'm so glad I did!  First of course I needed some lunch, so I got street food and ate on a bench across from this bus.  I love living in NYC!

Happiness Bus
 At the upper lobe there was quite a bit of activity.  Several warblers, including this yellow warbler, a black-and-white that refused photos, a Canada that allowed only blurry photos, and of course redstarts.
Yellow Warbler
 There were redstarts everywhere!  :-)
American Redstart
 This flycatcher zoomed around, hopefully having a great feast.
Mystery Flycatcher
 A juvie black-crowned night heron was sleepy.  :-)
Black-crowned Night Heron
 On the way over to the point was a chestnut-sided warbler.  It did not want pictures.  Not much activity at the point, but I did spot a pair of Baltimore orioles and a hummingbird at the oven, so I headed over that way.
Chestnut-sided Warbler
 Hummingbird!  My first of the fall.  So happy!
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
 There was one cedar waxwing at the oven.  Which probably means there were a dozen nearby that I didn't see...... Oh well, one waxwing is a lot better than no waxwings!
Cedar Waxwing
 This Wilson's warbler entertained us for quite some time as we waited for the hummingbird to come back around.
Wilson's Warbler
 And then this Maggie came by.  So pretty.
Magnolia Warbler
 This Canada was more tolerant of the camera than the one at the oven was.  Thanks Buddy!
Canada Warbler
 The female oriole surveying her domain.
Baltimore Oriole (female)
 And another mystery flycatcher.  It was a great day in the park!
Mystery Flycatcher