Songo Blue Skies

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The end of the first decade of 2000

I can't believe it's been 10 years. My daughter and I were remembering all the crazy fears gripping the world at the turn of the century, but nothing happened. Here we are 10 years later, unbelievable.

I took the dog out at 7:30 and there was no snow but when I awoke again we had about 2 inches. It was so beautiful.

Along the Gowanus canal

Here's wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year and a great 2010

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sometimes the wild life I find in Brooklyn surprises me, especially when it turns up in my backyard. About a month ago I had an immature male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in my backyard.

So Saturday, after an extremely trying week teaching my 7th graders, I was standing in the backyard enjoying the sounds of morning. I said in my head, "I'd love to see another yellow-bellied sapsucker." On cue one came around the trunk of the tree. Wow I thought. Then I saw another one flitting above in the tree tops. The one that is pictured here appears to be a female and possibly an immature one. She has stayed around all weekend. My daughter saw her in the backyard this afternoon.
When I first saw her she pretty much stayed on the same tree trunk. She actually was quite still and low when I started taking pictures.

So I took a few dozen pictures and then left her alone to enjoy the sap.

What is interesting is that the females mostly migrate further south and the males migrate south but will be found further north. So whether she will stay around or head south at some point will be interesting to note. The trees in the back must have some yummy sap.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Last Blooms Of The Year

One more time; a look at some last blooms...


It is hard to let summer go especially since there was little fall to enjoy. These are a few of the final blooms in my sister's and my garden taken over the last month. Some are even still blooming.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Immatures

I was walking the dog in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Just as I was about to leave the dead end street I looked toward the Gowanus Canal. There was a heron sitting there. I ran home to get the camera praying it would still be there. Here it is. Upon checking the bird book it was an immature Black-Crowned Night Heron and a beautiful bird. "Hey Mr. Night Heron don't you know that you are sitting on the most polluted body of water on earth! Please don't drink or fish in the canal!!

Saturday I joined some blogging birders (Bev from Behind the Bins organized this event and Corey of 10,000 birds led us around) at Jamaica Bay Wildlife refuge in Queens, NY. There were lots of shore birds. In the afternoon we walked up to a birdblind on Big John's Pond (on East Pond side of the road) and just on the other side was sitting an immature Yellow-Crowned Night Heron.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peacocks in Shakespeare?

I went with my sister to see, "A Midnight Summer's Dream," performed by CT Free Shakespeare. A friend of mine, Abbie, who is also a founding member of the group played Helena. It was a great show. So how do the Peacocks fit in? Well, they were the comic relief!!

The show was at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT. There were several peacocks roaming the area. You practically had to step on them for them to get out of your way. During the show there was 1 peacock who roosted on the top front edge of the stage roof. He appeared to be watching the show and would comment screeching three times at the appropriate points. It was hilarious. I wonder how much he got paid?

If you get a chance they are appearing in Guilford, CT on the Guilford Green at 7:30 from tonight, Wed 5 August, thru Saturday night. Take a chair or a blanket and a picnic and enjoy! For more information and a review go to:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunny Dahlias

These are pictures of my first Dahlias in my garden (containers on the patio).

Have a sunny Monday and hopefully its sunny wherever you are!

A rain made bird bath

These pictures were taken through a screen door. The door squeaks awfully when opened so I knew opening it would scatter the birds. So, I tried it through the screen and was surprised.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Glossy Ibis at Jamaica Bay

Wow, what a great day! I went to breakfast with a friend. He asked me what my day was like and since I had no plans he said let's go for a walk. He gave me directions and when we made a turn off the beltway I recognized the name of the boulevard. I asked, "Are we going to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge?" Come to find out he goes there 4 or 5 times a year to escape the city and enjoy the birds.
Funny thing was I just yesterday corresponded with Birding Dude asking him about the refuge and the safety of a woman walking the trails alone.

So, here I was walking the trail of West Pond. I saw glossy ibis (pictured), oystercatchers (LB), yellow-crowned night heron, egrets, marsh wrens, gray catbird, northern mockingbird and many others I couldn't get close enough to identify.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Once upon a time ...A Tale of House Wrens

Once upon a time there was a little bird house in a garden. A pair of House Wrens lived there with their family.
They found the tastiest bugs and worms for their brood and they dilligently brought them lots of goodies.
On a certain day in their lives there was a woman taking pictures at a respectful distance. The parents went about their business of capturing and bringing their young food until one of the family house cats showed up.

There arose such a clatter of chatter that the whole neighborhood was soon alerted.

Eventually the cat moved on to the shade of a car away from the house. The chatter ceased and the parents went back to the business of feeding their young.
The end.
Have a great rainy Tuesday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monk Parakeets and their nests

During the BwBTC outing last weekend in Milford, CT we came upon a Monk Parakeet nest. This one seemed to contain just one pair. The nest was enormous and it was obvious that sparrows were probably calling it home as well.

As we watched, the pair continuously carried large sticks such as the one seen here to add to their nests. These nests are more like condominiums as usually more than one pair lives in the nest, each having their own nesting chamber.

These are big nests.
In Brooklyn there are several colonies as well. There are nests on the Brooklyn College Campus as well as in Greenwood Cemetery. Fascinating birds.

Friday, July 17, 2009

BwBTC outing-Birding in CT

After two days of computer glitches, I think she's working again. I'm behind many others who have already blogged so eloquently about the Saturday 7/11 BwBTC outing. So here are a few of my pictures. I found it hard to get too many close ups, I see the need for a scope.

Egret roost in Stratford CT. Great Blue Heron

2 Great Egrets flying - Hammonasset Beach State Park, CT

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron - Looking for a good meal

Found it - a nice crab
On that note we ourselves went to lunch at Marnick's in Stratford, CT. Many of us indulged in our own shell fish meals - the lobster roll was delicious!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Aphrodite Butterfly

I had an incredible time birding and socializing with the BwBTC(Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp group) in CT this past Sat. I just returned from CT from visiting family tonight. So I will post some more about the outing this week. But for now this is a picture of an Aphrodite butterfly on a cone flower.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunset/Moonrise over Brooklyn

I usually post pictures of nature and places I visit, but today I thought I'd share a bit of my neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

This is a tower that sits on the other side of one of the most polluted bodies of water, the Gowanus Canal. I live about a block from the Gowanus. It is being considered for listing on the EPA's Superfund Site listing (the EPA says it is one of the most polluted waterways in the country) and there is great debate about whether the city's alternative plan or the EPA could do a more timely and or thorough job.

These are the spires of the local Catholic Church reaching into the sunset. I spotted this view as I was returning from walking the dog (my granddog)
Enjoy and have a great day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fledgling robins

This is one of the robin fledglings I enjoyed watching for a couple of days in a neighbor's backyard.

There were three of them and they were flying a little but mom and dad were still feeding them.

Mom/Dad meets up with one of their babies to give them a worm.
Yes, this is badly out of focus but I still love this photo. The baby saw mom had food and went running towards her. You can see the little mouth wide open saying "I want some or feed me, feed me!"