Songo Blue Skies

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Lifers

In and around NY, CT and ajoining areas the buzz has been all about the vagrant Fork-tailed Flycatcher. Like everyone else I was hoping to get a chance at seeing this bird. Since my family lives in CT I made the decision to wait until Thanksgiving when I would be passing right by Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary. However, prior to Thursday I was nervously checking daily to see if the bird was still there. Unbelievably he was. What a thrill to hang out and watch this beautiful bird. I was even able to take my mom to see it on Friday. She had been reading about it in her local newspaper. Thankfully the spot where the bird hangs out is really close to the parking lot which was great for my mom who tires easily. Thanks also to Mardi Dickinson of Kymry~A Look in Time  who gave excellent directions. I was able to meet Mardi and her husband on Thursday. I'm just hoping that this little guy can figure out his directions and head south before it gets too cold or snowy.

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

I picked this picture because you can see the different lengths of the tail feathers. As this guy matures his tail feathers will lengthen.
 The other lifer for me was a pair of Hooded Mergansers. On the way to my sister's for dinner we passed the old Cobb's Mill Inn that has a pond right behind it. I got a brief glimpse of a bird (since I was driving couldn't look too closely). I remarked to my mom I wonder what that bird is. She said it was one with a funny head. I was intrigued. So the following day I made a point to stop at the place. There was the pair enjoying a swim and dive. Mom says there are usually a whole flock of them, but I only saw the pair. What beautiful birds. While the bird breeds not too far distant from NYC, it does winter here and in CT on wooded lakes, ponds, rivers; and in winter tidal creeks and estuaries.

Just after I snapped this the female gave the male a good jab in the tail feathers. He got out of her way quickly

The female. She is just beautiful! Her coloring is subtler
A handsome fellow!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some Fall Birds

A friend and I went horse back riding last Saturday and then we took a walk around Jamaica Bay. It was a lovely Saturday with a light wind but pretty warm for this time of year. No snow geese yet, though I read they have been spotted. We did see American Coots and American Wigeons both life birds for me. Then we saw Kinglets and sparrows- White throateed, Song and Chipping. The White-Throated Sparrow was the white-striped form. Previously I had only seen the tan striped form.

American Coot and American Wigeon

Chipping Sparrow

Dark Eyed Junco

Northern Shoveler

Nice Fall Leaves

Northern Mockingbird

White-Throated Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow