Posts Tagged 'birding'


Insect-summer is over. But last week I was in Prospect Park and saw masses of dragonflies over the Butterfly Meadow, in a patch of the Nethermead, and then in two clusters along the Long Meadow. They all seemed to be Common Green Darners, the large migrating species. And they were hunting on the wing. Gnats, for want of a better description, filled the air.

And hunting for the dragonflies, a Kestrel, swooping in great deep arcs before briefly perching way up on a tree-top.falco


IMG_4301Evidence of Pileated Woodpecker in the Hudson Highlands. The biggest hole is 7″ tall. This kind of excavation work is standard for this crow-sized woodpecker, which has a skull designed to absorb all that pounding.


Troglodytes hiemalisIt’s rare to spot the tiny Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) out in the open, but this one was most obliging long enough to get a shot or two. They usually prefer damp, shady areas, underneath logs and the like. Note the long bill and what seem like largish toes, the better for poking and scratching in the leaf litter, duff, and other nooks and crannies. Like all our wrens, they pack a lot a voice per half ounce, but this one was silent as the tombs surrounding us in Green-Wood.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming Wood Ducks

sunset1We’ve been having some magnificent sunsets lately. This was last night, from the Nethermead. Aix sponsaWhen I crossed over Payne Hill, I found a mess of Wood Ducks still at the far end of the Upper Pool.

I went hoping for a repeat of the previous night’s phenomenon, which I heard about from two witnesses: masses of dragonflies at sunset. I saw one Common Green Darner, so I guess I missed the migratory flight. There was a lone Common Nighthawk as consolation, though, rollicking over the Long Meadow.

Coincidental Juxtaposition

A flash of yellow in a flock of House Sparrows caught my eye in the Nethermead. The bird quickly flew back down to the ground from its temporary perch. Melopsittacus undulatus, no? Buteo jamaicensisThe same day I saw four Red-tailed hawks kettling above the Lake. Later, one flew low over the Nethermead. And then later still, another flew across the Long Meadow and landed on this fence. Could have been six different birds, since hawks are moving now.

Common Yellowthroat

Geothlypis trichasA male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), one of this year’s young. He was picking and pecking into that metal grill, which had collected leaves behind it, and hence some invertebrates.

Heron Trio

IMG_7772From back to front, a Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, and a Snowy Egret. Salt-marshing in Brooklyn.

Heron. Egret. What’s the difference? “Egret” comes from the Fr. aigrette, which seems to have come out the Old High German heigir, which means… heron. But then you know a hawk from a handsaw, right? Hamlet should have said herounceau, a young heron, but then that’s an Old French word and he was Danish, although he spoke in English. Shakespearean English, no less. What a confused puppy. So if you can’t tell a hawk from a heron, you’re in big trouble. And clearly not a subscriber to this blog. What are you waiting for? The half-price sale? It’s on now!


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  • Son of a ...! Mies's famous German Pavilion was built w/ traditional tile vaulting by Catalan craftsmen. Fact suppressed by Mies, followers. 6 hours ago
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