Posts Tagged 'Bush Terminal Park'

More Spring

Red maple flowers. Eastern Phoebe.These are wind pollinated trees, so early spring emergence isn’t predicated on insects.An early arriving migrant, this bird is dependent on insects.Speaking of which, beetles and flies are emerging.A millipede in a leafy liverwort. Interesting similarity of shape…And here’s a frog-sex teaser. There’s some amplexus in the water…

Winter Killdeer

Rocks, Ring-billed Gulls, and hey, a Killdeer! (You can’t see the rats inside the rocks, but when they scurry around in broad daylight, you know the tubular rodents are all over; suckers have always loved waterfronts.)

Bush Terminal Park had breeding Killdeer last year.

Dawn Corvids

One morning recently, a great parliament of crows flew over the apartment heading towards the bay. I estimated fifty at least. They boiled around the air column over the empty parking lot of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, before turning right to head northish along the coast of Brooklyn. They must have been roosting inland. They didn’t make any noise that I heard, so I couldn’t tell if they were American or Fish. (American or Fish should be a game.) Both species are found here year around.

A few days later, I saw at least twenty crows flying over Bush Terminal Park. These were vocalizing, and so identifying themselves as Fish Crows. They were relatively low, too, so I snapped a picture or two.

(Yes, the proper collective noun for a group of crows is murder or congress, but collective nouns are more wordy historical fun than anything else, so why not bend the rules?)

Pesticide Terminal

What is the Parks Department thinking here just above the salt-water marsh?According to this, they’re applying Triclopyr by “hand placement” for the control of Cottonwood (Populus deltoides). But if they’re doing it by hand, why don’t they physically weed out the potential trees instead of putting another biocide down? Yeah, Cottonwood is a bear: a sprout can drill down a root feet deep in a very short time, but:a hundred yards away is a serious thicket of Cottonwood. The species is a very prolific seed disperser. The understory here is now practically a wall of Cottonwood saplings (along with some kind of bedstraw). Won’t this just continue to spread out into the wetlands and necessitate continued applications of poison? What’s the end game here? Our old friend Ranger Robin, gone rogue, can’t believe this nonsense still goes on.

And One Blue Eye Ring

to rule them all.

Summer

You never know what you’ll see out there. Sure, the frying days of summer make it hard to enjoy the brute sun and humidity, but on Saturday we had a respite from the heat tsunami. So off we wandered down to Bush Terminal Park, where lo and behold! Two amazing (and concurrent) sights/sounds.

 


1. A couple dozen Laughing Gulls were flying low over the recently mown meadow hillock. As we got closer, we realized they were hunting the plentiful Green June Bugs, which were swarming low to the ground. The gulls were snapping the beetles up and swallowing them whole.The beetles rarely paused in flight, but I did catch this one. Note that one of the beetle’s wing isn’t fully tucked under the elytra.

2. As we approached the park, we saw a pair of American Kestrels over the statue of old man Bush (the developer of the docks, in an era before we realized how damn evil developers are). Inside the park, we heard a Killdeer in great agitation on the other side of the fencing that separates the park off from the empty concrete and weed jumble (presumably the site of ugly apartment buildings in the future).

Sure, Killdeer always sound like they’re agitated, but here was extra good reason. That’s a Kestrel there in the background. On the far fence, like these two:There were at least three Kestrels. They made passes over the Killdeer, flushing it into the air. Then the rowdy Killdeer would turn around and chase the Kestrel. A couple of Mockingbirds also harried the Kestrels. When the Kestrels flew further afield towards the June bug fiesta, a Red-wing Blackbird went after them. The Laughing Gulls also chased the falcons, who, we know, also love to eat Green Junies.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, we saw a Killdeer fly into this fenced area and thought, huh, could a pair be nesting in that desolation? Killdeer will nest practically anywhere, often quite close to people. The fence didn’t stop a photographer and model Saturday, and the whole neighborhood is beset with feral cats. And yet, there were three Killdeers visible there Saturday. One definitely looked like a juvenile. We only spotted it after the Kestrels flew off. (Although the falcons came back later). I gathered the noisy adult was trying to lure the falcons away and/or telling the youngster(s) to sit tight.

Team Kestrel was made up of two females and one male. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Were they the #BrooklynKestrels generation? Bush Terminal is five avenue blocks away from the nest (a little more than half a mile).

Waterfowl Counting

Four of us braved the element of a cold NNW wind coming off the bay to count waterfowl for an annual NYSOA survey. We were assigned to two segments of the Brooklyn waterfront, Bush Terminal Park and the Brooklyn Army Terminal pier. The latter was quiet; large bays on either side of the pier had rough water; calmer water to the south had a small raft of scaup in it. We did see our only loon of the day there, a Red-throated.Bush Terminal had rather more Black Ducks and Mallards than I would have expected. There were also a couple of handfuls of Buffleheads and smaller numbers of Gadwall (top) and Wigeon (above). Four male Red-breasted Mergansers nipped and chased each other as if they wanted to prove something. One of the many feral cats that infest the waterfront.This one wasn’t on the beach for a tan. I’ve never seen one try to take a duck, but I bet they try.


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