Posts Tagged 'Dead Horse Bay'

Heralds

From Dead Horse Bay to Marine Park to Green-Wood.

From the top, springtime is icumen in: American Oystercatcher, Osprey, Killdeer, Pine Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler.

Patriotic Oystercatchers

Haematopus palliatusAmerican Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) are starting to appear on the coast. Here’s a pair from the weekend.Haematopus palliatusLocal nesters, they make nests on beaches and dunes, which isn’t so good, considering beach crowds, unleashed dogs, four-wheeled vehicles (not at DHB, tho’) and other slings and arrows.

Scoter Revealed

Melanitta americanaNow here’s something you don’t see in Dead Horse Bay everyday. Melanitta americanaThis is a drake Black Scoter (Melanitta americana), a not uncommon sea duck, yet I’ve never seen one in any part of Jamaica Bay before. I’ve also never seen one alone, so I wondered if it was ill or hurt; but he seemed to preen and fly perfectly fine. This was my best-ever view of one of these diving ducks. The female is browner and lacks the swollen orange-yellow knob on the bill.

The Dream of Flight

IMG_4657

Scaup

AythyaThe great rafts of scaup that gather in Dead Horse and Gravesend Bays during the winter will soon be heading to breeding areas in the north. AythyaThe males are three-toned. The females are brownish with a touch of white on the cheek. I find separating the Greater (Aythya marilla) and Lesser (Aythya affinis) difficult.

Common Reed

Phragmites australisIt’s certainly photogenic, if nothing else. You don’t find much life in a patch of Phragmites, although Downy Woodpeckers and, as here, a Black-capped Chickadee in winter extremis, peck and poke among the dry stalks for evidence of invertebrates.Poecile atricapillus

Cobras!

Gleditsia triacanthosWellllll… not exactly. Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) pods posed to show off their curls.pod1So I brought these pods home, and two weeks later, they gave birth! Actually, some… thing emerged, cutting out circular escape passages after devouring the no-doubt tasty seeds within.pod2Here’s a list, which we must presume is only partial, of insects that enjoy this tree.pod3The cut-out portion of seed pod, and the bug.pod4


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