Posts Tagged 'Fort Tilden'

Mussel-breaking

This Herring Gull* dropped this mussel on the beach twice, to no effect. The first drop on a parking lot, however, was quite successful.

*A sharp-eyed reader caught my initial error in calling this a Ring-billed Gull.

Fort Tilden Autumn

IMG_4181IMG_4179IMG_4189IMG_4176Note: We actually did see porpoises or dolphins swimming parallel to the beach in the strong surf.

Hopper, Cricket

IMG_4248Good sand-colored camouflage here.IMG_4256Here, not so much, but then crickets are usually tucked away someplace, heard much more often than seen. Grasshoppers and crickets (and katydids, etc.) are in the order Orthoptera, the “straight-winged.”

Pluvialis squatarola Updated

Pluvialis squatarolaUPDATED, edited, and corrected:

An astute eye and excellent photographer, Deb Allen has let me know that this is actually a Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola). The bird is sporting non-breeding plumage, hence the lack of the tell-tale black belly (which, to make things interesting, the American Golden Plover also sports). Sorry about the error, indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus. I am always open to corrections.

Semipalmated Sandpiper. Not to be confused with the Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). “Semipalmated” means it has short webs between its toes: “palmated” meaning webbed. A good reminder that many of these names were based on dead specimens in hand, where you can see this kind of detail.Pluvialis squatarolaThree were working the wrack-line at Fort Tilden. The birds are in-between their breeding grounds in the Arctic and their non-breeding grounds along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America.

Blooms and Pods

asterSmooth Aster
goldenGoldenrod.
podsHoneylocust.

Monarchs

Danaus plexippusThe air above Fort Tilden’s narrow reach was full of Tree Swallows and, to a lesser extent, Monarch Butterflies. The Monarchs were being pushed hard towards the east in the breeze. We saw about a dozen of them. One was quite high, noticed as we watched a Peregrine on patrol way up there.Danaus plexippusDanaus plexippus. Some were still eating. This is a good reminder that, this late in the year, there’s are no milkweeds in bloom around here. But the goldenrods are ripe, tiny little suns of nectar and pollen.

Merlin Hunting

Falco columbariusA plump silhouette on a dead pine. The first rule of birding is to always look at the anomalies. And hope the sun comes out! Falco columbariusFalco columbariusBecause that, and an old concrete gun platform to lean on, makes for a better photograph.Falco columbariusThis bird was hunting around these dead pines at Fort Tilden. Falco columbariusIt perched on several of them and made various passes around the area. At one point something was caught and eaten, presumably an insect.


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