Sunday, September 21, 2008

Equinox Birds

Still no sign of migrating hawks, but the warblers are beginning to run. Some summer holdouts remain, and I got to check out the last of our seasonal visitors before the Fall sets in. At Wildflower Meadow were all sorts of surprises.
A brown thrasher,

Well, thrashing about.

And a yellow-bellied flycatcher with a female ruby throated hummingbird.

I was equally surprised by to see the hummer feeding on the goldenrod!

But the star of the show was this spicebush swallowtail!

I also ran into these guys...

could this be the black throated gray-warbler??? (Nope, it is a palm warbler).

Later on at the Conservatory Garden, I caught up with some other hummers!
She was dozing on a rosebush...

She also did some preening,

and feeding!

She wasnt the only one after a meal. This male house finch was gorging on cherries!

At the Meer, I found this wonderful bird--a female gadwall!

Finally, this green heron came in for a landing!

Bring on the raptors!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fire Island

Long one of my favorite getaways, Fire Island is a unique ecosystem. Recently there has been some information released regarding the inverse relationship between the health of an ecosystem and the number of deer present. Fire Island has long had a high deer poplulation, but in the house I was staying at, there was a feeding station too!
To my surprise, there was also a huge profusion of songbirds in this location, something that puzzled me, until I spied/smelled the carcass of a deer. Maybe the deer dying fertilized this location, providing ample habitat for these birds?
I actually think these cats were more of a threat. They were in stalk mode the whole time!
Lots of jellyfish too!
Yes, it was a great summer!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008