Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rooftop Kestrel

This young female has been landing on my building for the past week. Finally managed to get some decent shots of her hunting the starlings on St. Nicholas Ave.
Dwyer Kestrel
Dwyer Kestrel
Dwyer Kestrel
Hope she'll stick around!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Melted Montauk: Part 2

Large flocks of dunlin, sanderlings, ruddy turnstones and other shorebirds are known to occasionally over-winter in NY during mild winters, but this and similar info from Jones Beach and Jamaica Bay show a pronounced trend.
Famous for feeding on horseshoe crab eggs to fuel long migrations, here they were, horseshoe crabs long gone, picking out small crustaceans along the tepid shore.
The presence of winter mergansers and loons does show that there are still abundant fish stocks, most notably herring.
However, with the water temp of nearly 50F one wonders what long-term climate effects are manifesting, particularly the interruption of the North-Atlantic gyre.
Inland, all around were signs of Spring. Calling finches, sparrows and grackles attracted this resident redtailed hawk.
Windmill Hawk
Windmill Hawk
Windmill Hawk

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Magical Montauk: Part 1

I can see why Edward Hopper liked it here.
Beautiful landscape! But I was more interested in the water...particularly the surf zone.
A group of Black Scoters frolicked in the waves. All pursuing this lone female.
Many Suitors!
She flaunted her style.
Driving the group wild.
Black Scoters
They joined a group of mixed waterbirds including long-tailed ducks, common mergansers, common loons, common eiders and surf and white winged scoters.
Total numbers were in the thousands, but very hard to say because the birds were spread out and some were way, way out.
MixedFlockWe also searched for harlequin or King eiders or even a razorbill,
but we didnt have much time in the setting sun.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

St. Nicholas Kestrel

It was lots of fun watching the resident male kestrel hunting up and down St. Nicholas Ave.

This stoop on some starlings missed, as did these of him attacking sparrows from above.

Guess that's why they go for the migrants when they are here. Resident sparrows, starlings and house finches are hip to the game and make for tough quarry. They also have to contend with other raptors like this Cooper's. These hawks will prey on kestrels as well as pigeons, so he gets run out by the vigilant adult.