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2011 Plan of birding

2012: Labor Day weekend - Rockaway Beach (1Beach 59th St.) ; Sep. - Gulls feeding on ant swarms
2013: Periodic cicada
Winter: Snowy Owl
late Feb / early March:  Ring-billed Gulls, when they have shed their streaky winter plumage and have gleaming white feathers, a bright orange orbital ring and a bright orange gape, are pretty dang-dooddilly-delightful.  src
   may be also for other gulls (e.g., Great Black-backed Gull - <1> on 2/18/2012)
Early Spring (Apr/May): look for Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita), Eastern Forktail & other dragonflies/damselflies emerges from its nympahal skin (exuvia) to commence the aerial portion of its life   src
ebird bird account 2012 up to 5/8 
detailed map of East Pond   Mirror 
excellent information on Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - 
Oceanside: Peregrine Falcon & Swallows fledging (late May /early June), Osprey fledging (June), dragonflies (July), Clapper Rail babies (July?)

Bird droppings are actually composed of three parts: Stool, urates and urine. The urates are a by-product of the kidneys and are normally chalk-white when dry.  They are salt or esters (organic compounds) of uric acid, which accounts for their white coloring, that the bird's body filters out.  Stool is usually darker and appears coiled or partially coiled, and the urine portion is normally clear.   src   more1

Excretory System of Birds. 


12/26/2012 (Wed)

What began as a post-Christmas drama — the sighting of an endangered finback whale, breathing, just barely, as it floundered in the surf of Rockaway Inlet in Queens on Wednesday ...  the mammal died overnight. ...  the beast, estimated to weigh 30 tons.
The animal showed up on the beach emaciated ( extreme weight loss ); at 60 feet long, it should have weighed around 60 tons, said Robert DiGiovanni Jr., executive director of the Riverhead Foundation on Long Island, the officially designated marine-mammal rescue group for the region. In death on Thursday, the whale’s spinal column could be seen under taut gray skin. “It was clearly sick for a very long time,” Mr. DiGiovanni said.
Though the whale, whose age and sex were not yet known, would be small for an adult finback, it was also possible that this whale was an adult and lived out its full lifespan – finbacks, the second-biggest whale after blue whales, can live to be 90 years old.
On Wednesday, the whale had come to rest down the beach on property managed by the Breezy Point Cooperative, a gated community that was savaged by fire and floods during Hurricane Sandy, and, some residents said, could scarcely afford another headache. But on Thursday morning, the tide pushed it over onto federal property at Gateway.
As the wind whipped up on Thursday, the seawater around the animal’s drooping tail grew red with blood. Seagulls stood their distance, looking unsure what to do as the gathering of humans stood beside the carcass, discussing the daunting tasks ahead.     src

12/25/2012 (Tue) pm
Cranberry Lake Preserve, Westchester County (with Jim & Jonathan) / birder feeder at their neighbor's house
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Chickadee.  Bufflehead, perhaps. 
At birder feeder: Titmouse.

   Titmouse - <1a>   <1b>  
Album - Picasa   Google+

12/23/2012 (Sun) pm before sunset
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Hooded Mergansers (at least 3 females and 2 males).  Shovelers (a lot), some are very close and may prepare to sleep.  The two beautiful black-and-white feral rabbits.

12/22/2012 (Sat) windy and cold, no birding activity

Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area seem to be still closed.  But on Fb, "we've been noticing a lot of snakes after Hurricane Sandy. We've identified brown snake and this garter snake is the latest." And:
Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) is most common in wet areas and wetland margins. Brown snakes are frequently found in residential areas, and are often the most abundant snake in urbanized habitats. This lends to their reputation of being a "city snake."  This snake can be found under debris in residential areas and almost anywhere else where there is groundcover. Non-poisonous.

12/15/2012 (Sat) am & pm after Dim Sum
Kissena Park (with Sam Pang, met Emily & Bill)
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Hooded Mergansers (1 couple & 1 male).  Great Blue Heron.  Shovelers (still many).  Cormorants (4).  White-throated Sparrows.  Cardinals.  Blue Jays. 
Chickadees (many?) & White-breasted Nuthatch(es). 
Woodpecker (Yellow-bellied Sapsucker may be but it has too little and too pale red color). 

Finally after one year (11/26/2011), I got a OK picture of Northern Shoveler's bill showing the lamellae.
Met two beautiful black-and-white feral rabbit 逸兔 (of escaped exotic species?) while leaving the park at sunset, same spot I saw the one rabbit last time.  Last encounters were 9/22 & 10/8 this year.

   Hooded Merganser - <1>   <2>
Shoveler - male-1 (showing some lamellae; cf. close-up picture of Northern Shoveler's bill showing the lamellae -    mirror )    male-1b (bill)
White-breasted Nuthatch - <1>  
   Mallard - <1>  
   Chickadee - <1>   <2> 
   Great Blue Heron - <1>   <2>  
   Rabbit - <1>  
   Sunset - <1>  

Hooded Merganser - <1>   <2>  
   Great Blue Heron


12/1/2012 (Sat) am
JBWR, first time after Sandy
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Relatively quiet. Yellow-rumped Warbler (a few). Red-breasted Mergansers (about 10).  Snowy Egrets.

   Pictures of the breached West Pond

   Yellow-rumped Warbler bath at Blind Pond
   Red-breasted Me
rgansers (female)

11/24/2012 (Sat) am, cloudy & windy
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm the trail around West Pond is no longer a loop after Sandy

No Hooded Merganser nor Great Blue Heron.  Shovelers (still many, greater in number than previous years).  Cormorants (2).  Song Sparrows.  White-throated Sparrows.  Cardinal.  Blue Jay heard. 
Hybrid Mallards: 4 new young ones (1st year?), look like the 2 regular residents of hybrid male mallards or the mother (like a Northern Pintail) of the hybrid son but bill's color is different and legs' color is pale and less orange.   Not the female Mallard (American Black Duck?) on 8/27/2011 [<1>   <2>   <3>].   Not immature American Black Duck (cf. here).

  Song Sparrow - <1a>   <1b>   <2>   <3>   <4>  
  White-throated Sparrow - <1>   broken leg 1  
  Ring-billed Gull - <1> (probably an adult)
  Hybrid Mallard -  <1> (why bills are pink? color distorted?)
  Turtle - <1>

The first hybrid family of Mallard (3/12/2011).
  (2) The 2 regular residents of hybrid male mallards now joined the Northern-Pintail-like mother and son  (2/21/2011).
On Friday, November 23, Gateway National Recreation Area reopens two favored sites: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens and Great Kills Park on Staten Island. ... The East and West Ponds, two freshwater ponds at the Refuge, were breached by Hurricane Sandy.  src

11/22/2012 (Thu) am
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Great Blue Heron (FOS) enjoys a little turtle as its company.  Ring-billed Gulls (more).  Cormorants (2+).  Shovelers (closer to land and their number may be even greater than on 11/17).

  Shoveler - male-1    female-1    female-2
Cormorant -  <1>   <2>  

11/17/2012 (Sat) am, sunny & windy
Kissena Corridor Park & Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Ring-billed Gulls (4-6), FOS.  No Hooded Merganser.  Shovelers (many).  Woodpecker, probably Downy.  House Finches (M+F).  Cardinals.  Blue Jays.  Juncos.  RWBBs (M+F).  Song Sparrow(s).  Sparrow with a bright brown back.  etc.

  Shoveler - male-1

11/12/2012 (Mon) am, cloudy with some sunshine
Kissena Park (many areas seem to be closed officially after Winter Storm Athena (a nor'easter) but people getting inside anyway) and then Kissena Corridor Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Kissena Park:  Hooded Merganser (1 male) [last year first seen on 12/3/2011].  Shovelers (10+ M&F).  No Ring-billed Gull.
Corridor Park: 
et birders Eric Miller, Jeff, Andrew & 2 more.  They saw Nashville Warbler. 
   Searching Grasshopper Sparrow and I can only saw its head partially.  Savannah Sparrow.
   Red-tailed hawk(s).  Northern Goshawk. 
   Chickadee.  RC & GC Kinglets.  Heard Wren's scolding away a cat.  Song Sparrow.  Pheasant, flying across in front of me.  Rusty Blackbirds (3).
   Hairy Woodpecker.  Red-bellied Woodpecker.  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. 

   Hooded Merganser - <1>   <2>
   Blue Jay -
   Cardinal - <1>
Savannah Sparrow - <1>     
Song Sparrow -
   Red-bellied Woodpecker (male) -  <1>   

 (1) Eric Miller's comment - "Chat wood."  (at Kissena Corridor Park near the football/soccer field on the way to my usual parking place)
Virginia's Warbler was seen at Alley (Pond) Park:
Subject: Virginia's Warbler Locations
Date: Mon Nov 12 2012 12:30 pm
From: swalter15 AT  
The Virginia's Warbler was seen twice between 11:30 and 12:30 at the location where it was seen at 1:45 yesterday. This is on the trail on the south side of the gully, at a high point with good visibility into the gully. There is a new twist - an Orange-crowned Warbler - that may throw birders off. At one point, I watched the Virginia's chase the Orange-crowned, but the two warblers may form an association. I last saw both fly toward the south side of the south trail - a development that may unfortunately expand what appeared to be a narrowing search scope.   src
On October 31st, the day after Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the New Jersey coast, Eric Miller reported a well-described Virginia's Warbler from Alley Pond Park in Queens, New York.  Pending acceptance, this would be a first state record for New York.    src   more1
 (4) hooded_merganser.htm

11/11/2012 (Sun) pm
78 Rd between 150th St & 147th St


11/1/2012 (Thu)
pm, cloudy
Kissena Corridor Park (Kissena Park seems to be closed)
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Met a birder.  Palm Warbler (Bobs tail; yellowish undertail converts).  Downy Woodpecker.  Sparrow (White-crowned?).


 (1) After Sandy, "The West Pond at the Jamaica Bay Refuge is now one with the bay." (from Don Riepe)
 (2) Last year NYC also experienced strange weather: late October -
hit by a rare October snow storm.  Dubbed "Snowtober" by news organizations covering the unusually early winter storm.  An unprecedented (for October) 2.9 inches of snow was measured in New York City's Central Park on Saturday, 10/29/2011.  Over New York and other areas the storm was also accompanied by thunder and lightning, another fairly rare event known as "thundersnow".
Sandy Komito's North American Big Year quest in 1998 - he kept the record, listing 745 species birds plus 3 submitted in 1998 and later accepted by state committees for a revised total of 748.   wiki   more1

10/31/2012 (Wed) pm after Hurricane Sandy
Kissena Corridor Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Chickadee, Titmouse, House Finches (many; any Purple Finch?), Goldfinches (at least a pair), Juncos (many), Woodpeckers (Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and one is probably Downy but possibly Hairy), Rudy-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow (but possibly White-crowned).

   Blue Jay -  <1>

    Blue Jay, its bill holding nut, then look like caching it for winter rather than
House Finches

Recent Postings from The New York Birding List    new site (8/2012)    Rare Bird Alert for New York

my Notes on Punta Cana: birding_in_punta_cana.htm   punta_cana.htm

Animals mate in autumn or winter

Camera/Camcorder for birding    powershot_elph_100_hs.htm   how_can_i_make_a_very_sharp_phot.htm   flash_wont_sync_in_slave_mode.htm

links:  birds trivias 1
How Nature Works: White-winged Crossbill Feeding Technique

3-letter words which are birds: Owl, Hen, Jay, Tit, Ani, Emu, Roc, Auk, Kae (crow-like bird), Moa, Tui, Ree (i.e., Reeve)  

3-letter words which are insects: Ant, Bee, Fly, Bug