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12/22/2013 (Sun) morning
Kissena Park

All duck old friends are here: the Hooded Merganser pair, Northern Shovelers, American Black Ducks and Mallards.

Photo:
    Hooded Merganser - male:  <1>   <2>   <3> ; pair:  <1>   <2>   <3>  
    Ring-billed Gull<1>  

12/15 (Sun)

News (12/13): Cairo snow: Egyptian capital sees snowfall for the first time in 112(?) YEARS - Other countries including  Turkey, Syria and Israel also experienced widespread snow.

Note:

(1) [from here] Some reports suggest  it’s the first snow in Cairo in over 100 years – although they are not substantiated.

New York Magazine offers  this intelligence:

Claims that this is Cairo’s first snowfall in exactly 112 years   seem to be sourced from a tweet by one local man  who later admitted he was just guesstimating . Whatever the exact number is, though, the point is that it basically never snows in Cairo.

The Weather Channel notes  even rain isn’t all that common in Cairo, which averages less than an inch a year.

(2) The storm has generated crippling amounts of snow in Jerusalem, stranding commuters, cutting power in areas, and closing schools and businesses. A foot to a foot and half of snow has fallen across the city. ... Meteorologist Justin Consor, who lives in Israel, said  the snow that fell Thursday [12/12] in Jerusalem was the most in over 100 years in December. Link: Unofficial list of Jerusalem snowfall records 

And the storm isn’t over. Another round of heavy snow is possible Friday night into Saturday. The Jerusalem Post says  the incoming round is “triple the size of the last day’s.” If that’s the case, this snowstorm could become the greatest on record in Jerusalem. Snows of more than 6 inches occur in Jerusalem about every 5 to 7 years, whereas about 2 out of every 3 years see at least some snow, Consor said.


12/7 (Sat)
Kissena Park

We saw Hooded Mergansers: 1 male courting 1 female.


11/5 (Tue) - 12/2 (Mon)  
HK trip
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm with macro lens Raynox DCR-250

Photo:
   9 (Sat)   東龍洲   album1 (Google+)    album1 (Picasa)    album2 (Picasa)   self
   10(Sun)     蒲台島

Video:  
   
13(Wed)   小田雞 (Baillon's Crake) 小電影 [塱原] - 1280x720   640x320 (low quality)

More at birdList2013HK.htm


11/2/2013 (Sat)  morning & afternoon, sunny & warm (68F/20C)
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park met Eric's group
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm with macro lens Raynox DCR-250

今日風和日麗, 難得十一月的暖粒粒. 重見到不少蜻蜓 、蝴蝶 、胡蜂和蜜蜂.
Corridor:  Goldfinches. Rudy-crowned Kinglet.  Pheasant (male).  Hermit Thrush.  Boxelder Bug.  Indigo Bunting, immature.  Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella).  Bee (some has extensive black color) & at least one bee mimic Flower Fly.  Many Mockingbirds; one (or perhaps different one but is one at a time) mobbing Kestrel.  Red-tailed Hawk.  Downy Woodpecker.  Song Sparrow. 
Kissena: Cormorant.  Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana) or Green Frog?  Many Rudy-crowned Kinglets.  White-throated Sparrow..

Photo:
    Bullfrog - 
    Bee - <1>   <2a>   <2b> 
    Bee mimic Flower Fly <1>    (look like this : Syrphidae, Diptera)

Note:  good pic found on Web: http://www.richard-seaman.com/Wallpaper/Nature/Birds/Raptors/MockingbirdMobbingAmericanKestrel.jpg


10/19/2013 (Sat)  late afternoon, low light/cloudy
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm with macro lens Raynox DCR-250

Corridor:  Many Goldfinches. Rudy-crowned Kinglet.  Pheasant (male).  Hermit Thrush.  Boxelder Bug.
Kissena: Two Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeiana).  Many Rudy-crowned Kinglets.  Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Photo:
    Bullfrog -  <1> 
    Boxelder Bug 
    American Goldfinch -  <1>
    Rudy-crowned Kinglet 
    Hermit Thrush
    Yellow-rumped Warbler
    Mourning Dove -  <1> (lucky to get a quite sharp pic at 300mm; 1/80 sec; hand held)

Video:  
    American Goldfinch - <1>

Note:
  (1) Mourning Dove - Adult male: iridescent blue and pink on hind neck, with pinkish bloom extending onto breast; iris blackish; orbital skin pale blue; bill dark; and feet red.  Adult female: similar to adult male, but with reduced iridescence and pinkish bloom.  Juvenile: generally darker and browner; pale buff-gray fringes on most of the feathers give the bird a “scaly” appearance; dark crescent below auricular extends forward toward the base of the bill; cheek area pale.  src


10/14/2013 (Mon)  
Kissena Corridor Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Indigo Buntings.  Sparrow. Mourning Dove.  A lot of Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella).

Photo:
    

10/12/2013 (Sat) 
Jonathan's home
camera: GH2

Wasp.  Woodpecker.  Robin

Photo:
    Wasp (look like a Yellow Jacket; not European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)) - <1>  

10/5/2013 (Sat)  pm after Dim Sum, sunny
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

A large frog staying inert even Winnie disturbs with long grass.  It is probably Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana); not Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans ).  Info-1  Info-2
Damselfly (1).

Photo:
    Frog -  <1>   

9/28/2013 (Sat)  8:30-11am / pm after Dim Sum
JBWR / Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

JBWR: Common Snipe (Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata); seen 1/29/2012 at New Alley Pond); Phoebes; Osprey; Yellowlegs (2); Green-winged Teals, female; Northern Flicker; Yellow-rumped Warbler? (P1470347.JPG)  Grasshopper.
Kissena Park: Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fighting for territory (nectar).  Bluets; cat.

Photo:
    Ruby-throated Hummingbird -  <1>   <2>   <3>  
    Yellowlegs<1>   
    Phoebe -  <1> 
    Bluet -  <1a>     <1b> (Helicon Filter setting: Sharpening - edges 68, edge width 4; Noise reduction 40)    
    Grasshopper -   <1a>    <1b> (rotated)    
    Cat -       


Video:
    Wilson's Snipe at Big John's Pond

Note: [nysbirds-l] Kissena [Corridor] Park, Queens, Sept. 25th, [2011] - has Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

9/21/2013 (Sat)  late afternoon
Alley Pond

Northern Flicker.


9/14/2013 (Sat)  pm after Dim Sum, partly sunny & cloudy
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Quiet Day!  Saw flying dragonflies.  Bees.  Rose-breasted Grosbeak, probably first-autumn male; not female. Kinglet? Not likely! Warbler is more probable.

Photo:
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak -  <1>

Info:  Rose-breasted Grosbeak's age & sex - HY (Hatch Year, i.e., First Year); AHY (After Hatch Year, i.e., not first year); SY (Second Year); ASY (After Second Year).

8/24/2013 (Sat)  pm after Dim Sum, sunny
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

A dragonfly day.  Giant male Blue Dashers (not Eastern Pondhawks).  Amberwings.  Damselflies.

Photo:
   Blue Dasher, male -  <1>   <2>  
   green damselfly -
   black-and-white wasp  -
   Canada Goose eating green

8/18/2013 (Sun)  
Cemetery / trails in Rockefeller State Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm?

Cemetery - American Tree Sparrow or Chipping Sparrow  
Rockefeller (cf. 10/23/2010) - Eastern Pondhawk & Blue Dasher, green damselfly

Photo:
   Eastern Pondhawk, male -  <1> 
   Blue Dasher
   green damselfly - P1470126.JPG

Note:
 (1) Visual comparison of Chipping Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows in winter
 (2) 6 Insect Predators That Go Out of Their Way to Be Evil - Allomerus Ants (Allomerus decemarticulatus); Tiger Beetles; Mantidflies; etc.
 (3) 10 Formidable Predatory Insects - 10. Robber fly.  9. Water scorpion.  8. Arachnocampa luminosa.  7. Tiger Beetle.  6. Antlion.  5. Assassin bug.  4. Dragonfly.  3. Siafu ant.  2. Praying mantis.  1. Japanese hornet.
 (4) Japanese hornet -
     Known as “tiger hornets” in some parts of Asia, these large wasps are relentless hunters that kill any insect they can capture, including other predators such as the praying mantis. They are armed with an incredibly potent venom, and inject great amounts of it; like other hornets, they can sting repeatedly. This venom is strong enough to cause serious illness, and even death, to humans; indeed, they are the most dangerous wild animal in Japan, killing around 40 people per year (more than venomous snakes and bears combined). But the Japanese hornet uses its sting as a defensive weapon only; to kill prey, it uses its sharp jaws to decapitate the victim, and cut its body in small pieces. It then carries the carcass back to the nest, where it chews the dead insect into a soft paste to feed the larvae. The larvae then produce a sugary fluid which is the adult hornet’s main food.
     To give you an idea of the destructive power of Japanese hornets, let us only say that a few of them can completely devastate a honey bee colony in a couple of hours, decapitating every single bee in the nest (up to 30,000) one by one. When all the bees are dead, the hornets feed on the honey and then carry the bee larvae, and parts of the adult bee bodies, back to their own nest to feed their larvae. This is the horrible end met by European honeybees (introduced to Japan to increase honey production) when confronted with the “tiger hornet”. But Japanese honey bees are different; they evolved along with the hornet, and have developed an incredible trick to kill the hornet scouts as soon as they find their hive.
     Up to 500 bees form a tight ball that engulfs the scout hornet(s) and start vibrating their wing muscles until their body temperature increases up to 47°C. Honey bees can survive this temperature, but hornets cannot; they are basically fried alive by the bees. With the scouts dead, the hornet colony never finds out about the location of the honey bee nest. Even the most formidable predatory insect has to meet its match one day.   src          

8/17/2013 (Sat)  
JBWR / Jonathan's house (Kensico Cemetery)
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm?

JBWR - Black wasp.  Sand Wasp, female, digs a hole; puts into the paralyzed bug (green bee?); lays egg(s); and closes up the nursery hole.  Glossy Ibises.   
Jonathan's house / Cemetery - Amberwing

Photo:
   Sand Wasp
   Black Wasp
   Cicada
   damselfly
   spider
   Glossy Ibis - <1>  

8/10/2013 (Sat)  pm after Dim Sum, comfortable weather
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm (for the accident spot)

Visited the accident (Pregnant woman Yingyi Li-Dikov dies after the falling tree crash) spot.  Young House Sparrow.  Mating Blue Dashers and egg laying of the female.  Black wasp.  Yellow wasp (European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)?).  Skipper.

Photo:
   Eastern Amberwing -
   Blue Dasher - mating   female after mating-1  female laying egg/flying   male-1
   Accident Spot - <1>
   House Sparrow
   Black Wasp
   Yellow Wasp
   Skipper

Info:
(1) Park Advocate: Tree That Killed Woman In Queens Was Diseased
(2) the tree before it fell
(3) Money paid and is there any cap of liability?
   - In 2009, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, 33, suffered a brain and spinal cord injury after a rotten branch fell on him in Central Park. The city paid him more than $11 million after he sued for negligence and lackluster maintenance.   more
   - The city awarded $3 million to the family of an Albanian immigrant killed by a falling branch in Central Park. Elmaz Qyra, 46, was struck and killed on February 25, 2010, just over six months after Mr. Blair-Goldensohn.
   - Over the last couple of the months [before Aug. 2013], the city settled just two lawsuits for $14.5 million [11.5 + 3], and they have dozens that are still pending.
   - In 2008, the city spent $4.7 million on tree pruning, The Post reported. In recent years, the budget has been closer to $1.45 million; that figure has since been raised to $3.45 million.
     With over two million trees within the city, both in parks and on the streets, and increasing cuts to programs dedicated to tree care, its seems unlikely that the problems will decrease in future years. Ten major lawsuits concerning falling branches were filed in the last decade, according to a 2012 New York Times  report [By  and ].
   - Alexis Handwerker ... The city settled in February, paying $4 million. ... In the death of the Brooklyn grandmother, Hinda Segal, on Avenue J,  ... The city was ordered to pay $1.6 million, including $350,000 assessed by the jury for the eight seconds of panicked anguish Mrs. Segal suffered between the audible crack and the instant she slipped into unconsciousness. [src:  The 2012 NYT report.  mirror]

8/3/2013 (Sat)  pm after Dim Sum, sun coming out after drizzle rain / late afternoon (5:15-6:45pm)
Kissena Park / from Kissena Corridor Park to Kissena Park
camera: none / GH2 + 100-300mm

<Early pm> Female Pheasant with 2 chicks.  Dragonfly, very large, 3 inches or more; dipping on the ground of the walking path near me.  Probably Kingbird feeding the begging juveniles.  Juveniles of RWBB, Rubin, Starling & House Sparrow.  Skipper.  Eastern Cicada Killer (Sphecius speciosus).
<Late pm> Many Cicada Killers.  A large Cottontail.  (Grass?) Skipper. 

Photo:
   Cicada Killer - <1>   <2>   <3>   (cf. the good one on 7/22/2012)
   Cottontail - <1>  

Note: Hesperiinae – grass skippers

7/28/2013 (Sun)  4-5:15pm, comfortable weather
Queens Botanical
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Barn swallows, many.  Insect looks like 食蟲虻 (cf. 7/7/2012).  Black wasp.  Green-backed Lizard-like reptiles (not salamander, I think).  Bees. etc. 

Photo:
   Assassin Fly ( 食蟲虻 ) -  <1>
   Black wasp -  <1>
   Green-backed Lizard [probably Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula) ] -  <1> 

Note on Italian Wall Lizard:
1.  wiki 
2.  David Jakim, QC, CUNY (David.Jakim@gmail.com 516-509-3294) - Originally from Italy, these lizards are an escaped pet that were introduced in the 1960′s. Notice how the front half of the lizard camouflages with green foliage and how the back half camouflages with the stone. Lizards bask to warm up and also for vitamin D synthesis. ... Dozens of these lizards can be seen on warm sunlit days, basking on the rocks and benches around the water fountains. The rocks also provide refuge when alarmed, habitat for hibernation, and overwintering. The Queens college campus offers a great habitat for these animals. They can also be found in similar habitats around the stone structure throughout the city including the Queen’s Botanical Gardens and Central Park’s Conservatory Gardens.

7/27/2013 (Sat)  pm, comfortable weather
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Grackle juvenile is eagerly begging for food from its parent.  Blue Dashers.  Eastern Amberwings. Damselflies.  Female RWBB. 

Photo:
   Grackle - <1>   <2>  

7/20/2013 (Sat)  late morning to noon, sunny & very hot
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

My butterfly and dragonfly day.  Juvenile House Sparrows.  Female RWBB. 
Small orange butterfly:  Cliff Ivy suggests Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor).    ID request   [My first guess with no knowledge is Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)?] 

Photo:
   Eastern Amberwing -  flying-1   flying-2 
   Blue Dasher - invading his territory-1   invading his territory-2   flying-1
   Bluet
   Least Skipper (small orange butterfly) - <1>   <2>   <3>  
   Juvenile House Sparrow

Note:
 (1) Least Skipper (
Ancyloxypha numitor) :  bugguideBMNA.  Adults' food: flower nectar from low plants.  A Grass Skipper
 (2) Essex Skipper: wiki   bugguide  In North America, it is known as the European SkipperA Grass Skipper

7/13/2013 (Sat)  pm, lower legs got sunburn!
Long Beach w/ Jonathan
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Oystercatcher parents and a juvenile.  Gull get a big dead fish.

Photo:
   Oystercatcher - <1> (阿媽?爸? 幾時開飯? )

GPS:
> from home to beach (505 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach NY 11561) - Taking Nassau Expressway, toll will be paid for Atlantic Beach Bridge.  Using Sunrise Hwy or Southern State Parkway will save.  Southern State Parkway's direction:  Take exit 17S for Hempstead Ave S toward Malverne.
> from beach to home (no toll) - pointing GPS to 471 Hempstead Ave, Malverne NY 11565 then home.
> from beach to home (no toll via Lido Beach Passive Nature Area or Nickerson Beach,
8/14/2010) - pointing GPS to 1 Kensington St, Long Beach NY 11561 then home.

Note:
Seeing black skimmers and piping plovers at Nickerson Beach (880 Lido Boulevard, Lido Beach, NY 11561)
http://www.northjersey.com/recreation/166370126_Seeing_black_skimmers_and_piping_plovers_at_Nickerson_Beach.html?c=y&page=2
The good news is the best time to see the birds is very early in the morning, and on weekends the trek should not be bad at all. You'll want to visit and be back on the road by 8:30 a.m. anyway. That's when the $30-a-day beach parking fees kick in.     


7/7/2013 (Sun)  8-10am sunny & very hot
Kissena Corridor and Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Try not using 300mm and no RAW; see whether get sharp & good color or not. 
Red-bellied Woodpeckers' hole; I think having nestlings.  See a giant wasp, probably (female) Cicada Killer. 
Rabbit.  Bluet.  Many
Eastern Amberwings.  Probably Tiger Swallowtail.

Photo:
   Bluet -  <1>  (177mm)

7/6/2013 (Sat)  morning sunny & very hot
JBWR 
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Swarms of Sand Wasps (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus) are still there on the way to Big John's. 
Red dragonflies (Skimmer?) at Big John's Pond [cf. 9/25/2011].   Not Band-winged Meadowhawk, female because it is larger and with large red patches at base of hindwings.  It is either Red Saddlebags (1.8") or Carolina Saddlebags (2.0").   Look like these: bugguide-1
Probably White-eyed Vireo, a parent feeding young.
An insect; firefly?

Photo:
   Red dragonfly -  <1a>   <1b>   (127mm with JPG only, no RAW, therefore sharp & good color?)
   Common Green Darner, male, hovering - <1>   <2>  (127mm with JPG only, no RAW, therefore sharp & good color?)
   Common Buckeye
   Firefly?  - <1> 

7/4/2013 (Thu)  11:30am-1pm sunny & hot
JBWR 
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Osprey a family of 4 (2 juveniles & parents) on the nest.  Perching Towhee sings.  Twelve-spotted Skimmer, male.  Painted Lady.  Swarm of (mostly males?) Sand Wasps (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus) [last yr first seen on 7/14/2012].

Photo:
   Osprey - <1>  
   Yellow warbler - <1>  
   Towhee
   Sand Wasp
   Twelve-spotted Skimmer - <1>
   Painted Lady - <1>

6/29/2013 (Sat)  am / pm (after Dim Sum)
Oceanside / Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Nice weather in the early part of the walk; then a typical hot summer.  Met the birder with Canon 100-400mm lens at Oceanside.  It is my first time visiting there after Sandy.  Not much changed.  Clapper Rails. Yellow-crowned Night Herons, one caught a large crab.  "Finger-licking."  Osprey parents with 2 chicks.  Many dragonflies (Seaside Dragonlet).  Many Song Sparrows singing.   Canada Geese.

Photo:
   Yellow-crowned Night Heron - <1> (tinyurl)   <2> (post-processed by HDRsoft Photomatix Pro 5.0.4 on 1/3/2016)
   Clapper Rail -  

  
Osprey - <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>  
  
Song Sparrow- 
  
Barn Swallow - 
  
Seaside Dragonlet -
 <1a> (post-processed by HDRsoft Photomatix Pro 5.0.4 on 1/3/2016)   <1b> (OOC jpg)
  
Willet -
  
Robin - <1a>   <1b>   <2>  


6/22/2013 (Sat)  am
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Little Red-tailed Hawk flied away.  Nobody home!  Many damselflies, probably (Familiar) Bluet and/or Eastern (or other) Forktail; female laying eggs.  Many Eastern Amberwing: all males or any female?  The 2 juvenile Canada Geese, with the old Snowy/Domestic Goose and their parents, has grown big.

Photo:
   Small Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) butterfly - <1>  
   Yellow/orange butterfly (Orange Sulphur?) - <1>   <2>   
   damselfly - female damselfly? (Familiar Bluet?)   female laying egg (look like Familiar Bluet)    flying?   perching   perching horizontally (note its green eye so more like Forktail)   female Eastern Forktail confirmed (bugguide) [
Eyes greenish below strongly suggests this species or other Forktails?]
   Eastern Amberwing - male-1a    male-1b 
   Canada Goose

Video:
   Damselfly laying egg
   Eastern Amberwing

Note:
  (1) unusual female Eastern Forktail found on Web:  <1> (many similarities with the one I posted on bugguide)
  (2) macro of the front of Rambur’s Forktail
  (3) Eastern Forktail, (mature) female: eyes greenish below;
powdery grayish-blue throughout the body, with black markings absent or obscured.  Mine with black markings not obscured at last segments (8, 9 & 10).  Immature female thorax bright orange with black dorsal and shoulder stripes; abdomen orange at base and black above, with no blue or orange at tip; orange eyespots.  So orange damselflies seen before (<1>, 6/30/2012) may be immature female Forktails rather than Bluets?


6/15/2013 (Sat)  am
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Red-tailed Hawk baby grows up. 

Photo:
   Red-tailed Hawk juvenile Birds of Prey - <1>  ( fb )


6/8/2013 (Sat) full day
Clove Lake Park, Blue Heron Park, JBWR 
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Periodical Cicadas, hundreds if not thousands.  See a few in final molt; a completely white teneral adult at a fence and a darkening one at another fence near to it. 
Blue Heron Park (office is closed probably because of heavy rain yesterday):
Mating Blue Dashers & the female lays her eggs immediately (see also SI trip on 5/29/2011)
JBWR: Osprey 2 juveniles & parent on the nest.  Barn Swallow and Tree Swallow(s) foraging over the water at Big John's Pond.  Juvenile/Immature Black-crowned Night Herons.  Blue Dasher.

Photo:
   Periodical Cicada - <1>    <2a>   <2b> (marco)   <3> (looking at me)   <4> (at home)   <5> (flying, a tree at Royal Oak Road)   bugguide.net    <6a>   <6b>   <7>
   Blue Dasher - male-1 (using flash)   mating-1 (shortUrl)
   Song Sparrow
   Barn Swallow and Tree Swallow (flying)
   Glossy Ibis (flying)
   Black-crowned Night Heron -  <1>   <2>
   Catbird -  <1>

Video:
   Osprey (2 juveniles & parent)
   蜻蜓點水

Note:
 (1) 蜻蜓點水  - 就是蜻蜓產卵,卵直接產入水中,或產於水草上。卵孵化出來的稚蟲,稱為水蠆。水蠆常伸出勾狀帶爪鉤的下唇,捕捉水中小動物為生。水蠆是游泳專家,它採用的是噴射式的,只要腹部一壓縮,水就往後噴,身體自然向前衝,速度極快。以直腸氣管鰓呼吸。水蠆長大了,爬上突出水面的樹枝或石頭,就羽化成一隻猶如空中飛龍的蜻蜓成蟲了。 src   good info   mirror

 (2) URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Should You Use?

 (3) Surging in numbers that outdo predator gluttony is not some special cicada thing, Karban notes. Mayflies "hatching" from their aquatic to aerial forms synchronize, as fly fishing enthusiasts know. Oak trees drop occasional bumper crops of acorns. But cicadas, much louder than acorns, get the headlines.

... figuring out the right year is a puzzle. They could "count" the years with seasonal changes in the tree sap they feed on, Karban speculates, and he has tested this idea by trying to fool them. He dug up cicadas with two years yet to go underground and moved them onto the roots in a colleague’s research plot of peach trees. The colleague coaxed the trees to fruit twice in one year, and cicadas emerged as if two years had passed instead of one.   src


保育黑琵台灣獲國際獎 鳥界籲高層出席  (2013.06.04 03:00 am)

全文網址: 保育黑琵我獲國際獎 鳥界籲高層出席 | 綜合 | 國內要聞 | 聯合新聞網 http://udn.com/NEWS/NATIONAL/NAT5/7941421.shtml#ixzz2VDJbBplp 


6/1/2013 (Sat)  am hot & sunny
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Baltimore Oriole couple.  Many dragonflies and damselflies at the baseball field of Rose Ave.

Photo:
   Baltimore Oriole, male - <1>


5/27/2013 (Mon)  pm sunny
Staten Island - Clove Lakes Park (1150 Clove Rd, Staten Island, NY 10301), Great Kills Park (188 Buffalo St, Staten Island, NY 10306), 77 Woodland Ave, Staten Island, NY 10308, & Lemon Creek Park)
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Clove Lakes Park: Spotted Sandpiper in beautiful breeding plumage
Great Kills Park: Oystercatcher, Grackles, Gulls.  Dragonflies.

Lemon Creek Park: male Purple Martin, female of course.  And Starling.  Dragonfly.

Photo:
  Spotted Sandpiper - <1>   <2>   <3>  
  Purple Martin - female-1   male-1   male-2   both-1   both-2   both-3

Video:
  Spotted Sandpiper
  Purple Martin

Note:
(1)
Parking - Clove Lakes Park, at Lake Club or outside Clove Rd. 
(2) Great Kills Park:
part of the Staten Island unit of Gateway National Recreation Area
(3) map: Great Kills Park (188 Buffalo St, Staten Island, NY 10306) & 77 Woodland Ave, Staten Island, NY 10308


5/25/2013 (Sat)  pm cold, windy (morning 45F; forecast windy up to 40mph)
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Red-tailed Hawk baby seen and shot.  Canada Goose goslings (2) with their parents and the ("guarded") old Goose.  I call it a wonderful goose family of 5!  A small rabbit.

Photo:
   Red-tailed Hawk baby Birds of Prey- <1>  


5/18/2013 (Sat)  am cloudy
JBWR / Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Not much in JBWR.  Brown Thrasher (1) singing energetically on the tree top.   Canada Goose goslings are many here and Kissena Park too.  Towhee.  The male & female Tree Swallows (photoed on 4/27) are still at the branch doing nothing; waiting for warmer weather?   

Kissena: meet Henry Yee's family.

Photo:
   Rose-breasted Grosbeak - <1>  
   Canada Goose gosling - <1>   <2>   <3a>   <3b>  
   Tree Swallow -
   Robin - <1>   <2>  
   Is it Seaside Rose (Rosa rugosa)? P1420867.JPG / RW2  cf. this one at Oceanside
 

5/16/2013 (Thu)  early morning before going to work (about 6:45-7:30am)
Kissena Corridor

Probably Baltimore Oriole, an immature & a female.  Pheasant.  Red-tailed Hawk, baby?


5/12/2013 (Sun)  pm
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Photo:
   Mourning Dove -
   Red-tailed Hawk - <1>   <2>  
   Starling - <1a>   <1b> (OOC jpg)


5/11/2013 (Sat)  pm
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Photo:
   Catbird -
   Pheasant -


5/4/2013 (Sat)  am
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

A 1 inch damselfly, male Eastern Forktail, and a bigger (about 1.5 inch) brown damselfly, possibly a female Bluet or dancer or even a dragonfly?  Cowbirds (male only).  Pheasants, males and 1 female.  The female Red-tailed Hawk is still sitting on the nest, probably still incubating.  No sight of the male.  Heard Woodpecker drumming. 

Photo:
   Eastern Forktail - <1a>   <1b>   <2>   <3>
   Small Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) butterfly - <1>   <2>  
   Cardinal - <1>   <2>  


4/28/2013 (Sun)  pm
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Photo:
   Blue Jay - <1>


4/27/2013 (Sat)  9-11:30am / pm after Dim Sum
JBWR / Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

In Kissena Park, two Double-crested Cormorants swim together very closely and both showing breeding plumage and the 2 crests.  They are probably couple.  A male Pheasant is scared by me and flies to Corridor Park.

Photo:
   European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula) - <1> (cf. http://bugguide.net/node/view/200209)
   Mallard - <1>   <2>  
   Tree Swallow - <1a> (spreading wings)   <1b> (facebk)   <2>   <3> (
雌雄–燕–同株)   <4>  
   a brown/red wasp - <1> (the same one taken on 9/10/2011 by FZ35?) -
probably Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) 
   Song Sparrow -
   House Sparrow -

Note:  Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) can be black in color:  http://bugguide.net/node/view/123793 and wiki


4/14/2013 (Sun)
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

 

Photo:
  


4/13/2013 (Sat)
Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

 

Photo:
   Cardinal - <1>


3/29/2013 (Fri) - 4/9/2013 (Tue)
New Orleans / Norwegian Star 7-night cruise
camera: GH2 / Canon ELPH

log01_NewOrleans.txt   myPic  Album: Google+  Picasa

2013WinterTrip.doc   Roatan Tips from BoddenTours   birds_in_new_orleans.htm  

Note: 

19 Mar 2010 visited Cozumel, Mexico

Photo found on Web: Audubon Zoo birds  

Audubon Park Bird Island mysteriously abandoned


3/23/2013 (Sat) pm, sunny & cold
Westchester
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Hawk (or Vulture?).

Photo:
   Woodpecker
   Nuthatch - <1>


3/17/2013 (Sun) after church lunch, cloudy (sun barely seen behind cloud for short time) & cold
Kissena Corridor Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Red-tailed Hawk first seen perching at a tree in the park near the nest; flying into the ground of community garden; then back to nest with a stick/twig (still building the nest), where his mate (female larger than male) is already there.   Inside the blueberry shrub (灌木) is probably a Mockingbirds' nest.  Dark-eyed Juncos.  Many sharp pictures of Robins & Mockingbird.

Photo:
   Robin  - <1>
   Red-tailed Hawk - <1>
   Mockingbird - <1>
   House Sparrow - <1>

 Video:
   Red-tailed Hawk 
   Mockingbird

Info: Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1

Video found on Web:  Red-tailed hawks nesting at 185 Alewife in Cambridge, Mass.


3/16/2013 (Sat) morning, cloudy & cold
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Red-tailed Hawk's nest empty.  No Common Merganser or Hooded Merganser.  Grackle.  Dark-eyed Juncos.  Ring-billed Gulls still here.

Photo:
   Robin
   Dark-eyed Junco - <1>
   Red-bellied Woodpecker - <1>
   Grackle


Subject: Common Merganser at Kissena Park   [src]
Date: Wed Mar 13 2013 22:47 pm
From: czar3233 AT yahoo.com [Cesar Castillo]
 
I was out this afternoon hoping to spot a Phoebe, but looks like Brooklyn got to it first (Spring officially begins?)

I found one female Common Merganser amongst the Mallards, Shovelers, Canada Geese, and Ring-billed Gulls.  Also a few female Hooded Mergansers.

On the topic of signs of Spring, I also noticed some Red Maples were in full bloom, not just unopened buds and on my failed attempt on Sat to find the Varied Thrush I came across a patch of flowering Winter Aconite.  I have also noticed some Moths flying around in Alley Pond Park around sunset.


3/9/2013 (Sat) morning & afternoon, beautiful sunny
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Red-tailed Hawk nests at East-West School of International Studies / Rachel Carson Intermediate School 237 (46-21 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355).  One (probably the same one but possibly another one - his or her mate) was watched for quite a long time standing at a tree inside Corridor Park.
Spring has been here with many Robins;  and I saw a butterfly, a fly, a
mature Small Milkweed Bug (same location found Boxelder Bug in Fall 2011/Winter 2012) and some very small insects.  Cardinals and RWBBs are singing.
Hooded Mergansers. Northern Shovelers (still a lot).

Photo:
   Robin - <1>
  
Ring-billed Gull  -
   Northern Shoveler - <1a> (cropped)   <1b>    <2a>    <2b> (w2673)   P1360777.JPG/RW2
   Red-tailed Hawk  -
      IS237: <1a>   <1b> (cropped)    <2>
      flight: <1>
      tree in Corridor Park: <1>
   Red-winged Blackbird - <1>
   Starling - <1>
   Small Milkweed Bug - <1>
  
Squirrel -

Video:
   Red-tailed Hawk 

Note on Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii):
(1) Adults suck nectar from flowers of various herbaceous plants, and also feed on milkweed seeds(?). Also reported to be scavengers and predators, especially in spring when milkweed seeds are scarce. They have been reported feeding on honey bees, monarch caterpillars and pupae, and dogbane beetles, among others. The Life of a Californian Population of the Facultative Milkweed Bug Lygaeus kalmii  (from bugguide.net)
(2) The adults of the spring generation undertake dispersal flights during the late morning and afternoon on sunny days. (pdf)

Note on Red-tailed Hawk:
(1)
Comparison of Adult & Immature tails
(
2) Unlike some other raptors, the Red-tailed Hawk are seemingly unfazed by considerable human activity and can nest and live in close proximity to large numbers of humans.[4] Thus, the species can also be found in cities, where common prey such as rock pigeons and brown rats may support their populations.[16] One urban Red-tailed Hawk, known as "Pale Male", became famous for being the first Red-tail in decades to successfully nest and raise young in the crowded New York City borough of Manhattan.[17]


3/2/2013 (Sat) morning, cloudy
Kissena Park / East-West School of International Studies
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

在那天下無雙的女人協助下,鄙人捕捉到牠展開雙翅起飛的瞬間. 女人的可怕,連小鷗也知道!
Hooded Mergansers. Northern Shovelers (still a lot).

Photo:
   Ring-billed Gull  - <1> (wing up before flight)
   Mallard - <1> (wing spread)   <2>
   Mockingbird - <1a> (look innocent, probably 1st year)   <1b> (w1600)


2/24/2013 (Sun) afternoon, cloudy
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Ring-billed Gulls (only a few).  Hooded Mergansers (2 females, immature?).  Northern Shoveler (still a lot)

Photo:
   American Black Duck  - <1>
   Mallard - <1>


2/10/2013 (Sun) afternoon, sunny, temperature around freezing point
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Icy Pond.  Ring-billed Gulls and Mallards fight for feeding food.

Photo:
   Mallard - <1>   <2>  

   American Black Duck  - <1> (female; not Mallard because of its metallic violet wing patch not edged with white)   <2>   metallic violet wing patch not edged with white
   Cardinal  -
   Woodpecker  -
   Song Sparrow  -


2/8/2013 (Fri) waiting for winter storm Nemo to come

Blizzard Warning remains in effect until 1 pm EST Saturday.

  • Locations: New York City, Southern Westchester County, and coastal portions of Northeast New Jersey.
  • Hazard types: Heavy snow and strong winds.
  • Accumulations: snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches, with localized higher amounts within intense snow bands.
  • Winds: north 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.
  • Temperatures: in the upper 20s by this evening.
  • Visibilities: one quarter mile or less at times.
  • Timing: The strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur this evening into Saturday morning.
  • Impacts: Heavy snow and winds will make for dangerous driving conditions with visibilities near zero in White-out conditions. In addition, some tree limbs will be downed. Causing scattered power outages.

1993 2 28 (Sun)  I arrived at NYC
1993 3 13 (Fri)  Blizzard of '93 hits north-east US.  More on 1993 Storm of the Century.  Snowfall at New York, NY (LaGuardia): 12.3 in (31 cm) .  I moved stuffs to my new rented studio apartment in the evening before the hit of the heavy snow. 
Now, after 20 years living at the urban jungle, ...

Statistics: snowiest month in New York City  - (1) February 2010, 36.9 inches; (2) January 2011, 36.0 inches; (3) January 1925, 27.4 inches.    

Winter Storm 'Nemo': A Historical Perspective -  
The storm was certainly among the top five to affect Southern New England and Maine and for some localities, the worst winter storm on record (going back 300 years since European inhabitants began keeping track of such things).
There were many ways this storm was similar to the great Blizzard of March 1888.  ...

A satellite image of Nemo Saturday morning around 7 a.m. EST. The amazing structure of the storm resembles a hurricane with an eye structure. This feature was also seen with Sandy last October and the 'Perfect Storm' of October 28, 1991. However, in Nemo's case this was a pure winter storm, not a hybrid tropical cum extra-tropical storm like Sandy and the 1991 event although there have been other winter storms in the past that also displayed a similar 'eye' structure. 

Conclusion

It can probably be said that winter storm Nemo was the 2nd most intense winter storm event for Long Island, Connecticut, eastern Massachusetts, and perhaps Rhode Island. For Long Island, and Connecticut the Blizzard of 1888 remains unparalleled whereas for Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts the Blizzard of 1978 remains the top event. For southeastern Maine it would appear that Nemo has been the most extreme snowstorm on record. Of course, this is a broad statement and for some localities in Connecticut and Massachusetts Nemo may have been even worse than the storms of 1888 and 1978 and for other localities in the region other major snowstorms may have been worse than any one of the three.

I might add that is a bit unsettling that two of the most significant storms (Sandy & Nemo) in the past 300 years to strike the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. have occurred within just four months from one another.


2/5/2013 (Tue)

Starr Saphir, Bird-Watching Guide in Central Park, Dies at 73 - <1>


2/2/2013 (Sat) around noon, temperature around freezing point
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Most common species are there; only Blue Heron & Cormorant not seen Hooded Mergansers (at least 3 females and 3 males 3 adult males, 1 immature male & 2 probably females).  A male Mallard mates with a female who is fully underwater during copulation.

Photo:
   Hooded Merganser -
      female-1 (Adult female:
The upper bill is black-edged with orange and the lower bill is yellow. The legs and feet are greenish in color and the iris is brown. [src]) (This may be an immature female.  And possibly I am wrong and it is a juvenile male. Its large size & chunky body suggests a male rather than female.)
      female or the 1 yr male (I think is the male)
      2 (One female-like guy has no orange or yellow in her bill.  Immature? Yes, probably 1st year male.)
      1 female + 1 immature male (typical female:  brownish eye, bill with some yellow, has a crest bigger than the immature male; the tail of the male
sticks up at an angle) :
      Hooded Merganser
      male-1   male-2  
  
Shoveler - <1>
   Blue Jay
- <1>  
  
White-breasted Nuthatch - <1>   <2>    <3> 

  
Song Sparrow - <1>   <2>    
   White-throated
Sparrow - <1>   <2>   <3>  

Info about Hooded Merganser:
   - According to birdinginformation.com: "
Juveniles are similar in appearance to the [adult] female [and eclipse males]. They [Juveniles] have more yellow bills, brown eyes and shorter crests."  I think the second sentences are not all correct.  Older (e.g., 1st spring) juvenile males do not have more yellow bills and brown eyes.
   - According to allaboutbirds.org, "
Immature male similar to adult female but shows all-dark bill and yellow eyes.  Darker wings contrast with paler gray/brown flanks and head.  Paler brown crest (1st spring male's is paler than the brown crest of eclipse male).  Long tail often sticks up at an angle."
   - So, some identified as female (no matter adult or not) today and before are possibly wrong and are 1st spring immature males.  Not
eclipse males because they should have finished molting before arriving at Kissena Park, the wintering place.
   -  picture of
1st spring males   more babies pictures   a juvenile with yellow lower bill (a young girl?)   picture of 1st spring male with some yellow in bill   another 1st year male   perhaps a second year male   many good pic
   -  So Juvenile male <> Immature male.  birdinginformation.com is talking about younger juveniles.  But  allaboutbirds.org is saying 1st spring immature male.  It is still not easy to separate : (1) adult female, (2) 1st spring immature male & (3)
eclipse male (in non-breeding plumage)
   -  I think: (1) if yellow eyes & all-dark bill &
darker wings contrast, definitely is immature male.  (2) if yellow eyes, probably immature male.  (3) if eyes are not pure yellow but brownish, then a) all-dark bill indicates an immature male; b) bill with some yellow indicates female or juvenile male.  In conclusion, either all-dark bill or yellow eyes indicates immature male; brownish eyes AND bill with some yellow indicates female but could be juvenile male.   Juvenile male's eyes is paler than adult female's.  With dark eyes, we can more certain that one is an adult female.
   - like male Mallard, bright plumage is the basic plumage,  The non-breeding plumage is the eclipse one.
   -
Yearling females often prospect for potential nest sites for the following year, and generally start breeding at the age of two.  [src
   -
The male will be in his breeding colors by Christmas but nesting doesn’t take place until mid-February.  Hooded Mergansers are monogamous and begin breeding at 2 years of age.   [src
   -
The males do not acquire the full beauty of their plumage until the third spring, but resemble the females for the first year. In the course of the second, the crest becomes more developed, and the white and black markings about the head and body are more distinct. The third spring they are complete.  [src
   -
It seems to prefer fresh water, ... Long, narrow, and moderately deep creeks, or small ponds, are more frequented by it than large rivers or lakes.   [src

Immature male Adult female
  More or Google "first spring HM", "immature male HM", etc. More


Jamaica Bay On Ice : incredible photo of Jamaica Bay frozen over near completely.  ... the Bay has not been this frozen in years. Pretty incredible ... (Jan 31st, 2013)