Bird List                

    2014: Jamaica / Canadian Rockies / Curacao
    2013 log (New Orleans, Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan, & Cozumel, HK)        
    2012 (after Hurricane Sandy) log   2012 (Jul-before Hurricane Sandy) log  (Netherlands, UK, Scotland, Norway, Denmark) (birdList.b4_split2_b_and_c.htm)    2012 (Jan-Jun) log  (Costa Rica)  
    2011 log  (HK, Punta Cana
    2010 log  ( 1. Mar. Caribbean Cruise : Fort Lauderdale / Cozumel, Mexico ; 2. Nov. Caribbean Cruise : Puerto Rico / Half Moon Cay ) 
    2009 log  (Las Vegas; HK, Mainland China and Taiwan)  
    2008 log  (South Caribbean Cruise - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Bonaire & Aruba; Toronto; Palm Beach, Florida)   
    Photo and Video @ Punta Cana    pic01.htm  others   HK trips
    Note on Dragonfly and Damselfly   my insect spider list    Macro   butterflyMoth.htm   frog   kissena_rare_encounter.htm
    Favorites in 2013   Favorites in 2012   Favorites in 2011  
    Bees   Wasps   Cricket   myInventory   myNationalPark.htm
    Costa Rica info   Costa Rica, 2012 - Photo    costa_rica_mybirdlist.htm
    Birding in Shetland Islands     Norway cruise     pc_stuff.htm    t-mobile (6/2014)   多部未华子   Don't vote Senator Gillibrand in 11/2018!   cull_CanadaGeese_at_JBWR.htm
    samsung_s3600.note01.htm   Biblical_problems_caused_by_translation.htm  
    how_can_i_make_a_very_sharp_phot.htm   flash_wont_sync_in_slave_mode.htm   Camera/Camcorder for birding   cam4underwater   infrared_photography.htm  
    comet_PANSTARRS.htm    Jamaica_bird.htm   Glacier   Hay fever   Glacier & Canadian Rockies   Curacao-1   Curacao-2
    Lead Adventures 3-Week Galapagos program - doc  
   Quito - Monastery of San Francisco - pic1  quito.htm

    List of whale and dolphin species        List of birds of HK
    全膝關節置換術 (TKA)

Vanessa's Delights Omega-3 Mix contains Omega-3 Fortified Cranberries, Roasted Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Raw Pistachios, and Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds).   Other brands: (has retail stores in NYC)

Labor Day weekend - Rockaway Beach (1Beach 59th St.) ; Sep. - Gulls feeding on ant swarms
Summer (August) is a good time to visit Rockefeller State Park, Valhalla, NY - at the lake/pond, many dragonflies & damselflies.
2013: Periodic cicada
   The Periodical Cicada on Long Island, N. Y., in 1910
   Elias Bonaros, a cardiologist and self-described bug enthusiast who lives in Bayside, N.Y - wsj
   Ed Johnson, director of science at the Staten Island Museum, which, with about 35,000 specimens, said it boasts the largest cicada collection in North America.
   John Cooley, a research scientist at the University of Connecticut 
   more info   periodical_cicada.htm   wnyc cicada tracker
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?)
In 2014, I want to see: Killdeer (in SI?),  Cedar Waxwing (in Kissena Corridor Park), Meadowlark; to shoot: Cowbird, Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo found on Web: Killdeer in mating display.
"3/31/2013 - Queens, New York City: I visited Breezy Point today to do some spring shorebird reconnaissance and had the following notables: Piping plover (3), eastern phoebes (2), my first-of-the-season American oystercatchers (17), sanderling (240), and dunlins (3). In a first for me at Breezy Tip, I had killdeer (5) roaming around where there used to be dunes. Out on the ocean, a handful of northern gannets were seen, all adults. No massive staging of waterfowl, with only a smattering of long-tailed ducks."
- Andrew Baksh   src

Remember to adjust focus of the viewfinder

Good and bad in 2014 (知天命):
Good -

 Bad -


中國古代哲學中把天當作神,天能決定人類命運。在孔子的學說中,還保存有“天命”的觀點。孔子“五十而知天命”,“天命”就是我們今天講的因果報應,他知道了,命裡有的一定有,命裡沒有的別強求,樂天知命,絲毫強求都沒有,到五十歲明白了這個道理,一切通達了。不管這個說法對否,也不管還有多少說法,我認為,“天命”很簡單,就是你該怎麼做,做一個什麼樣的人.說白了就是人生觀而已。 “天命”,上天的旨意或命令,引申開來,指必然性或命運。人生已經過去一大半了,大體基本輪廓依稀可見,無論是學識,還是閱歷,以及自製力,都到了最高境界了,基本的方向應該不變了。到了五十歲,知道了自己的命運軌跡,不怨天;知道了自己的人生定位,不尤人;知道了自己未竟的責任,不懈怠 。

... 迎接 2015(愛你一吻)

12/27/2014 (Sat) afternoon, sunny
Kissena Park

Two frogs are seen.  One is out on the walking path.  We forcefully guide it back to the lake.

 (1) "I was asked on 11/3/03 by Ronna at what temperature my green frogs stop being active. I would say it is the same as the fish, about 50-55 degrees F when they no longer come out of the water. If the air temperature is 55 or above, even if the water is a few degrees cooler, they sometimes still come out to sun on warm fall days. If there is a warm stretch even in winter, they may come out. They are slower and look yuckier as far as consistency and color, being more brownish black than their summer time green and vibrant colors. Above 60 degrees and the frogs come out for sure. In the fall, the bullfrogs, green frogs, and pickerel frogs often get on top of the nets and bounce around."  src
 (2) "Frogs make sure to keep some of their body out of the muck so they can have access to oxygen-rich water, according to Emmer. They may even slowly swim around from time to time. So, if you look down through a thin layer of ice and see a frog creeping around in the freezing water, don’t feel bad for it. It has air. It’s just changing sleeping positions."  src

    Frog (look more like American Bullfrog) - <1>

12/16 - 20/2014 (Tue - Sat)
Curacao [ note ]

Venezuelan Troupial Icterus icterus (擬黃鸝)
South American Yellow Oriole (Gele Troepiaal, Trupial Kacho)  Icterus nigrogularis (saw and got a shot at Punta Cana too?)

Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris
Tropical Mockingbird, Caribische Spotlijster, Chuchubi, Mimus gilvus
Bananaquit, Suikerdiefje, Barika Hel
Bare-eyed Pigeon, Naaktoogduif, Warbakoa, Columba corensis
Eared Dove, Geoorde Treurduif, Buladeifi, Zenaida auriculata
Scaly-naped Pigeon, Roodhalsduif, Patagioenas squamosa
White-tipped Dove?, Verreaux-duif, Leptotila verreauxi
Common Ground-Dove, Musduif, Columbina passerina
Ruddy Ground-Dove?, Steenduif, Columbina talpacoti
Saffron Finch, Saffraanvink, Scalis flaveola, Gewone Saffraangors, Sicalis flaveola
Black-faced Grassquit? (female)
Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregatvogel, Makuaku, Skerchi, Fregata magnificens
Crested Caracara
Brown-throated Parakeet (probably), Brown-throated Conure, Aratinga pertinax  - info-1
Gray Kingbird? (Grey Kingbird, Grijze Koningstiran, Tyranus dominicensis) - common in the island.  info-1
Tern / Pelican / Hummingbird / Rock Dove / House Sparrow
White-crowned Parrot?, Witkopmargrietje, Pionus senilis
Yellow-shouldered?, Yellow-winged Parrot, Geelvleugelamazone, Lora, Amazona barbadensis, Kleine Geelkopamazone

White-tailed Deer

    General - <1> (the peak behind us is not the highest; the highest is right behind that peak)
    Island Tour & Christoffel National Park  (Google+ version)
    Queen Emma Bridge (a pontoon bridge)
    Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and Museum (Google+ version)
    Venezuelan Troupial  -  <1>   <2> (w900 for fb)

 (1) When Queen Emma Bridge swings open, two ferries spring into action to bring pedestrians across the water. The ferries are also free of charge.  wiki
 (2) Eared Dove, Zenaida auriculata, Curacao Birds
 (3) Marriott House Reef (near the beach shore right at the hotel), I saw something similar to this video:  youtube
        "The site is just offshore of the Caribbean Sea Sports Dive Shop. Snorkeling was not actually done on the reef, but on the rocks just a few yards from shore. Depth on the outside of the rocks are around 20'. The snorkeling here was very good for being so close to shore."   src
        What is a house reef ?
        - generally referring to an easily accessible reef, with good coral and fish life.
        - we most often talk about an island "having a house reef" if this living part is easily accessible to divers and snorkelers, instead of a large lagoon or not much notable coral growth.  An "island with a good house reef" in forum jargon, would be one where you could expect to snorkel or dive off the beach or jetty.  src
 (4) Playa Largo is a popular calm beach and bay, perfect for a relaxed shore or boat dive - Playa Largo (Playa Largu) means long beach, saying that there are quite a few dive sites possible. One of the most popular spots is the wall where you can find large amount of French grunts, white grunts and schoolmaster. Turtles are commonly seen on this dive, same as spotted morays and barracudas. Large gorgonians will tell us which way the current goes.  src
 (5) Venezuelan Troupial Icterus icterus - info-1 : Three subspecies are currently recognized with distinct ranges.
           Venezuelan Troupial (Icterus icterus icterus - Linnaeus, 1766) - Nominate Form                   
           Venezuelan Troupial (ridgwayi) (Icterus icterus ridgwayi - Hartert, E, 1902) -             
                      Coastal northern Colombia, in the department of Guajira, and the northern areas of Cesar; east to the lowland areas of northwestern Venezuela, east to the state of Sucre and Margarita Islands; as well as occurring in the Netherlands Antilles on the islands of Aruba and Curaçao.       
                      ID: Similar to the nominate race in terms of plumage pattern. However, generally stronger and larger than the other subspecies. Has a longer, bulkier bill. The form found in Aruba have a darker shade of orange compared to birds occurring on the island of Curaçao.            
           Venezuelan Troupial (metae) (Icterus icterus metae - Phelps and Aveledo, 1966)

 (6) Bare-eyed Pigeon / Eared Dove / Scaly-naped Pigeon / White-tipped Dove (a / b)

 (7) Eared Dove: a close relative of the North American mourning dove. "The black spots on the wings and behind the eyes make identification easy and the neck often shows an iridescent purplish color. These doves are most at home in the desert and I always see them when walking the trails. When startled or disturbed they fly straight up like they were shot from a rocket disappearing almost immediately. This behavior has earned them the name 'Jumpy Dove'ť. Like all doves it is a seed eater and is quite common on all three islands. Nests are built in bushes, cacti and low trees."  src
 (8) White-tipped Dove: The dove is about 28 cm (11 in) long and weighs 155 g (5.5 oz). Adult birds of most races have a grey tinge from the crown to the nape, a pale grey or whitish forehead and a whitish throat. The eye-ring is typically red in most of its range, but blue in most of the Amazon and northern South America. The upperparts and wings are grey-brown, and the underparts are whitish shading to pinkish, dull grey or buff on the chest. The underwing coverts are rufous. The tail is broadly tipped with white, but this is best visible from below or in flight. The bill is black, the legs are red and the iris is yellow. wiki
 (9) White-winged Dove (NOT in Curacao but in many Caribbean islands).

12/14/2014 (Sun) afternoon, sunny
Kissena Park

Hooded Merganser (3).  Cormorant (4).  Coot (1).  Sparrow (juvenile?  possibly Savannah Sparrow; not look like Vesper Sparrow which has white eye ring).
One male Hooded Merganser gets to near the edge of the lake and does diving and foraging but it was attacked by gulls.  The one or two gulls land on the merganser when the merganser gets back to the surface.  The merganser may say "I can't breathe."  But I get some good pictures of it because of close distance. 

    Coot - 
    Hooded Merganser -  <1>
    Ring-billed Gull -  <1>
    Sparrow (possibly Savannah) -  <1>

 (1) Savannah Sparrow found on web - <1> (from here)

12/13/2014 (Sat) afternoon
Kissena Park

Hooded Merganser (the paired couple + 2 females + 2 males).  Hawk, probably immature Cooper's Hawk female Northern Harrier or Broad-winged Hawk.  Cormorant.  Coot.

    Coot -  <1>

12/7/2014 (Sun) afternoon after church, sunny
Kissena Park

Hooded Merganser (1 female + 3 males).  Hawk, probably Red-tailed.  Coot.
Yesterday NYS Exam.

財大氣粗 (rich with an arrogant attitude; pompous rich guy; Rich Kid Syndrome) 人微言輕  人窮志短 : For example, if an arrogant person grew up poor but later becomes rich, he or she may be snobbish (勢利) about everything they can now afford because they are covering up the fear of poverty from the past.  

11/30/2014 (Sun) afternoon after church, cloudy and chilly
Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park

American Kestrel, female.  Hooded Merganser couple and a male (larger in size).  Blue Jay (a lot).  Cardinal (many).  Starling (a lot; in flock).  Mockingbird.  Cormorant.  Song Sparrow (in well-maintained and beautiful plumage).

American Kestrel - The undersides of the females are creamy to buff with heavy brown streaking.  

11/22/2014 (Sat) afternoon after Dim Sum
Kissena Park

Rusty Blackbird (20+).  Chickadee (2+).  Blue Jay (2+).  Junco (10+).  White-throated Sparrow (a lot). 

11/17-21/2014 week
(1) US Winter Forecast (published on October 24, 2014)   fb
(2) Epic snowstorm on track to set a record in Buffalo
- Buffalo's first snowstorm of the season could give the area a year's worth of snow — around 8 feet — in just three days.
- Lake Erie snowstorm.  Lake-effect snow 
- For the second straight day, overnight temperatures in all 50 states Wednesday fell to freezing or lower — even in Hawaii, atop the high mountain summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island.
- Record cold was reported Wednesday morning in New York City (22 degrees at LaGuardia).

11/15/2014 (Sat) morning and afternoon after Dim Sum, a cold day  時值深秋 秋意正濃 但寒冷卻像入冬.
Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park
Met Chris Petrow - ;

Hawk, probably Cooper's Hawk.
Chickadee.  Tufted Titmouse.  Ring-billed Gull (a few).  House Finch.  Purple Finch (id by cpetrow).  Goldfinch (quite a lot).  Frog.  Robin.  Junco (a lot).
Blue Jay (everywhere, even roadside near my home, and a lot).  Get best picture with nut (probably acorn)

    Blue Jay (with nut) -  <1>  fb: caching food against wicked winter
    Cardinal (male, with red berries) -
    House Finch -  <1>
    Goldfinch -
    Frog -
    Color of Fall - <1a> (w1200)   <1b> (w1920)

(1) Studies have shown that western scrub jays can remember locations of over 200 food caches, as well as the food item in each cache and its rate of decay.[8]   wiki   pdf
(2) gray squirrels bury nuts all over the place, and often forget them. That results in trees growing in new areas.  Squirrel Hoarding
(3) The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks (俗名橡树) and their close relatives (wiki).  Green acorns are unripe.  Ripened acorns are brown.  Untreated raw acorns contain high concentrations of tannic acid, so their taste is bitter, and they can be toxic to humans, if eaten in large quantities. So they are usually treated by simple, water leaching for tasting nutty and slightly sweet.   wikihow

11/11/2014 (Tue) cloudy morning / sunny afternoon after Dim Sum
Van Cortlandt Park / Kissena Park

Van Cortlandt Park:
   Direction map.   Park map (lower part)Full park map
   Just take 20-25 minutes from home to parking lot.  When exit from Major Deegan Expressway Exit 11, turn left and follow the sign.  Note: Don't go right back to expressway; instead go left then will see the first parking lot.
   Tufted Titmouse (2).  Wood Thrush.  Gadwall (a male + a probably female).  Crow.  Black Squirrel (a few).  Chipmunk.
Kissena Park:
   House Sparrows (from a very close distance)

    Blue Jay - <1>
    House Sparrow - <1>
    Black Squirrel
    Eastern Gray Squirrel

Note:  Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Park - every Sat 8am - meet at Nature Center.  Enter the park on foot at Broadway & 246 St.

11/8/2014 (Sat) afternoon after Dim Sum
Kissena Park

Hooded Merganser (FOS) couple.  FOS record: 12/3/2011 and 11/12/2012 (Mon).
Tufted Titmouse (2 or a few).  
Great Blue Heron (immature?).  Last seen 2 years ago (12/15/2012).  There is a turtle on a rock by its side; it enjoys the turtle's company while fishing.  The same happened on 11/22/2012.
Red-tailed Hawk, immature.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet. 
Robin (many). 
Grackle (roost in quite a large communal flock, 50+ or even more; seen also last week). 
White-throated Sparrow. 
Song Sparrow?
No Ring-billed Gull, Shoveler, & Cormorant.

    Blue Jay with nut
    Great Blue Heron, get a fish

Note about diver duck: 
 (1)  All ducks float in the water just like corks. Getting under the water to hunt is a challenge for birds that weigh only a few pounds, at most. A couple of neat adaptations help these ducks dive right in. If you compare diving ducks that are just swimming around with ones that are actively diving, you will notice that the divers look smaller. This is because the divers have compressed all their feathers together. This gets rid of air trapped between the feathers. Once that extra air is gone, the duck is not as buoyant. In addition, diving ducks are heavier because their skeletons do not have as many air spaces as other birds.   src
 (2)  Diving ducks and sea ducks forage deep underwater. To be able to submerge more easily, the diving ducks are heavier than dabbling ducks, and therefore have more difficulty taking off to fly.    wiki

10/25/2014 (Sat) afternoon after replacing brake system (pad, drum and 2 rear cylinders) of my car
Kissena Park

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10+.  Quite a lot!  fb

10/18/2014 (Sat) afternoon after Dim Sum
Kissena Park

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (next time get a clear shot of its yellow feet).

    Ruby-crowned Kinglet - <1>

(1) Ruby-crowned Kinglets eat tiny insects, spiders, and eggs, especially eggs that are stuck to the undersides of leaves and twigs. In winter they also eat some seeds, sap, and berries. src
(2) Ruby-crowned Kinglets are important predators on insects, especially in coniferous forests. Insect foods consist of flies, wasps, beetles, insect eggs and other insects found in coniferous trees. Although their food consists primarily insects, their fall and winter diet also includes some plant materials.  src

The Chicago sewer system, which are sometimes known as the 'Chesbrough sewers' was the first comprehensive sewer system in the United States.  wiki   more: <1>

25 - 1989 - 六四事件 (又被稱為天安門事件、八九民運或者是八九學運 )

50 - 2014 - 香港學界大罷課   佔領中環    雨傘革命   9·27添美道集會   my2014_9_hk_movement.htm   HK_movement_2.htm   fb post

 (1) 廉超群:埃及"革命"悖论
 (2) Google 質疑革命的民眾基礎
 (3) 蔡美兒:《起火世界》序言:全球化與種族仇恨 (mirror)    fb
      - World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (2002) - Selected one of The Economist Best Books of the Year 2003.
      - "西方国家在历史上从来没有在任何情况下将自由放任的资本主义与一夜之间实现的普选权同时并举过,而这一自由市场民主的配方现在却被强加给世界各地的发展中国家。"
      - "我的观点是,在世界上那些存在普遍贫困和一个主导市场的少数族群的众多国家中,民主和市场--至少以目前它们被推行的形式来说--只能处于彼此强烈的对峙状态中。在这种情况下,自由市场和民主化的同时并举正以极可预料的方式不断地催化着种族冲突,导致着灾难性后果,包括种族灭绝性的暴力以及对市场和民主自身的颠覆。这已经成为以往20年来全球化进程的一个严肃的教训。 "
 (4) book.douban   More-1   More-2 (mirror)
 (5) More-3  - 按作者的话说来就是:
 (6) 《起火的世界》- 以缅甸为例 ...  (作者:蔡美儿; 发布时间:2014-07-08)
 (7) (2014-10-31)
 (8) 从开罗到香港:什么“民主”与谁的“革命”  (2014-10-14)
     简单从短时段来看,1905年的俄国革命的开端像极了今天我们在阿拉伯在香港见到的群众运动景象。在这些社会运动中,许多人共享一个对痛苦记忆的想象,但人们对痛苦来源的诠释则各自不同。我们不难发现,在开罗、班加西、突尼西亚、台湾、甚至香港的街头,人们被那种对政府领导人及执政党的愤怒集合在了一起,幻想着各种可能的政治解决方案,试图能够一劳永逸地通过一场运动彻底创造出一个美丽新世界。然而,随着共同政治敌人的消亡,这种短暂的乌托邦认同也变得支离破碎。一场轰轰烈烈的运动迅速分裂成宗派主义的大乱斗,在这里找不到单一的政治诉求、统一的身份认同、更重要的是除了对一个草靶子的愤恨之外,并未能找到一个共同的政治理想。 [Agree or not?]
 (9) 周舵:不是阿拉伯之春,是阿拉伯之冬 (2014-03-05)
 (10) Amy Chua Interview
 (11) 经济观察报 徐斌/文
     由此导致的结果是,在非西方世界中,市场与民主的全球化扩张是集体仇恨和种族暴乱的首要原因。市场成为少数外地族群的市场,民主成为多数本地族群的民主,从而酿成了“多数族群的暴政”。这种暴政以三种方式在全世界蔓延。1) 第一种模式乃是对市场的彻底否定,通过民主政治的力量对私营经济采取全面的国有化。在第一任缅甸总理吴努的“缅甸化”经济政策中,国家完成了“种族性充公”。2) 与对抗市场的模式不同,对抗民主的模式表现为“裙带资本主义”,本土的领导与主导市场的少数族裔形成一种腐败共生的联盟。这种官商结合的政治统治通常表现为一种披着民主外衣的政治独裁。如印尼的苏哈托,利比亚的卡扎菲。3) 这种民主对抗式的模式最终导向的就是第三种模式:大规模的种族暴动。卢旺达、克罗地亚、南斯拉夫的惨剧不过是压抑已久的种族仇恨催生了自大狂式的种族主义政治煽动家,以巨大的愤怒、嫉妒和耻辱感爆发野蛮的种族主义运动。

birdnote_201409.htm ( BBC Africa with David Attenborough - episode 1 of 6 - Kalahari  /  Do cicadas sing at night?  / )

9/28/2014 (Sun)  pm
Kissena Corridor Park & Kissena Park

Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Unknown olive-brown small bird with yellow throat; possibly Common Yellowthroat.

    Unknown - <1>

9/27/2014 (Sat)  bright sunny and very warm morning (departure from home at 9am and leaving City Island at 2pm).  Highest temperature in the afternoon will be 82F.
Orchard Beach / Pelham Bay Park & City Island  (last visit at 9/10/2011)
* Visiting after labor day is free; otherwise, parking fee on weekends is $9.

Various Gulls (the 3 common species; I think Ring-billed is not there) & Insects (Bees, Wasps, Butterflies [only Small Cabbage White - Pieris rapae and the brown/gray one on the beach sand.], Flower Flies, Cicadas & one Dragonfly).  Great Egret.  Song Sparrow.  Swamp Sparrow (id by the two birders).  Warbler.  Phoebe.  Wren?  Vireo?
The brown/gray butterfly/moth is flying across the beach and sits on the sand under the sun among beach people. It stays there for a couple of minutes.  After we come close and touch it, it flys again.
No Monk Parakeet. 
Finally I see one Cicada this year.  This makes my day.

    Gull in flight
    Butterfly or Moth (brown color, on the sand in the beach under the sun among beach people so it is unusual to me.)
    Wasp (b & w)
    Bee -  <1>
    Fiddler crab (招潮蟹) - <1> (fb)   <2>
    House on a Rock in the middle of the sea (or just look like it because of the angle; it is a house on a boat.) - 1600x1200   OOC

Paste from Google Map:

9/20/2014 (Sat) afternoon
Kissena Park

Hummingbirds (3).  Taken many nice pictures.  Talked with two Chinese photographers finished with the hummingbird shots.
Long-horned grasshopper (many are singing but only one is seen and taken picture), colorful, green, transparent, very beautiful. 
Orange Bluet. 
Amberwing (male and 1+ female; one female is laying eggs on the floating wood in the pond).

    Warbler - <1> (probably Northern Parula)
    Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 
    Long-horned grasshopper - <1>
    Amberwing -
    Orange Bluet -

(1) long-horned grasshopper (family Tettigoniidae), any of approximately 6,000 species of insects (order Orthoptera) that include the katydid, meadow grasshopper, cone-headed grasshopper, and shield-backed katydid. All members of this family, with the exception of the shield-backed grasshopper, are green in colour, have long wings, and inhabit trees, bushes, or shrubs. The shield-backed grasshopper subfamily, which includes the Mormon and coulee crickets, is brown or gray in colour and lives on the ground or in low vegetation. Most species are wingless or have reduced wings. src

9/13/2014 (Sat) after Dim Sum
Kissena Park

Hummingbirds (2+); last year 9/28.  Wood Thrush.

Note: Eddie Yu's great pic:  <1>   <2> (What is the orange flower in Kissena?)  mirror

9/3/2014 (Wed) am - on the way walking from home to subway station for work

I see a large black wasp is (or two Bald-faced Hornets?  see here) killing a yellow wasp (I think not bee).  Probably Bald-faced Hornet (Vespula maculata Dolichovespula maculata) preys on a yellowjackets species.  fb

Note:   Insect prey is captured by 2 Bald-faced Hornets


Note (copy from 2011 log):
Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) - Bald-faced Hornets are predators and they attack only live prey. They are mostly predators of spiders, harvestmen, hemipterans, spittle bugs, house flies, sawflies larvae, caterpillars, beetles, other yellowjackets species and grasshoppers. The adults carry their prey or part of them to the nest to feed their larval states. They sometimes feed of flower nectar or sweet substances (Akre et al. 1981, VanDyk 2003).   src

Notes On Yellow jackets As A Food Source For The Bald Faced Hornet Vespula maculata

J O Howell
Entomological News 84: 141-142 (1973)   src

page 141:     mirror

page 142:     mirror  

Note:  baldfaced_hornet.htm

9/1/2014 (Mon) am - hot and humid
Udalls Cove Park / Kissena Corridor

Udalls:  Green Heron.  Many dragonflies and damselflies.   
Kissena Corridor:  Wasp (yes, Bald-faced Hornet  same as 8/2/2014; the dead tree is Oak?).  And a black wasp - Chalybion has hair on the thorax and is lack of bristles on the legs.  So probably Chlorion.

    Blue Dasher -  <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>  
    green damselfly -  <1> 
    Bald-faced Hornet - <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>    bugguide (probably worker? or may be the female who will be the queen next year?)
    black wasp - <1> (Blue Mud Wasp, Chalybion californicum? or Steel-blue Cricket Hunter (Chlorion aerarium) or other Chlorion?)

(1) Udalls Cove & Ravine Natural Resource Area (GPS: 1 Sandhill Rd, Little Neck (or Queens), NY 11363)  
Google map

Though seemingly impossible, the diversity within the preserve is compounded by two sparkling freshwater streams. Gabler's Creek, the bigger of the two, slowly cuts its way through the steep wooded slopes of the ravine before gently passing by Aurora Pond and the freshwater wetlands on its way out to the salt marsh at the edge of the Cove.

This damp protected habitat is a great place to spot a variety of reptiles and amphibians, such as fowler toads, frogs, salamanders, and snapping turtles. Shorebirds and waterfowl including egrets, osprey, herons, ducks, geese, and swans can also be found in great numbers along the shoreline, wading in the marsh, and gliding along the glass-like surface of Aurora Pond. Enabling spectacular viewing of the many magnificent birds, Osprey platforms were erected in the wetland near the end of Little Neck parkway.

Surrounded by the protective arms of silver maples, black locusts, and box elders, creatures of all sizes live undisturbed on the forest floor. For example, muskrat, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, rabbits, and pheasant can all be found thriving in this nourishing environment.

Several short hiking trails wind their way through the property enabling the visitor to experience the extraordinary vistas of the Ravine, Cove, and Little Neck Bay.

Parking From the LIE, exit at Little Neck Parkway. Little Neck parkway ends at 255th Street. Street-side parking is available.


(2) baldfaced_hornet.htm

(3) Chalybion or Chlorion?  "Chalybion has hair on the thorax and is lack of bristles on the legs."  Where's the source?
- Chalybion californicum, Blue Mud Wasp
- Steel-blue Cricket Hunter (Chlorion aerarium) :
    Although generally not closely associated with humans, they are found wherever their hosts (
Gryllus crickets) are found, which could include close proximity to homes (though not so much as Sceliphron and Chalybion). Chlorion is usually found in open areas such as meadows, overgrown fields, dunes, beach edges, etc., although they may not necessarily hunt in the same habitat as they nest. They are sometimes associated with the Cicada Killer where the ranges of these two wasps overlap, C. aerarium digging burrows off side of the larger wasps nest (O'Brien, 1989).
    3 records in Suffolk.  All are in August.

- Chlorion cyaneum, Roach Hunter, a digger wasp - not in NY.  But can be found in southern Arizona and southern Texas.

(4) Gryllus is a genus of field cricket (Orthoptera, Gryllidae, Gryllinae). Members of the genus are typically 15–31 mm long and darkly coloured.  wiki

(5) Article - Nesting Behavior of Chlorion cyaneum (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae), a Predator of Cockroaches (Blattaria: Polyphagidae) : Information is presented on the previously unstudied digger wasp, Chlorion cyaneum (Dalhbom), obtained from 21 nests in central Texas. Nests were dug in partially shaded sandy soil and had 1–3 cells, each mass-provisioned with 1–9 Arenivaga bolliana (Saussure), (Blattaria: Polyphagidae). Prey were generally transported on the ground, grasped dorsum-up with the mandibles and forelegs. Wasps maintained both outer and inner nest closures when hunting. Arrangement of prey, degree of paralysis, and egg placement were similar to those reported for C. aerarium Patton. Cocoon structure is described for the first time for Chlorion. Comparisons of nesting behavior components with those reported for C. aerarium are presented and discussed.

(6) Wasp Wednesday: Chlorion aerarium : This magnificent wasp is frequently confused with the Blue Mud Dauber which I wrote about last week. Both are in the family Sphecidae, and indeed they can sometimes be difficult to tell apart in the field, especially the males. Chlorion aerarium is generally a significantly larger wasp, much brighter in color (though a deep metallic violet blue in much of eastern North America), and less hairy than the Blue Mud Dauber. The antennae of Chlorion originate lower on the face, and the mandible has a single tooth (the mandible of Chalybion is simple). Obviously, one can’t easily examine live specimens at close range to note those more subtle characters. Not without getting painfully stung, anyway. ... this species to be common and widespread over most of the United States and adjacent southern Canada.

8/30/2014 (Sat) 11am-1pm

Thread-waisted Wasp and its prey.  Unknown shorebird at Big John's Pond.  Solitary Sandpiper probably.  Not Spotted Sandpiper, juvenile or Lesser Yellowlegs.  Not look like Stilt Sandpiper.

    Solitary Sandpiper - <1>
    Ammophila procera (Thread-waisted Wasp), probably - <1> (not Ammophila pictipennis on 9/22/2012)

(1) Ammophila procera at - "certain identification as to species is probably not plausible based on photographs."
(2) "Podalonia are similar, but typically have the bulbous part of the abdomen bent upward and lying above the distal end of the petiole; whereas in Ammophila the abdomen is typically straight or bent downward at the distal end of the petiole."   src:

8/25/2014 (Mon) pm

Ring-necked Pheasant, juvenile.

Red Knot Population On The Decline (June 28, 2013)

"Red Knots eat horseshoe crab eggs, and with the overharvest of horseshoe crabs, there may not be enough eggs there," he says. They also eat tiny surf clams called donax. ... donax populations might have been wiped out during their own breeding season when Hurricane Sandy played havoc with the marine environment.
And he has one other theory on the decline of Red Knots. In the arctic, where lemmings breed in a space between the snow and the ground, warming temperatures and melting snow have taken a toll. Lemming populations have not reached their usual peaks, which mean arctic foxes, owls, hawks, and weasels can't feast on baby lemmings. Instead, they might be eating Red Knot eggs and babies.
"A number of years ago people realized that certain bird species only seem to breed well when the lemming populations were high, and the idea was that then the predators were going after the lemmings and leave the birds alone, so they get a chance to reproduce."
As Fraser continues to probe the mystery of the disappearing Red Knots, he and other conservationists think the U.S. should declare them an endangered species. 

Hurricane Sandy’s Latest Victims: The Shorebirds of New Jersey (February 08, 2013)

The Associated Press recently reported that Sandy did away with much of the sand the crabs need to spawn on, making restoration a top priority for wildlife groups. The AP noted that the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation predicted that the storm “is almost certain to have lasting effects on the recovery of the red knot.”
And the red knots aren’t the only birds affected. “Several other species feed on the horseshoe crab eggs,” said Bacinski. “Ruddy turnstones, although they have other sources of food and some winter here in New Jersey. There are also sandpipers and gulls along with the sanderling, which is another species whose numbers have also diminished over the last 20 years or so.”
Like all the rest of the damage caused by Sandy, only time and a whole lot of money are going to repair the beaches of the Delaware Bay. Let’s hope the work happens quickly enough to protect the ever-dwindling population of horseshoe crabs and red knots.
Even before the storm, the New Jersey DEP stated that, “one survival model projects the red knot could become extinct in less than 10 years.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to protect the rufa red knot as threatened under Endangered Species Act - Comment period reopened until May 19 - Questions and Answers - April 4, 2014 

5. Why is the Service proposing a threatened rather than endangered status?
An “endangered” species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant
portion of its range. A “threatened” species is one that is likely to become
endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its

The best available scientific data suggest the knot is not at a high risk of a significant
decline in the near term.    more

8/23/2014 (Sat) 9am-3:15pm
JBWR (Shorebird Festival)

Stilt Sandpipers with Dowitchers (I think it is Short-billed).  Western Sandpiper (1 or 2) with longer bill and larger and more square head, compared to Semipalmated.  Least Sandpipers.  Semipalmated Plovers.  Yellowlegs, probably Lesser.  At low tide, there are more Least Sandpipers and they become the mostly seen.  Of course, the best time of shorebirding is +/- 2 hr at high tide.
Gadwalls.  Cicada is not seen and only heard a couple of times because it is cloudy & is not hot enough.  Northern Waterthrush.  Yellow Warbler.  Osprey.  Laughing Gull.  Herring Gull.  Kingbird (or Phoebe?).  etc.
1300+ pictures.

    Yellowlegs - <1>
    Semipalmated Plover
    Semipalmated Sandpiper - <1>
    Western Sandpiper
    Least Sandpiper
    Stilt Sandpiper
    Herring Gull parent and child
    Northern Waterthrush

(1) Why no noisy cicadas? No one knows (August 23, 2014)

The big, noisy summer bugs “are still there [South Dakota]. I’m finding larval cases hanging on the trees. I have found adults through the summer. But the population is definitely lower than usual,” Johnson says. University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn suspects the cicadas’ annual appearance might be more subtle this year, the result of a late spring and a cool summer.

There are about a dozen cicada species across South Dakota, including several East River. In these parts, “there’s an early summer species and a later summer species. Right now, we should be getting the late summer ones emerging. Those tend to be the noisier ones that people pay attention to,” Johnson says. Unlike notable cicada species in the South and East that spend 13 or 17 years underground in a nymph stage before emerging in massive apocalyptically suggestive hatches, South Dakota cicadas tend to emerge in smaller numbers annually or at least in much shorter cycles than four presidential terms.

(2) Stilt_Sandpiper01.html 

8/16/2014 (Sat) 7-11:40am
JBWR / Broad Channel American Park 

An osprey was seen at East Pond; adult or first year? Hard to tell; the nest is empty without any osprey; only flock of sparrows was flying around it. 
Quite a lot of Catbirds.  Heard Cicada sound a couple of times; hopefully next weekend I can hear and see many of them.  Black-crowned Night Herons. 
Dull yellow bird, probably not Rudy-crowned Kinglet but a Warbler.  Immature or female Mourning?    
Broad Channel American Park:  Dragonfly. Grasshopper. Semipalmated Sandpiper and Semipalmated Plover.   
Number of Species of bird seen this morning - 18 (in photo list) + House Sparrow, Starling, Mourning Dove, Rock Dove, Robin, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, a duck, Canada Goose, Snowy Egret, Song Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Tern, Mockingbird, ... = 33+ wow!

    Catbird - <1>
    Black-crowned Night Heron
    Waterthrush (probably Northern) - <1>
    American Goldfinch
    Warbler, probably - <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>
    Osprey  - <1>  
    Brown Thrasher
    Woodpecker, Hairy, Downy or others?
    Northern Flicker - <1>  ; P1660931 - 9
    Yellow Warbler
    Bee, Bumble (or Carpenter?)
    Gull, unknown; juvenile Laughing Gull?
    Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
    Skipper, unknown
    B&W Wasp
    Rudy-throated Hummingbird, female
    Pearl Crescent
    Semipalmated Plover
    Semipalmated Sandpiper
    Dragonfly (look like Seaside Dragonlet, male)
    Barn Swallow (on telephone wire)
    Yellow-crowned Night Heron

    duck mom and duckings

(1) female silver-spotted skipper (Hesperia comma) - The Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma) is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family. It is known as the Common Branded Skipper or Holarctic Grass Skipper in North America, where the butterfly Epargyreus clarus, a spread-winged skipper, also has the common name of "Silver-spotted Skipper".
(2) The 
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is claimed to be the most recognized skipper in North America.

8/9/2014 (Sat) morning / afternoon after Dim Sum
Oceanside / Kissena Park

Clapper Rail, parent and 4 young.  Dragonfly, many: Halloween Pennant.  Osprey, family of 3 (2 adult + 1 juvenile, or else).  Green Herons.  Skimmer.  Fly (possibly a flower fly mimic bee) of having some red color.  Wasp, very big (I think 1 inch +); Cicada Killer?
Kissena Park:  Rabbit.  Orange Bluet.  Starling, molting juvenile.

    Halloween Pennant -  <1> (immature male?  female?)
    Clapper Rail - <1>
    Green Heron
    Orange Bluet -  <1>
    Starling - <1> (molting juvenile)

(1) pennant (旗). 
(2) The Starlings, They Are A’Changing (Jul 18, 2012)

The breeding season is over for the European starlings in my neighborhood.

The first sign that the adults had thrown in the towel came early this month when I noticed their beaks had completely changed from breeding season’s yellow back to black.

They’re also molting, replacing their dark, shiny feathers with new white-tipped ones that make them look speckled or “starry” (hence their starling name).

Right now they look like to the two birds in the foreground, above.  Only two months ago they looked like this.

Not to be outdone, the juvenile starlings are molting, too.  A newly fledged starling has drab brown feathers (click here to see) but they become starry by their first winter.  Halfway through the molt sequence they look like the two motley birds in the background, above — drab heads, starry breasts.

Believe it or not, summer is half over.

The starlings, they are a’changing.

郊野公園的危機 - 肆意發展不包括土地

海下,白臘,鎖羅盆 Hoi Ha, Pak Lap, So Lo Pun - 林超英先生

8/2/2014 (Sat) pm
Kissena Corridor Park

Many first summer birds: Mockingbird, Robin, Starling, Mourning Dove. A male Rock Dove works very hard to attract a female but it seems she is not interested in him.
Insects, many. A pair of Small Cabbage White may incline to mate. Moth close-up; look like Hypena scabra Green Cloverworm Moth.
Today is a wasp day.
  (1) Blue Mud Wasp (Chalybion californicum) - The dark and metallic blue Thread-waisted Wasp with iridescent blue wings (also saw last Sat).  Look similar to Steel-blue Cricket Hunter or in general Genus Chlorion.  Or Chalybion (a genus of blue mud dauber wasps in the family Sphecidaebugguide)
  (2) Orange and black (Thread-waisted Wasp?) with smoking/metallic purple wings, long and green antenna. 
  (3) Black and white one. Bald-faced Hornet?
  Both (1) & (2) are checking something inside the wood log.

    Blue Mud Wasp ( Chalybion californicum ) - <1>   <2>   <3> (behind is the orange wasp)   <4>  Chalybion has hair on the thorax and is lack of bristles on the legs. bugguide-1  bugguide-2
    Orange and black wasp with smoking purple wings - <1>   <2>   <3>
    Black and white wasp  - <1>
    Moth close-up

    dark and metallic blue Thread-waisted Wasp -
    Squirrel close-up

 (1) Blue mud dauber is a metallic blue species of mud dauber wasp that preys primarily on black widow spiders.   src
       They are a bad indicator of black widow spider infestation because that is their favorite food. Our house was, of course, full of black widows.
       They are male mud daubers looking for females.  Is it also my case?
 (3) The blue mud dauber (Chalybion californicum)) is a pretty metallic blue; it does not build nests but instead reuses those of one of the other species. Instead of mud, it carries water, which it uses to soften and remodel the mud of the older nests. ... Blue mud daubers use large numbers of black widow spiders.   src
 (4) )  mirror

Do Animals Experience Psychical Stress?

7/26/2014 (Sat) pm
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Mockingbirds, many.
Insects, many.
  Eastern Tailed-Blue: Small (wing span less than 1 inch; smaller than Cloudywing and Dustywing) brown butterfly with 2 eyes on each wing upperside, look similar to Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) but not.  
  Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) or other Commas.  Not look like Green Comma.
  Small Cabbage White (Pieris rapae).
  Common Green Bottle Fly (Lucilia sericata) or  Lucilia cuprina (not likely). 
  Wasps.  Bees and Bumble Bees. 
      Wasp with smoking purple wings [I think not Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus), 7/21/2012].  perhaps this species: Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)a black-with-white-bands wasp, female, 9/22/2012 
      Bee with green eyes (not Small Carpenter Bee), probably this: Sand Wasp of genus Tachytes (Crabronidae).
Corridor Park: Rabbit
Kissena Park: Yellow Warbler, female.  Starling (I think not Mockingbird), baby.

    Common Green Bottle Fly, with red eyes -  <1>
    Bee with green eyes (Sand Wasp of genus Tachytes?) - <1>
    Yellow-jacket-like Wasp, European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)?  
    Eastern Tailed-Blue, female -  <1>
    Eastern Comma -  <1>
    Small Cabbage White
    Rabbit - glowing red eye (no flash) 1  (fb)

    Starling baby

(1) Common Green Bottle Fly - info-1
(2) A carpenter bee (lower center) surrounded by four different species of bumble bee. Note the absence of hair on the abdomen of the carpenter bee.
(3) Family Crabronidae > Subfamily Crabroninae (Square-headed Wasps) > ,,, > Tachytes
(4) Butterflies that Punctuate: The Eastern Comma and the Question Mark
(5) Why are rabbits eyes red?  src:
       It is genetics. There are a few different genes that can cause red eyes. (a) The albino gene (cc) is where all the color pigment is removed. This causes the eyes to appear pink. Basically it is just a lack of color. (b) The himalayan gene (ch) also shows red eyes. The himalayan gene is just one step about the albino gene. This gene removes all the color except at the points, nose, ears etc. Since the eyes are not on the points the eyes here will be red. (c) Some of the other genes in the C series such as sable point can have a ruby cast to the eyes but the eyes themselves should not be pink or red like the albino or himi.
(6) Wild Animals With Glowing Eyes :

Animal eye shine is due to the presence of tapetum lucidum (脈絡膜毯), a special layer behind the retina that reflects light back into it to improve their vision in low light conditions.

Despite its gleaming red eye, this friendly little Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) still manages to look wide-eyed and innocent. pic

 (7) 為什麼動物的眼睛在暗處會發光,像貓、狗這類的?  因為這些動物的眼睛擁有 Tapetum lucidum (反光絨氈層組織),所以牠們的瞳孔顯得發光 Eyeshine (眼耀)。反光絨氈層組織主要功能在於倍增到達視網膜的光量,將透過視網膜的光重複再反射1次,經由瞳孔來回傳遞造成眼耀現象咩!!  src

 (8) Male + Female Gray Hairstreak
 (9) Many hairstreaks have fake antennas and eyespots on the end of the wing and this is thought to confuse a predator.  They often perch and nectar head down so that the fake "head" is pointing up.   src (East Brunswick Butterfly Park, NJ)
 (10) Three common hairstreaks at East Brunswick Butterfly Park: Gray Hairstreak, Red-banded Hairstreak and the Coral Hairstreak (no tails at the end of the wings).
 (11) Eastern Tailed-Blue :  the smallest butterfly I have ever seen.  Even smaller than those 3 common hairstreaks.
 (12) What is the Smallest Butterfly?
         The smallest butterfly is the Western Pygmy blue (Brephidium exilis) from Africa, which has a half an inch wingspan.  src
 (13) Blues and Hairstreaks (Lycaenidae)
Most butterflies of this family are relatively small and sometimes quite colorful. Elfins are brownish species that appear in the spring. Coppers are a group that are popular and found mostly in open areas of marshes and meadows. Hairstreaks often have delicate hairlike extensions on their hind wings. Blues are the smallest of the Family, and include the Pygmy Blue of the West, the smallest U.S. butterfly.

7/20/2014 (Sun) 1:30-3:30pm

Common Whitetail, m & f (laying eggs in flight, guarded by male, by tapping tip of abdomen on water's surface -  蜻蜓點水).  Osprey family of 5, the young one looks like adults.
Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus), many.  A female Sand Wasp works very hard at the last stage: lays egg(s); and closes up the nursery hole. 
Close-up of a butterfly using Raynox DCR-250; look like Summer Azure or Spring Azure (or Cherry Gall Azure or even other Azures) of Gossamer-wing family, a small butterfly - 6/4/2011 with FZ35 (myinsectspiderlist); its upper-side is in a beautiful blue color.
Shorebirds, a few of.  Terns, a few of.  Great Blue Heron, immature

    Common Whitetail, male - <1>
    Sand Wasp - <1>   <2>    (cf. probably the best one at 2012)
    butterfly, probably Spring or Summer Azure -  <1a> (OOC JPG)   <1b>
    dark-blue dragonfly, probably Black Meadowhawk (or Seaside Dragonlet) - <1>
    Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile
    Finch - <1>   <2>
    Great Blue Heron, immature - <1>

    Common Whitetail laying eggs
    Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile, taking bath
    Sand Wasp
    Black Meadowhawk

((1a) Summer Azure is the last species of azure to emerge in the spring in Connecticut and is the only species of azure flying during the summer.  src
(1b) Appalachian Azure - This species occurs in the New York City area and has been reported as far north as Albany County. The current range in New York is somewhat uncertain due to unverified reports. The range of this butterfly is probably somewhat more restricted than the range of its foodplant, Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa).  src
(1c) Appalachian Azure - The adults are generally larger than other azures and are pale with reduced markings beneath, although summer azures could be very similar. A concentration of large pale azures in the vicinity of Black Cohosh in late May or early June would probably be Appalachian Azures. The flight season is a good clue for identification, as adults found in July or later are not Appalachian Azures.  src
(1d) New York has at least four species of Azures.  src
(2) Andrew Baksh's today note
(3) the first Open House Public Meeting that NPS held at the Visitors Center as a step in the process to develop a plan for the West Pond - See more at here NPS site
(4) Great Blue Heron, immature -  pic found on Web (This immature heron will not reach its full adult coloring or have plumbs until it is 3 years old.)   |

7/4 - 7/13/2014 (Fri - Sun)
Canadian Rockies


    Test ICE (Microsoft Image Composite Editor) - Jul 8 2014 - Banff: ascend on the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, enjoying the dazzling view of six mountain ranges (Tunnel Mountain, Bow River and the town of Banff viewed from Sulphur Mountain)  fb

6/28/2014 (Sat) around noon before Dim Sum
Kissena Park

Firefly.  American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) or Green Frog.

    Firefly -  <1>
    Orange Bluet -  <1>
    damselfly (green)
    Bullfrog, male -  <1>

(1) What Makes Fireflies Light Up?   mirror
(2) The dorsolateral ridges, prominent, seam-like skin folds that run down the sides of the back, distinguish the green frog from the bullfrog, which entirely lacks them.  wiki
(3) Bullfrogs are sexually dimorphic, with males being smaller than females and having yellow throats. Males have tympani (鼓室) larger than their eyes, whereas the tympani in females are about the same size as the eyes.  wiki
(4) Compare:
Info-1 [Green Frog(top) and Bullfrog (bottom)]

6/21/2014 (Sat) Mrs. Lim A. Reperoga's funeral (11am) / afternoon
Flushing Cemetery / Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Flushing Cemetery: a colony of Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parrot) and many birds
Pheasant couple. Cormorant(2): adult and juvenile  Mockingbird: a fledgling makes cheeping sound and stands unsteadily over branches of a tree.


(1) Northern Mockingbird: how long does a baby mocking birds stay at the nest before flying away - They really don't stay in the nest, at age 12 days they venture from the nest, also known as transitional period! When the chicks are about 12 days old, they will venture from the nest and hop around on the ground or in low shrubs. During this transitional period (after leaving the nest and before they can fly), the young birds are still in the care of the parents, who feed them up to five times per hour. If found hopping around on the ground, they should be placed low in a tree or in a shrub and left alone. The parents will continue to care for them for several days until they learn to forage for themselves.
(2) "I found this juvenile Double-crested Cormorant in the willows across the mote at Ibis Pond on Pinckney Island. ...most of the literature describes juveniles as brown, but this bird was rusty colored...almost reddish. The sun was bright, maybe that was enhancing the interesting color. juvenile cormorants get older, their feathers turn darker until eventually they are all black. Cormorants do not breed until they are at least 2 or 3 years old. You can see black feathers emerging on this young cormorant, so he must be closing in on two years old."  src

6/15/2014 (Sun) late afternoon
Kissena Park

6/14/2014 (Sat) early morning (8-10pm)
100-300mm & 20mm/f1.7 II

- Finch couple, Cardinal couple, Brown Thrasher couple, Osprey family (parents + 3 young), Towhee, Tree Swallow, Oystercatcher, Tern (probably Common Tern).  Catbirds are singing everywhere.  Wren singing too.  A Wren wants to go into the nest box of Tree Swallow.  

    Tree Swallow - <1>
    Wren - <1>
    Duck - mom and ducklings 1 (probably Northern Shoveler; or Mallard?)
    RWBB - <1a>    <1b> (retouched)
    Bumble Bee
    Flower, purple - <1> Probably is Iris versicolor, or Iris prismatica  [Ranger  Ryan (6/2016): suggesting it is Northern Blue Flag or common blue-flag  (I. versicolor)]


(1a) Iris versicolor: - Flowers are usually light to deep blue (purple and violet are not uncommon) and bloom during May to July.  ... State flower of Tennesseefb

(1b) "Northern Blue Flag ( is a type of Iris.  Iris flowers only bloom for one day a year.  Rather than put their energy into producing multiple blossoms that can be seen for weeks or even months out of the year like other wildflowers, Irises prefer to put on a short but spectacular show for pollinators" - from Ranger  Ryan
(2) Iris prismatica: -  native species.  Flowering stalks can reach a height of 80 cm. ...   Flowers are pale blue to blue-violet. ...  in the United States is currently state listed as threatened in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Tennessee, and state listed as endangered in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
(3) Maine Department of Conservation (pdf):  Slender blue-flag (Iris prismatica) is a close relative of the common blue-flag or wild iris (I. versicolor). Slender blue-flag's primary distinguishing feature is its narrow leaves, which are 3-6 mm wide, compared to 1.2-2.5 cm wide in I. versicolor.
(4) Plant Species of Open Wetlands in NYC Parks by Greenbelt Native Plant Center
(5a) Mallard: "Chicks dark brown on top, golden-yellow below, Chicks have dark cap and eye-stripe on yellow face"  pic
(5b) Mallard: "Within a day of hatching, the mother leads the chicks to water for their first swim. The chicks fledge when they are about eight weeks old."  src
(6) Northern Shoveler:  found on Web  mirror   src - "Soon after hatching, the female leads the ducklings to water and teaches them how to catch insects and find plants to eat. The ducklings fledge in 40 to 70 days."
(7) American Black Duck: "The male stays near the nest but doesn't incubate the eggs. He leaves as the incubation period draws to a close and flies to an isolated area to molt.  The ducklings hatch in about 29 days. Shortly after hatching, the female leads them to water. The ducklings eat mosquito larvae and other aquatic invertebrates from the water's surface for the first couple of weeks. As they get older, they begin eating tadpoles and snails. Eventually, they start dabbling under the water for seeds, tubers, and aquatic plants. The female stays with the ducklings for seven to eight weeks, until their flight feathers come in. She then leaves the ducklings and begins her molt."   src  
(8) Duck population in NA

6/7/2014 (Sat) early morning until 12:30pm / after Dim Sum
Lido Beach Nature Reserve / Oceanside (remember it opens at 9am) / Kissena Park

- Today is my A-Day, the day of alarm call. I visited Lido Beach Nature Reserve in the morning. Although I behave myself as a good boy to stay on the trail path, they call me one after one. First is Red-winged Blackbirds. One after one give me alarm calls at the top of trees. Then an Eastern Willet keeps calling me until I completely retreat. This guy went after me when I moved from one point to another. Although I love birds, unfortunately they don't like me and they don't welcome me near their homes. 
- Lido Beach: Painted Skimmer (P1600698.Painted Skimmer - P1600704), a brown damselfly (female Variable Dancer?)
- Oceanside: Painted Skimmer  
- Oceanside: Snowy Egret.  Barn Swallow, get good video and picture.  Least Tern.  Osprey couple.   
- Oceanside: Met the birder with Canon 100-400mm lens, looking for Seaside Sparrow. 
- Kissena Park:  Orange Bluet, getting focus from head to tail.  Forktail (green).  Bluet (blue male), a couple flying in tandem, the female laying eggs for 5+ minutes; probably Familiar Bluet. Eastern Amberwing.

    Orange Bluet -  <1>
    Painted Skimmer -  <1>
    Eastern Forktail -  <1>
    Bluet, blue male & female in tandem -  <1>
    Eastern Amberwing
    brown damselfly -  <1>
    Barn Swallow - <1>   <2> (one branch is not enough for two birds 一枝不能站二燕 - 我淡定, 唔怕你攝位!)  fb
    Song Sparrow - <1>
    Great Egret (Finger-licking) - <1>
    Snowy Egret
    butterfly (Cabbage White?)

    Familiar Bluet - <1>   fb
    Barn Swallow - <1>   <2>   <3>   combined by YouTube Video Editor
    Song Sparrow
    Eastern Willet

(1) 後燕: 唔該前燕讓座, 否則推倒你.  前燕: 我淡定, 唔怕你攝位!
(2) Big Bluet is different.  See here: the narrow triangular eyespots connected by occipital bar, middorsal carina of thorax is blue and black markings on abdominal segments are sharply pointed and arrow-shaped. Illustrated pic

6/1/2014 (Sun) morning before church service
Kissena Park


5/31/2014 (Sat) morning (about 7:30am) until 1pm
JBWR / Broad Channel American Park (with Don Riepe) / Kissena Park

"Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center, and carpool to the Broad Channel beach site to see the annual mating ritual of the horseshoe crab and shorebirds feeding on their eggs." (10am-1pm)
JBWR : various bird singings in close-up are recorded in video (Yellow Warbler, Towhee, Catbird, Tree Swallow).  Owl.  Black-crowned Night Herons.  Glossy Ibises flying in the sky.  Laughing Gulls, Canada Geese (with some young ones), Mallards have a feast of horseshoe crab eggs.  Plovers, probably Semipalmated.  Osprey couple.  Wren.  A warbler probably Common Yellowthroat.  Blue-headed Vireo [also seen on 5/7/2011 at Forest Park], very close to me.
Broad Channel : Dunlin(s) among Semipalmated Sandpipers.
Kissena : orange damselfly.  Barn Swallows.  Pheasant, male.

    Yellow Warbler - <1a>   <1b>
    Catbird - <1>  
    Tree Swallow
    Laughing Gull
    Semipalmated Sandpiper
    RWBB, female with buff tinge around throat - <1>
    Mourning Dove - <1a>   <1b> (cropped)
    Blue-headed Vireo -  <1a>   <1b>  
    Orange Bluet, male -  <1>
    orange? golden? small insect (at JBWR)

    various bird singings - Towhee, Catbird, Tree Swallow & Yellow Warbler
    Dunlin(s) among Semipalmated Sandpipers
    Semipalmated Plovers (at JBWR)

(1) Broad Channel American Park, a city park, is right before the toll of Cross Bay Bridge; last exit (turn right if from JBWR) to avoid the toll.

5/24-26/2014 (Sat-Mon, Memorial)
Summer Conf, GCBC - 賓州東北部的Montrose Bible Conference Center

American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).  Deer.  Rabbit.  Unknown mammal.  Goose in white color. Grackle.  Robin. Unknown sparrow.

    Mammal - <1a> (Gopher?)   <1b> (rabbit, probably eastern cottontail, and it)

(1) It is believed there are 65 mammals believed to occur wild in the state of Pennsylvania, excluding feral cats.  Of these, the Pennsylvania raccoon, Virginia Opossum, 10 species of Pennsylvania bats, the Pennsylvania rabbit known as the eastern cottontail, several species of Pennsylvania squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice and voles, and Pennsylvania’s striped skunk are commonly found throughout the state.  Mercer County and Venango County are home to the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.  The spotted skunk is rare to Pennsylvania, but is found in the south central regions of the state.  The Pennsylvania beaver was trapped to extinction, but was reintroduced to the state around 1919 and is now common throughout the state.   src

Oporornis [genus] warblers:
Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis) 
Kentucky Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Macgillivray's Warbler
- western US  src

5/17/2014 (Sat) around noon / after Dim Sum
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Catbird, FOS.  Cormorant, single and nervous; keep looking around for its partner.  Grackle, very close and making alert gesture and voice.  Rabbit, at least 2 times.  RWBB, many females. Kingbird.  Barn Swallow, many.  Eastern Boxelder Bug (Boisea trivittatus) or other similar?, a lot; a pair is mating.

    Cormorant -  <1>
    Eastern Boxelder Bug


Orangequit,  Bananaquit,  Greater Antillean Bullfinch, Jamaican Oriole,  Red-billed Streamertail (E) and Jamaican Mango (E), Jamaican Tody (E), Common Ground-Dove, White-winged Dove, White-crowned Pigeon, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, American Kestrel, Kingbird, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, American Redstart, Grackle, Tern, Moorhen, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron(?). Ani, Red-legged Thrush, Starling, Mockingbird.      
(not seen?) Jamaican Spindalis (Spindalis nigricephala), formerly called Stripe Headed Tanager.
seen by the guide at Bird Sanctuary, not me - Jamaican Woodpecker

Note: E ~ endemics

album1 (Google+)    album1 (Picasa)   jjjamaica_mybirdlist.htm

View all
Get your own

4/19/2014 (Sat) morning / after Dim Sum
JBWR / Kissena Park

JBWR: Boat-tailed Grackle, males and female. Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Osprey couple, one with a fish.  
Kissena Park: Black-crowned Night Heron (3).

    Tree Swallow -  <1>
    Black-crowned Night Heron

4/12/2014 (Sat) morning / after Dim Sum, very warm
JBWR / Kissena Park

Cowbird, male, at both JBWR & Kissena.
JBWR: Barn Owl, a lucky sighting!  Black-crowned Night Heron. Snapping Turtle (or Diamondback Terrapin or else)?  Ruddy Duck.  Wasp, unidentified, FOS.  Osprey couple.   Cormorants.  Wren(s) singing heard.
Kissena Park: Rusty Blackbirds.  RWBB, female.  Woodpecker, possibly Downy or Hairy.  Possibly Chipping Sparrow.  Cormorant couple.  Many turtles, both Eastern Painted Turtle & Red-eared Slider.  Butterfly, possibly Small White (Pieris rapae), FOS.
Bumble Bee, FOS.  Chipmunk, FOS.

    Barn Owl -  <1a> (mother?)  <1b> (close-up)
    Ruddy Duck -  <1>
    Rusty Blackbird
    RWBB, female
    Cowbird, male -  <1>
    Tree Swallow
    Chipping Sparrow(?)
    Turtle at JBWR
    Eastern Painted Turtle
    Red-eared Slider

    Barn Owl
    Rusty Blackbirds
    Cowbird, male

 (1) 4 subspecies of Painted Turtle.   The small and sometimes bite-size, numerous hatchlings of Painted Turtle fall prey to bullfrogs, snapping turtles, ...  wiki
 (2) 5/29/2011, sighting of Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) at Blue Heron Park.

4/6/2014 (Sun) 8:15-9:45am - windy, chilly since it is still in early morning

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, with a very bright red throat.  Oystercatcher, FOS.  Phoebe.  RWBB, a lot.  Buffleheads, taking off when they saw me at East Pond.  Cowbird(s), M & F. 
(Tree swallow & RWBB). 
Brant, Swans, & Canada Geese.

    Cardinal, male -  <1>
    Bufflehead, male -  <1> (1/1000 sec)
    Tree Swallow -  <1>
    White-throated Sparrow
    Song Sparrow

(1) Red-naped Sapsucker and Red-breasted Sapsucker look similar to Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Red-naped Sapsucker is a woodpecker of the lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains.  Red-breasted Sapsucker is a denizen of the coniferous forests of the northern Pacific Coast.  So neither of them will be found in East Coast.  These two species form a superspecies with the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wiki
(2) The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ... the feather pattern blending nicely into the bark and the shadow. ... The owl eyes are so amazing. ... Maybe they are everywhere and we just don’t notice them because of their camouflage. [Brooklyn:  Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), etc.]

4/5/2014 (Sat) am - windy, cloudy/sunny & warm
Kissena Corridor Park

Robins, many.  No sign of nesting for Red-tailed Hawks at East-West School of International Studies.

    Robin -  <1>

今日同太太的屋企人去拜山.在路上看見迎面飛來的萬元冥通, 散佈地上的種種垃圾. 不禁黯然.  fb

3/30/2014 (Sun)


市民拍得巨型冰雹有約手掌般大,亦有多塊冰雹連在一起,形成巨型冰雹。途人爭相走避以免被冰雹打中,有居於葵涌的市民表示,冰雹持續落下約15分鐘,打到地面及屋頂發出響聲。... 冰雹亦打穿玻璃天花,引致天花出現漏水,商場有如瀑布,雨水由上層湧到下層,積水淹至腳眼位置,清潔工急忙清理積水。


Why Does It Hail in the Summer?  - Hail is a form of precipitation that consists of ice. Hail can form during thunderstorms during the summer. They are formed in clouds with a strong updraft where the air is much colder. When the updraft can longer support the hail, they fall through the sky.

Why does it only hail in the summer?  [More

But it can hail in the winter.
Hail is typically only a warm-weather phenomenon, because its formation requires the strong updrafts of a thunderstorm. However, on rare occasions, sufficient updrafts can develop in a winter storm to produce hail as well as thunder snow. 
It is important to note that hail forms differently than sleet. While hailstones are chunks of ice that form in the storm cloud and fall to Earth before melting, sleet starts as snow or ice in the cloud, melts during its descent, then refreezes as an ice pellet before hitting the ground. It is important to note that hail forms differently than sleet. 

3/22/2014 (Sat) pm - cloudy/sunny & warm
Kissena Park

We saw a starling (look like is a 1st year) trying to hovering over the lake and catching bread on the water.  Mourning Dove.  RWBB.  Northern Shoveler.  A few Ring-billed Gulls, not many; so next week there will not be any left.  Many dead turtles; shell (some are overturned) without much flesh left; killed by poachers?  

    Starling - 
    RWBB (male) -  <1>

Note on hovering:
(1) Hummingbirds & kingfishers do true hovering.  Kestrels, terns and hawks use a kind of "wind-hovering" by flying into a headwind, allowing them to utilize thrust to fly slowly but remain stationary to the ground (or water).  They can wind-hover for small periods of time.
(2) Hovering is a demanding but useful ability used by several species of birds (and specialized in by one family). Hovering, literally generating lift through flapping alone rather than as a product of thrust, demands a lot of energy. This means that it is confined to smaller birds; the largest bird able to truly hover is the Pied Kingfisher.
(3) It is only in hummingbirds that nature has structured the wings in such a way that when in motion they act like a perfect lifting rotor. Their pointed wings do not flap and glide as other bird wings do, but propel them through the air by moving up and down, up and down, at a furious rate of 70 times a second. After feeding at a flower they can fly backward, climb vertically, turn at lightening speed, and come to a sudden standstill in midair. Hummingbirds have been known to fly up to speeds of 60 miles per hour in a tail wind. No bird of prey even attempt to catch a hummingbird in flight.  src   wiki
(4) pdf
flight and size constraints: hovering performance of large hummingbirds

Edgemere Landfill, Queens, NY
Corey saw Greater Scaup & Bufflehead here.

Edgemere Landfill, Queens, NY

3/15/2014 (Sat) pm - sunny & warm
Kissena Park

Grackles, no turtles, an unknown duck possibly male Shoveler or male Scaup.
Singing: Grackle, Cardinal.

    Grackle - 
    Ring-billed Gull (環嘴鷗) -  <1>

1) Incidents of Mixed Clutches among Scaup and Ring-Billed Gulls
2) "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
2b) 煥然一新, 明艶照人的環嘴鷗: 三月初的牠們剛兌去斑駁的冬羽, 換上耀眼的純白羽毛.再加上鮮橙紅色的眼圈和嘴裂,正是春光明媚好紅妝.   fb

3/8/2014 (Sat) am - nice & warm
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Chipping Sparrow, RWBBs, Grackles, 2 Turtles - Eastern Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) or red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), an unknown insect, Robin singing.
今日好有春天的感覺. 溫暖充沛的陽光, 兩隻「早起」的龜在仍然冰封但開始溶解的池邊張望, 看看世界是否如昔, 還有看到First of Season Grackles, 真好!  fb

    Grackle -   <1> 
    Red-eared Slider -   <1>
    Northern Shoveler -   M+F
    Chipping Sparrow

(1) In the past years, many (perhaps a lot) may be red-eared slider instead. 
The painted turtle has a very similar appearance to the red eared slider (the most common pet turtle) and the two are often confused. The painted turtle can be distinguished because it is flatter than the slider. Also, the slider has a prominent red marking on the side of its head (the "ear") and a spotted bottom shell ...    wiki
(1b) Red-eared slider - red marking by sex & age : The red marking on the males is also thought to be larger and brighter. Older males can sometimes have a dark greyish-olive green melanistic coloration, with very subdued markings. The red stripe on the sides of the head may be difficult to see or be absent. The female’s appearance is practically the same during all its life. wiki
(2) Kissena Park Civic Association - info-1  Beverly McDermott (President)

From pheasants being taken away in shopping bags, to fish and turtles being removed from Kissena Lake by the tub-load to a group of individuals coming in and remove hundreds of daffodil [ 水仙] bulbs from various areas throughout the park,McDermott said she has seen it all.
On several occasions 
she witnessed individuals removing red-eared sliders from the lake. After immediately addressing the culprits, letting them know what they were doing was illegal, McDermott was met with responses either in different languages or sharp criticisms about how no one was enforcing that law.
Despite the lack of enforcement, MMcDermott and local elected officials are asking the Parks Dept. to step up and impose the current $250 maximum fine to deter future culprits from striking again.
src  cache
(3) 9 of New York’s Best Hidden Parks and Gardens

3/1/2014 (Sat) pm after Dim Sum  nice & not cold
Kissena Park

    Northern Shoveler -   <1> 

1993 2 28 (Sun) - 2014 3 1 (Sat) :  New York life

第一個七年 (1993-2000) 結了婚 轉了行

第二個七年 (2000-2007) 升官發財 去毒強身

第三個七年 (2007-2014) 睇雀影相 人生幾何

山老鼠鳥 (絨額鳾, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch)  (Sitta frontalis) - Wah Chan   青衣公園 pic 1   青衣公園 pic 2   Another 山老鼠(茶腹鳾) - Eurasian Nuthatch

2/22/2014 (Sat) am & pm after Dim Sum  nice & warm (50F +)
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Corridor Park: too much snow/ice on the ground so I give up the walk.
Spring is not too far away since I saw a (or two?) Robin.  The Robin picks up earthworms from the green grass not covered with snow.  Woodpecker.  etc. [Last year on 3/9/2013 saw many Robins.]

    Robin -   <1> (with earthworm)   <2a>   <2b> (closer cropped)   <2c> (less harsh, better)
    Northern Shoveler -   <1> 


Some worms (蠕虫) living in the ground help to condition the soil (e.g., annelids, aschelminths). 
Annelids (環節動物門) - 常見環節動物有:蚯蚓 (Earthworm) 、螞蟥(又稱水蛭)、沙蠶等。

Q. Can earthworms survive freezing?
A. If frozen, they will die. Earthworms fall into the category of freeze-avoiding invertebrates. Some adults survive freezing temperatures by going below the frost line in winter to "sleep." Earthworm cocoons (蚯蚓繭), however, are much more tolerant to freezing and worm eggs within a cocoon survive deep in the soil over winter to hatch in the spring when conditions are right.   src

Q. When are worms most active?
A. In the fall and spring. Cool temperatures of 50, 60, 70 degrees F and moist conditions are best for earthworms. Earthworms aren't active when it's cold or dry.

Q. What do earthworms do when it gets too cold, too hot, or too dry?

A. Earthworms escape by either burrowing deeply into the soil (up to about 6 feet or 2 meters), or entering a reduced metabolic state known as estivation.  Estivation is a form of hibernation that takes place when temperatures get too hot or too dry for earthworms. When conditions are favorable, the worms will emerge and resume normal activities. 

Q. What happens during estivation?

A. Each worm curls up into a tight ball deep in the soil and slows down its metabolism and bodily functions to survive high heat and drought.   src

2/8/2014 (Sat) pm  after Dim Sum  cold
Kissena Park

Pond is frozen except the small area and most walking path is still covered with ice and snow so is slippy. 
Cardinal, Junco, White-throated Sparrow, etc.

    Dark-eyed Junco - <1>
    Northern Shoveler -   <1>   <2a>   <2b>  

2/7/2014 (Fri)

Winter Olympics opening ceremony




2/2/2014 (Sun)

Winter Storm "Son of Maximus"  is coming.


Note 1:

"The Weather Channel is calling the disturbed weather that will move through the east coast today (2/3) Maximus, but I suggest it is not the same Maximus that dumped snow on Chicago and Detroit over the weekend.

On the weather map for Saturday, the precipitation from Maximus can clearly be seen centered on Chicago, along a front but not connected to any low pressure center. The small low over Texas is what has become the new storm. Let’s call it Son of Maximus.

Whatever we call it, this storm will bring heavy rains to parts of the south and snow farther north — possibly over six inches in some places. Son of Maximus will not develop into a deep low pressure system, so a lot of potential energy will remain across the United States.

The Weather Channel has already named the next storm, Nika — in fact, they named it on Friday, rather prematurely — and expects it to move from Texas to New England in the next few days. Nika also looks like it will depart without developing into a significant low pressure system."  src

Why the Weather This Winter Has Been So Stormy

The contrast between cold and warm air over the United States in the winter of 2014 has been very pronounced.; the potential energy has been high. But most of the storms have been produced by ripples along the front, in places where warm air rides over cold or cold air wedges beneath warm, producing stormy weather, but not releasing much of the potential energy. The exception was Janus, which became a classic nor'easter with deep low pressure. This storm released some potential energy and was followed by a period of relative calm.  src

An updated (up to Winter Storm Quintus falling on 2/15/2014 Sat):


    With news that NYC's snowfall accumulation for the 2013-2014 season cracked the top 10 for the snowiest winters on record, we decided to look at how crazy this snowfall is compared to other years. And guess what—it's definitely one of the snowiest! Especially when you consider how March still lingers on the calendar, pregnant with potential for more powder. And history reminds us that there was a rare April blizzard (April 7, 1982, when 9.6 inches fell in Central Park).   src

Winter 1995/96

2/1/2014 (Sat) [馬年 年初二 ] pm  nice & warm
Kissena Corridor Park / Kissena Park

Corridor Park: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cardinal, Mourning Dove.  Heard Blue Jay.
Except a small area of water, the pond is all frozen. No Hooded Merganser.  But Northern Shovelers, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Gulls and the old Goose are all there.  Red-tailed Hawk couple.  White-throated Sparrows.

    Red-tailed Hawk
    Northern Shoveler - <1> 
    Ring-billed Gull - <1> 
    White-throated Sparrow - <1a>   <1b>  
    People on Icy Pond - <1>   <2>

(1) 二零一四年係雙春兼潤月,用國語讀就有「愛您一世」寓意。

首先,馬年是兩頭春。2014、15年立春都是2月4日,馬年從2014年1月31日 至2015年2月18日,有兩個立春,雙春年特別適宜結婚。
第三是元宵節恰逢西方情人節;第四是這個馬年共計有384天,比蛇年多出29天!  src

闰年中以闰四、五、六月最多,闰九、十月较少,闰十一月、十二月和正月出现的频率较小 (very rare) 。  src   info






1/26/2014 (Sun)  Arctic Surges Continue

"The blasts of Arctic air have been relentless so far this month for many cities east of the Rockies. Unfortunately, for many areas January will end before any significant relief can arrive.

A new surge of frigid air will pour southward from Canada behind an Alberta clipper that will bring snow to the Midwest and Northeast Sunday into Monday. By Monday and Tuesday, temperatures in some cities may rival what we saw in early January."   src

"Contrast this with December 2013, when dozens of all-time December record highs and record-warm daily lows were tied or broken, especially ahead of Winter Storm Gemini Dec. 21-23."    src

"The average temperature for the contiguous United States during January was 30.3°F, or 0.1°F below the 20th century average. The January 2014 temperature ranked near the middle of the 120-year period of record, and was the coldest January since 2011. Despite some of the coldest Arctic air outbreaks to impact the East in several years, no state had their coldest January on record."   src

"Globally, Earth had its fourth warmest January since record keeping began in 1880,"   src

1/21/2014 (Tue)  snow

"The storm, which was expected to dump up to 14 inches of snow on the city by Wednesday morning ..."  src

Winter Storm Janus is bringing a fast-moving but disruptive burst of snow to the heavily populated and traveled I-95 corridor from Virginia to New England. src


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