Tag Archives: winter

Wordless Wednesday

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Filed under backyard, carnival

Still in Winter’s Icy Grasp

February is the cruelest month.

Although the evening shadows lengthen slowly over field and wood,

the biting winter winds still hold sway,

tossing the long brittle grasses,

while small sparrows ride the stems,

resigned to the cold,

looking forward to spring.

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Filed under Local schmocal

Grebes in Winter Wear

horned-grebe

eared-grebe

Grebes are similar looking in winter.  Can you tell the difference?  Which one is the Eared and which is the Horned?  tick. tick. tick… Leave the answer in the comments and tell me why.  You may use your book.  You may begin now.  (I always wanted to be a proctor.)

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Filed under Local schmocal, Photos

Odd Yellow Pine Siskin

green-morph-pine-siskin

While chatting on the phone and idly looking out the window, I noticed an odd Siskin with a small flock pecking around on the ground under the feeders.  It looked positively lemony compared to the other hundred or so swirling around the yard.  People have been reporting “green-morph” Pine Siskins here and there.  I wonder if that is what I have.  I looked in big Sibley and he calls it a “Yellow Adult.”  Look at it on the bottom right of the feeder.  It has more pronounced yellow on the wing and look at that butter butt!  It’s undertail is a pale yellow too.  Being only 1% of the population, I did not think I would see one.  But, by Jove, I think I have one.  What do you think?  Have you ever seen one?

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Filed under migration

Birding Liberty State Park

lsp

Loads of toursits visit the Statue of Liberty when they come to New York City for the first time.  Few of them realize that Liberty State Park,  located smack-dab on the Hudson River amidst the crush of humanity in Jersey City, is a local birding hotspot.  With a mix of large open fields, marshland, a pine grove, weedy margins and mudflats when the tide goes out, it offers up a plethora (I love that word) of birding habitats.  It is especially good in winter.  There is a Snowy Owl there most years, living large on the rats.  There are also lots of different types of ducks, gulls and shorebirds.

I went down to the park with friends today to try for the Snowy.  It has been hanging around the golf course and waterfront.   I was also hoping to see the Eurasian Widgeon, immat. male Common Eider and 7 Woodcock that had been reported.  But I skunked on all of them.  I did see Green-winged Teal, loads of Brant, 2 Killdeer, 2 Horned Grebe, lots of Buffleheads,  DC Cormorants, Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Black Ducks and the regular seagulls crowd-Herring, Greater Black-backed and Ring-billed.

Now that I know the lay of the land, so to speak, I plan on going back when it is a nicer and hopefully less windy day.  I wonder when Snowy Owls leave to go back north???

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Filed under Local schmocal

Downy Woodpecker

downy-woodpecker

Have you ever seen this before?  Look at those 2, count them, 2, red patches.  When I first saw him, I thought maybe he was something else, but no, look at that small bill.  He is definitely a Downy; but a bird with a different sense of style. If one red patch is good then two must be better.  Oooo, but I bet he is a killer with the ladies.

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Filed under backyard

Great Backyard Bird Count 2009

Pine Siskins

I wasn’t going to participate in the GBBC this year since I am leaving for Texas on Sunday morning and won’t be able to finish the weekend.  I half-heartedly noticed 2 Black-capped Chickadee, 1 White-breasted Nuthatch and 1 Downy Woodpecker yesterday morning when I filled the feeders.

BUT, this morning, I happened to look out the kitchen window and HOLY Pine Siskinagogo (if I can borrow the term from @ratcliffe).  There are hundreds of them in the backyard.  Literally.  They are EVERYWHERE: in the trees; on all the feeders, in the shrubs, the ground is alive with them.  I wish there was a way of sharing just what I am seeing.  It is like a scene from the “Birds” and would be frightening if they weren’t 5″ long.

pine-siskin-waiting1

Quick, run to the window.  What are you seeing?

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Filed under backyard