Tag Archives: meet-up

Jamaica Bay meet-up

Jamaica Bay

With an eye to the sky and a wish in my heart, Christopher (who had driven down from MA the night before) and I left for the Jamaica Bay outing in the predawn rain.  The closer we got to Queens the brighter the sky became until we arrived to meet Corey and Carrie in the wan light of a muggy August day.  I knew that some folks had canceled due to the forecast so I was pleasantly surprised to find more and more bloggers arriving until we were a group 10 strong.    Corey from 10000 Birds, Carrie from Great Auk or Greatest Auk, Scott from Peace, Caffeine, Linux, Laura from Somewhere in New Jersey, Jay of from BirdJam, Catherine from Birdspot, Cindy from Living in Brooklyn, Longing for Maine, and Anne Marie long-time birding buddy and iheatwarblers on Twitter.  (In fact most of these folks are on Twitter.)

We started on the north end of the East pond, where there had been reports of 3 Wilson’s Phalaropes, as well as the fabled American Golden Plover (a would-be life bird – that, alas, I still have not seen.)  Corey led the charge and sure enough the Phalaropes were swimming in circles just as reported.  The hushed word of a Sora was soon passed from one birding group to another and we hustled over to ooh and ahh over it picking along the reedbed.  Lovely. But not as good of a view as the one I had in Texas.

Jay, Corey & Christopher at Jamaica Bay

As we sloshed along through the water, mud and muck…can I pause here to say a word about the scary, slimy, black, boot-sucking mud?  I should have realized when a shouted “This is the worst of it.” came floating back that I was in for trouble.  As I crossed the mud, my Neos started to sink and stick to the mud like they were glued, until I ended up tottering on one leg like a Flamingo with my barefoot cringing away from the ooze.   With a grimace I slid my barefoot into the slurry.  I stood like ‘my son Jon, with one shoe off and one shoe on,’ tugging, with both hands mind you, at my boot adhered to the mud.  Thank goodness no one has a photo of that!  No, I did not have to leave it there, but it was touch and go, seriously.  Whew, I have to tell you, in full disclosure, that when you go to Jamiaca Bay, boots are a must and maybe going right after a rain is not such a good idea.

As we progressed around the pond the shorebirds scattered before us to return to feeding in our wake.

peeps

There were peeps galore with the Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, Dowitchers, a few Red Knots and Ruddy Turnstones.    The Avocet was exactly where it was suppose to be. There were lots of Tern, Gulls and a Peregrine even put on a show.

avocet

Highlights for the day were the temerity of the Least Sandpipers, the poise of the Avocet, the verve of the Peregrine Falcon, the warmth of friends and…Catherine birding in a dress.

Check out other accounts of the day from:

Corey

Christopher

Catherine is doing shorebird week.

Carrie

Laura

4 Comments

Filed under Local schmocal, Meet-ups

Wading with Shorebirds at Jamaica Bay

East pond

C’mon, let’s take a walk.  Wait, did you go get your permit? Yes?  Ok then.

In a few weeks, there will be a bloggy meet-up at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, NY.  You are coming, aren’t you?  It is one of the most amazing places to see at most times of the year, BUT, my friends, there is nothing like the shorebird migration.  I was there in August last year and the birds were literally at our feet.  We walked around East Pond and then hopped over to walk around the West Pond and through the woods.

JBWR

Not only is it great for shorebird viewing, but the opportunity for photos is outstanding.  AND not to dangle the carrot too close to your face, there have been several rarities there in recent weeks.

JBWR1

Hyped up to go now?  Here is who’s going as far as I know. There are a a few others nibbling the carrot too. (Which is sort of like drinking the Kool-Aid, but not really.)

Anne Marie from iheartwarblers

Dendroica from A DC Birding Blog

Carrie from Great Auk or Greatest Auk?

Matt Bango, driving force behind Chirptracker.com.

Christopher from Picus Blog

Jay the driving force behind BirdJam

Stella, President of Huntington Audubon

Laura from Somewhere in NJ

Patrick from Hawk Owl’s Nest

Corey from 10000 Birds

Catherine from Birdspot

Cindy from Longing for Maine

Scott from Peace, Caffeine, Linux

Birdingbev from Behind The Bins.

You?

peep

17 Comments

Filed under Local schmocal

What’s the deal-ee-o?

“Why are we stopping?”

I shrugged, “I dunna know.”

I pulled the car over onto the grass behind the others.  Diane, Catherine and Christopher peered through the tinted windows at the marsh.  Frowning, I stared out the driver’s side window at the house across the street.  There was a young person lying on a love seat behind a firepit apparently sleeping in the blazing afternoon sun. Caught up in the human drama out my window: Was she drunk? Was that a dog with her? She was definitely going to be burnt to a crisp in this sun; I was brought out of my reverie when car doors started to slam.  As the cry of “Yellow-crowned Night-heron” filtered down the line of cars; birders hopped out and started rifling around in the back of cars for scopes, bins and cameras.

Birders with bins

I was surprised to look across the marsh to see the Night-Heron not tucked into the weeds and grasses with only it’s head showing, but standing out in the open. I had only seen this once before at a park in New Orleans.  Like the NOLA bird, this one was hunting for a little morsel of something.   As we watched, it darted down and came back up gulping.

YC Nightheron

One of my favorite YCNH fun facts. They eat {{shiver}} leeches. Thank goodness something does.

This was but one stop on the Connecticut meet-up.  Huge round of applause for Luke leading (that’s him in the blue sweatshirt) and knowing where to see Night-Herons hanging out snacking on crab.

3 Comments

Filed under Local schmocal