Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Tri For Another Tan and Going Pro

To me, it sounded like there was a large truck without a working muffler parked outside my bedroom window Monday night. It was rain and thunder in the 'holy-crap that’s loud' department. Tuesday April 21 I awoke to much of the same, with a torrent falling in the street.

Naturally, I was in no rush to leave the house. I did a number of things that needed to be done, though honestly, not as much as I should have. Phil Jabiru finished his morning tasks, and with a few texts we coordinated the days plans.

Task one was supposed to be [yet] another attempt at Tricolored Heron, but Sam Jacana found a Summer Tanager at Jones beach. And this time I decided to go there first. Other birders were on site, as was Sam, but the bad news was that the bird flew off and could not be relocated. We joined the search, but the result was naught. Later we learned that the bird was hit by a car. Sad.

Not wanting to waste time, we moved on. The Marine Nature Study Area was at high tide, though not wanting for Snowy Egrets or Great Egrets. Would we find our target? We found and admired Glossy Ibis, and then I noticed some birds trying to go unnoticed in the vegetation: my long sought after Blue-winged Teal! I though for sure I was going to miss this bird this year, but there they were in all their hidden glory. YB1!

m & F Blue-winged Teal
We continued on to the bay, and along the way saw the large number of Brant take off, and then saw why. Above in the sky was a drone, and while most of the other birds didn’t take much notice but the Brant sure did. And so did the 3 Willets, which both Phil and I enjoyed as a YB.

What I like about this place is how they have placed branches into the soil so that birds have a place to show of... er, perch.

Red-winged Blackbird
At the waters edge we scanned and shivered, as the nasty and cold wind continued unabated from the weekend. I could hardly hold my bins steady in the cold wind as I scanned hoping for finding a desired heron but once again the heron bested me. Oh well.

Again, time was of the essence. Both of us wanted to try for the Prothonotary Warbler gracing Prospect Park, and be able to get home on time. So we headed west into the slog of traffic. It would be so wonderful to visit all of these places without traffic, but that is only a fantasy in the overpopulated place we live. Of course, the flip side is we have a disproportionate number of great birders finding great birds - the devil’s revenge.

Finally arriving at Prospect park, we walked to the Terrace bridge. This is the place where the Prothonotary has most reliably been sighted, especially earlier this day. We didn’t find the bird, but we did find a number of photographers who said they had seen the bird earlier and were all to eager to show off their shots.

We walked around and saw lots of Palm Warblers, a few Pine Warblers, and joining the Robins and a couple of Towhees, Phil picked out a Louisiana Waterthrush foraging in the leaf litter uncharacteristically away from the water.

We walked here and there, and then back towards the underside of the bridge. At this point a few other birders were on the other side of the water and they appeared to be looking at something in earnest. I inquired, and learned that they were looking at a Yellow-throated Warbler. I could not locate it, and the bird I saw in the tree was a Yellow-rumped. But then very unexpectedly the Prothonotary flew in ~under~ the bridge, and started picking at the wood bracing!

If you want to pass you must answer these questions three...
What a bird! The sight of it just evokes joy. Yes! And a YB. 

Prothonotary Warbler

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