Sunday, July 11, 2010

Purple Martins, Waxwings and More

It's been awhile since I've done a real bona fide Long Island Birds post - so where we go.  Thanks to Mike Lotito for tipping me off to Wading River Ponds which is a most excellent location for photographing Cedar Waxwings, a species which I've seen on perhaps two or three other occasions.  Those photo ops left me wanting much more, which Wading River has fulfilled.  Also present were ducklings, a yellow warbler, a ruby throated hummingbird (no photos) and a belted kingfisher.  An excellent location, especially considering what an awful condition the ponds are in due to neglect and seeping septic systems.  The Town of Brookhaven, however, which "owns" about 90% of the ponds (the other 10% belongs to the Town of Riverhead) has a plan in place to replace the bulkheads and enhance the surrounding area to improve the quality of the pond for wildlife and residents.  (Above: Eastern Kingbird with prey)

Above/Below: Cedar Waxwing.  Notice how the beak is open - it was about 100* (at 5:00 PM no less) when these photos were taken, and as such the birds were a little hot.  They have their mouths open because they are "panting" similar to a dog when it gets overheated.

The bird in the photo below does not have its mouth open - this is somewhat of a guess, but based on it being quite wet, I'm guessing it is temporarily cooled by taking a brief bath in the pond:

Some ducklings to round things out from the Ponds:

There are two Purple Martin "houses" in East Quogue that I have been frequenting - they don't mind human presence (and in many ways depend on humans) and always seem to come back with awesome prey for their young ones.  Below: Male Purple Martin with a Red Admiral Butterfly

This female came back with a Red Admiral as well:

And here is a male with a big fat dragonfly:
A few fledgling barn Swallows made for cute subjects on Friday Morning:

These siblings weren't getting along well


  1. Hi Luke,
    What a splendid blog you have... The cedar waxwing shots are sumptuous and your banner is terrific! Congrats and keep going on!

  2. Chris,

    Thanks for the compliments. I try my hardest to make this photo blog a cut above the rest out there.

  3. Of course I am partial to the purple martin pics. Lovely shot of the male with the butterfly and the barnies are wonderful as well. As for the lead in shot of the king bird....all I can say is -perfect composition!