Friday, May 6, 2011

Birds along the Peconic River

This afternoon I stopped at EPCAL again after work and was underwhelemed with the severe lack of birds.  A few Eastern Meadowlarks and Kestrels, a Brown Thrasher, some Eastern Towhees, a Prairie Warbler in the distance (heard the unmistakeable call) a Turkey and a lot of ticks.  On my way home I was feeling a bit dejected and decided to stop at the Canoe launch/fishing spot along the Peconic River directly across the road from Snowflake Ice Cream in Riverhead (there is a small roadway on the South side of the road that leads to a LIPA substation.  A small parking lot is located here as well).  I remembered that last year an aggressive Yellow Warbler had been reported - pecking its reflection in the mirrors of cars - so I wanted to see if I could find any warblers.  I almost didn't bring my camera to the river but thought I should "just in case".  Not more than a minute later this Osprey appeared seemingly out of nowhere with a freshly caught herring (?) in its talons.  It saw me and made a quick U-turn and almost lost the fish in the process.

This is only the 3rd time photographed an Osprey with a whole fish (the first time had poor lighting, the second time I had the wrong lens on) and I was so thrilled!  My settings weren't perfect, so the images aren't as great as they could have been - but a wonderful surprise regardless.  This convinced me to stay a bit and I found the following birds:

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (a new species for me)

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (in full breeding plumage - a new feather set for me)

Yellow Warblers (at least 2)

Eastern Kingbirds (always happy to find them - especially with a pleasing background)

Baltimore Oriole (there were at least 2 males - possibly more - calling for females attention)

I also had a Pine Warbler that was not as cooperative as the others.

For help ID'ing birds (like the swallows) I used the following book:  National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America

1 comment:

  1. beautiful set of pictures. I had the chance to see a yellow warbler over here that lost its way... I love your swallow picture a lot, but all are really nice.