Aerial Dance

Some fantastic photos from Mickey Raine of Great Blue Herons performing an aerial dance over Mill Creek Marsh on Sunday. Love Mickey’s poetic description:

The pair emerged high above and gracefully circling the main body of water several times.  Their movement was so beautifully synchronized, and the elegant display with the warm tones of the sky during sunset was like watching a performance.

The call to one another went on for most of the flight, and it was clear that one was following the other.  After several circles overhead, they flew over toward the turquoise building with the glass faces, making one loop around it before returning to the marsh area and ultimately flying off to the far northern end of the wetlands.  It was not uncommon for me to see these great birds in flight, but it was a first to see a pair that was certainly engaged in something more than just surveying the water below for fish.  There was no intent to land, for this aerial dance seemed to have a purpose aside from going between Point A and Point B.

Wilson’s Snipe at Skeetkill and More

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

Dispatch from Jim Macaluso, who was at Skeetkill Creek Marsh in Ridgefield yesterday morning:

Took a quick walk over at Skeetkill [Sunday] morning and there were lots of birds there including greenwing teal and mallards; all kinds of sparrows including 2 red fox sparrows, swamp, song, white throats and juncos; gold and house finches and a Greater Yellowlegs; and three Wilson’s Snipe, of which one let me take some pictures of him before he took off. I’ve only been there twice now and both times were surprisingly productive.



Black Friday Kestrel

Kestrel Feeding Disposal 11.27.15 Rich Brown

Catching up on all the great photos you all were kind enough to send over the holiday weekend. Here’s one from Rich Brown of a Kestrel on Friday atop a telephone pole along Disposal Road feeding on what appears to be a small snake. Thanks to Rich and everyone who has sent in pics the past couple days. I’ll be posting more later today and tomorrow.

Great Egrets and More at DeKorte

Mickey Raine visited DeKorte Park on Saturday and sent the following. Thanks Mickey!

Between some errands and a haircut, I ran over to DeKorte Park to see if I would be lucky enough to catch some recently arriving water fowls closer up, but unfortunately, although there, the distance was too far for any decent shots to keep.  But it was nice to see them:  Northern Shovelers; Bobbleheads; Green-winged Teals; Ruddy Ducks; Greater Yellowleg (loner shorebird still here).

I believe the sparrow (in photo at top of post) is that of the Song variety, but if incorrect, please excuse the mistake and offer the accurate ID if you know.  I would appreciate it.



Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Time to Watch For The Rusty Blackbird

We have seen some great success stories in the birding world in recent years. The Bald Eagle has made a triumphant recovery from the edge of extinction, the Peregrine Falcon, once gone from the Eastern United States, has now returned, and the Osprey has become almost commonplace where it once had disappeared. Yet today there are many birds much less known that are in serious decline. But like an old birding colleague once told me, “It’s tough getting people excited about a blackbird”.

Although the big raptors like Eagles and falcons seem much more exciting and can more easily motivate people to protect them, the Rusty Blackbird lacks a press agent and gets little fanfare regarding its plight. But that does not lessen the fact that it is in serious trouble and can use our help.

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