Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fort Tilden Continued

Just for a second I wondered if this was hominid...

Fort Tilden was hoping with bird life yesterday. Off shore, I saw two surf scoters, first for the year; Peterson notes that these used to be called “skunkheads” by hunters, because of the male’s white stripe on the back of head, a handy ID in the low glare of sun. Our three species of gull and a small group of sanderlings policed the beach. Away from the sand, Eastern phoebes and palm warblers, both of whom wag their tails a lot, were all about, as were yellow-rumped warblers and tree swallows. Two house wrens whisper-chittered at me. A merlin made several passes overhead, and I finally got a good view of it when it perched. The sparrow complex was driving me crazy; I need some help with these guys, a dozen or so species in the 'hood these days. I walked across the Gil Hodges Bridge, which I had earlier seen raised for the first time. Five of the six bicyclists who passed me on the bridge walkway were riding, even though the sign says dismount and walk. Dead Horse Bay had a bunch of brant, a quartet of black-bellied plovers, eighteen American oystercatchers, and a northern harrier goosing everybody. Altogether I made 26 species for the day, the scoters making it 176 species for the year. Note to self: need sparrow tutorial.

On Dead Horse Bay, I met this guy and his assistant, who were setting up a photo shoot; he stitches multiple images together digitally to make enormous landscapes. Cool work, but obviously needs to be seen on the wall, not on the computer screen. Watch the "Beach" video for a look at the tide coming and going along the bay. "Sittin' on the side of the bay, watching the tide roll away." Twelve and a half hours well spent, if you ask me.

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