Everything But the Wheatear

All the serious birders on the east coast were at the Croton Train Station Boat Ramp a few weeks ago getting a look at the very rare wheatear.  I saw mention of it, but never took the five minute trip to see it.

I did manage to photograph my usual subjects.

Cormorants on the Croton River snags. The seagull got the fish.

Little Snowy Egret on the Croton River

Young swan with its parent on the Croton River

Young mallard on the Croton River

Mallard family. The kids are growing up.

This flicker was looking over his family. He is in the red tailed hawk

Here is the flicker family at Croton Point Park.

This young red tailed hawk is looking for rats in the red tailed tree at Croton Point Park.

Sparrow family grooming in my dogwood bush.

This young woodpecker is about the size of a red bellied, but has the markings of a downy.

Tribute

After ten years I finally have a desire to visit the World Trade Center site.  Here are pictures of what the area around Ground Zero looks like today.    On this day ten years ago, from far away you could see the wind swirling the ash high into the sky.  I have always felt that ash carried the Spirits that are now in the air we breathe.

From Jersey City looking over the Hudson River to Ground Zero:

Pictures on the Jersey City 9/11 Memorial Steel Beam

Jersey City World 9/11 Memorial Pictures on World Trade Center Steel Beam

Jersey City World Trade Center Memorial Steel Beam

Jersey City World Trade Center Memorial Firefighter with Ground Zero Behind

Jersey City World Trade Center Memorial Firefighter's Feet

Jersey City World Trade Center Memorial

Jersey City Freedom Fighter statue World Trade Center Memorial Tower in background

The birds fly on the wind where we breathe our Spirits.  The Jersey City peregrine falcons, 55 Water Street peregrine falcons and Riverside Church falcons are thriving in the air around the World Trade Center Memorial.

101 Hudson, Jersey City Peregrine Fledglings, 2011

55 Water Street, NYC (six blocks from Ground zero) Mother and Eyas

Riverside Church Peregrine Falcon (many birds from this site have gone on to establish families of their own in and around NYC)

And a few names from the Jersey City Memorial:

Jersey City World Trade Center Memorial Names

A Visit from my Grandson

I had the wonderful privilege of my youngest six year old grandson making a visit.  He will probably be a big time birder.  We went out two days in a row and he had the patience and persistence to just keep watching.  He could have hung in there much longer than I.  We got to see a Great Egret and the usual seagulls and geese.  We were looking for shorebirds, great blue herons and osprey, but Hurricane Irene wrecked the shore and the waters remain quite high.  Before my grandson got here, I managed to see some other nice birds.

My grandson and I caught this one preening.  We also saw it catch a fish, but my picture of the egret with fish at DeKorte was much better.

We ended our unproductive search for the great blue herons with this mockingbird:

Before my grandson’s visit, I saw these guys at Croton Landing:

A raven at Croton Point Park:

I caught my local red tailed hawk at Croton Point Park.  I thought the bird would fly off over the landfill in the direction it is looking here.

Silly me.  The hawk turned and did not want me catching its squirrel.

Again, I had a teleconverter on the big lens.  I should have just left things alone.

Yup, coming right over the top of me.  Wrong settings and lens.  Thought it would go in the other direction.