Sandy Hook and above, below & beyond
"I've been a lot of places
Office Christmas Party Aftermath, May 1 2011
New York City, December 22, 2011
I paid a brief visit to the recent New York City celebrity, the (possible & likely) Rufous Hummingbird at the American Museum of Natural History. The birds showed up feeding at the Mahonia plantings at the east side of the Planetarium entrance at 81st street. It stayed there for about 4 minutes and zipped away towards East. These hummingbirds, a western species, ought to be in Mexico by now (but they are regular in Florida in winter).
detail of the hummer's tail
The hummer feeds from these Asian plants :
Mahonia cf. bealei, leatherfleaf mahonia
New York City, December 20, 2011
Did Professor Pallas ever dreamt of being
part of a Manhattan window display?
Tintin at FAO Schwarz
Pelham Bay, New York, December 10, 2011
Merrill Creek Reservoir, November 20, 2011
Where is Snowy?
I took us about 2 weeks to finally make the pilgrimage to Merrill Creek reservoir to see the gorgeous female immature Snowy Owl. It was clearly worth the trip. The owl likes to sit in amidst the lower part of the rocky scree at the main damn (facing away from the reservoir).
11-11-2011 Surprise Lake hike
Great Blue Heron & crane, Oct.30, 2011, Bayonne, NJ, Lefante Hudson River Walkway.
Harsimus Cemetery, Jersey City, August 20, 2011
Eileen Markenstein, the president of the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery Organization, showed us around the now abandoned Harsimus Cemetery. This place is an excellent combination of history and urban nature.
Hadas and I compiled a first plant list and so far we found 73 species of spontaneous plants, but there are more - see here (plant list).
Eileen always needs volunteers to keep the balance between culture and nature (see www.jerseycitycemetary.org)
Asia meets North America
Tramea carolina Carolina Saddlebag
Green-gilled Lepiota (Chlorophyllum molybdites), spore print on the right (note the green spores)
Partly leucistic House Sparrow
Coney Island, Brooklyn NY, August 2, 2011
Yes, we took the Wonder Wheel & the Brooklyn Flyer (photo), but not before seeing a celebrity:
Grey-hooded Gull: 2nd in the US and quite a celebrity (see New York Times article)
also my first since Kenya (I missed it in Eilat once).
Post-lifer Pina Colada on the boardwalk
Normal gulls (and pigeons)
Palm tree with extreme high water potential (very positive) - I need to remember to show this in class
Coney Island community gardens
And I have to confess that I took the pilgrimage already 3 days before and missed the Star-gull by a mere 1 hour.
Childs Building that until recently housed a roller skates rink. Build in 1923 in Spanish Colonial Revival style, it was the home of one of the many Childs Restaurants and briefly (in 1927) was a strict vegetarian restaurant (until William Childs was removed from the board of stockholders in 1928).
After the rain outside our house in Westfield
Hike to Surprise Lake, July 25, 2011
Chinese garden Hard passage
Aralia hispida (no, not an umbellifer!)
Puddingstone chasm (whatever that is)
Dragons (have to) live here
Sandy Hook, July 17, 2011
Least Tern with chick(s)
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
July 16, 2011 NJMA (New Jersey Mycological Association) mushroom foray
at Meadowoods, Mendham Township
Killers at Site 15 - Liberty State Park, July 13, 2011
A swarm of these impressive hymenopteran insects (length about 4 cm): are busy building a nest on a sandy path at Site 15:
Eastern Cicada Killers (Sphecius speciosus). As the name implies - good not to be a cicada for once.
Spotted Sandpiper nests successfully at Site 15 (Chromium Restoration Site) at Liberty State Park. July 6, 2011
I never noticed them breeding in the area before.
One of the proud and nervous parents
2 of the four chicks 1 of the four chicks (getting back to where the others are)
[ ... noticed that they all wearing glasses? As all young things, they must be Harry Potter fans!]
Great Kills, Staten Island, NY - June 29, 2011
Rüdiger and I once invented a new bird listing system by which one is not simply counting the species seem but the combination of species seen through a given binocular. With about 10.000 bird species in the world and allowing for combinations of up to 10 species (or even more), how many combiantion are possible?? Any mathematicians out there?
What about bird species on the same photo? Below I give an example that is hard to come by.
Believe me, the far background in the photo below is Coney Island NY, so what wrong/special?
Correct, Hooded Crow in the Americas! If this is indeed a wild bird (and it behaves like one), this a record number one (after four or so that were expected to be escapees, see:
I arrived at the described parking lot at the south end of Great Kills at 4 pm and finally after a lot of walking around made contact with the celebrity at 7 pm (after being alerted to its whereabouts by a nice non-birder who asked me if I am looking for THE crow). I am going to count it!
Silene coronaria (rose champion): I found one large individual of this non-native (Eurasian origin) plant along the paths in the coastal scrub/forest at Crooke's Point. I have not seen this species in the NE before.
King Eider at Sandy Hook, May 8 2011
Wilson's Petrels - Hatteras, North Carolina June 2009