As of the first week of February 2016, I already added 7 new birds to my life list -- as many as I added in all of 2015.
The last Saturday in January, I finally saw a Common Merganser on the Central Park Reservoir. It was definitely bigger than the more usual Red-breasted Mergansers,
On the last Sunday in January, we enjoyed an Audubon Society Eco-cruise of New York Harbor. It was a picture-perfect day of bright sunshine, blue skies, calm water, near 50 degrees. The 2-hour cruise took us past the shores of Brooklyn, Governor's Island, Ellis Island, Liberty Island and Bayonne, and down to Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, two small man-made islands on the eastern shore of Staten Island. There are ducks out there, ducks and loons and gulls that don't come inland to the Central Park Reservoir and only occasionally visit the East River or Hudson River for easy viewing.
|Clangula hyemalis. Accept no substitutes.|
|Lots and lots of gulls and cormorants all over the place.|
There are seals too! Harbor seals like to sun themselves on the rocks and sandbars around Swinburne Island. They tend to hit the water when the boats come close, and stared at us from the waves.
|So freaking cute.|
|That is totally a Surf Scoter. Yay!|
In mid-February we went to Florida, with intentions of birding at Laxahatchie and Green Cay reserves near the Everglades. We visited a friend whose home is on the shore of a small lake and surrounded by a moat, and he likes to post photos of white ibis and wood storks gazing into his living room windows while the indoor cats lose their minds. Well, it was all true.
That's in the next post.