It is hot in New York City as it should be in July. What has been unusual about the weather of late is the rain. For over a week we have been getting heavy rainfall almost every single day for at least a short time. This has been a boon for mosquitoes, which is very annoying and, considering the diseases they carry, potentially dangerous.

But the excess rain has also formed some pretty big puddles and the one in the parking lot at Big Egg Marsh at the southern end of Broad Channel, Queens, is one of the biggest that I know of. How many puddles do you know of that attract Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Glossy Ibis, and a variety of gulls in to bathe and drink? (And that’s saying nothing of the Mallards that swim around on it.) If the puddle wasn’t in the middle of a parking lot it would probably be classified as a pond but in the middle of a parking lot it is, which makes it a perfect place to digiscope from a car. The car serves as a blind and as a defense against the sun and mosquitoes. And you end up with pictures like this:

Herring Gull

Though I had several species to choose from I spent most of my time digiscoping the Herring Gulls. They were just being more photogenic for some reason. Anyway, it seems like a big puddle is their way to beat the heat – here’s hoping you have found something that works for you!

bathing Herring Gull

It was pretty impressive just how much water the gulls would splash into the air as they bathed.

Herring Gull flapping itself dry

You can click the shot above to get a bigger version.

Herring Gull

Though it is just getting a drink, I like to think that this Herring Gull is pretending it is a submarine.

Herring Gull

Like most birds, Herring Gulls must tip their heads back to swallow water.

Herring Gull bathing 3

Even with a waterlogged face this bird manages to look pretty good.

I hope you enjoyed these shots, all of which were taken through my Swarovski STX 30-70 X 95 spotting scope attached to my Canon EOS 50D with the Swarovski TLS-APO digiscoping adapter.

If you want to see more great images of birds check out 10,000 Clicks, our gallery page full of links to hundreds of posts dedicated to a wide variety of species.


Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.