I have not been birding enough lately. Seriously. Sure, last weekend we had a nice trip to Suffolk County and the week before that I went up to Doodletown but that’s it. Once a week is not enough birding! June in New York City is hot, and when it isn’t hot lately it’s raining or I’m working. Yesterday it was not raining and I was not working so I once again made a trip to Jamaica Bay where I hoped to add Gull-billed Terns to my Anti-Global Warming Big Year list and see what birds had stuck around to breed.
As usual, as soon as I exited the bus I was birding. Gulls and herons and swallows were thick overhead and wrens and sparrows and wood-warblers were singing. Song Sparrows seemed more plentiful than usual: I heard and saw several like the one below.
But the real stars of the show yesterday were the herons. Black-crowned Night-Herons flew by overhead and were joined in the marshes by Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. Great and Snowy Egrets were plentiful and I was pleased to see two Green Herons, one on the West Pond and one at close range form the blind at Big John’s Pond. A single Tricolored Heron hunted in the north marsh and, of course, plenty of Glossy Ibis were in the air and in the shallows.
Black-crowned Night-Heron landing at Big John’s Pond
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Jamaica Bay
Green Heron at Big John’s Pond
All-in-all, it was a satisfying couple of hours worth of birding. Oh, and I did get my Gull-billed Tern for the list, number 197 for the year, when I watched one chase off a Least Tern from where the littler bird had been hunting. More importantly though, I got my birding fix, so the withdrawal symptoms weren’t too severe…