I got up around 7:00 this morning and had a light breakfast of toast and black coffee before heading out for a drive to Staten Island Road with my friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne. We left the house around 8:00 am. I was in pain and moving slowly but figured I could handle an outing during which I didn’t have to walk a lot.
I told the Universe I wanted to see a species of bird I’d never seen before (it IS migrating season after all) and a Snipe. I got the snipe; two, in fact. I don’t know why those odd little birds make me happy, but they do.
We saw quite a few raptors on the drive including several Red-Tailed Hawks, a Red-Shouldered Hawk, a couple of American Kestrels and Northern Harriers. That’s the most of them we’ve seen in a long time.
In the fields were flocks of Canada and Cackling Geese and Greater White-Fronted Geese. There were Sandhill Cranes in the fields, too, even among the cattle. Overhead, too, there were so many flocks moving around, some of them very large, that the air was filled with noise.
Along the fences we saw tons of House Finches, Brewer’s Blackbirds, and Red-Winged Blackbirds. We also came across a Black Phoebe and a Say’s Phoebe, some White-Crowned Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows.
And in one of the sloughs, we saw a pair of Great Blue Herons. It’s unusual to see two so close together, and I wondered if they were a mated pair or siblings.
In the flooded fields we saw Northern Shovels, Ruddy Ducks, Canvasback ducks, Tundra Swans and Mute Swans, Killdeer, American Pipits, a Bufflehead, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Black-Necked Stilt, and American Coots in the water.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
We were out for about 3 hours before I started to get hungry and in pain, so we quit the road and headed into town to look for somewhere to have lunch. The first place we came across was Olive Garden. I haven’t eaten there in ages, and their all-you-can-eat soup and salad lunch really appealed to me. So, I had the Zuppa Toscana soup, salad and breadsticks, a spinach-artichoke dip appetizer with flatbread crisps, iced tea, and Italian donut puffs with raspberry sauce. Sooooooooooo yummy.
Buy Me a Coffee!
Donate $5 to buy me a coffee so I have the fuel I need to keep exploring and bring more of nature to you. Thanks!
- American Coot, Fulica americana
- American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
- American Pipit, Anthus rubescens
- Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
- Black Angus Cattle, Bos taurus var. Black Angus
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
- Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
- Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria
- Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
- Eared Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
- Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
- Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
- Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
- Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
- Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
- Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis
- Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
- Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
- Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya
- Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
- Tundra Swan, Cygnus columbianus
- Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
- White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Wilson’s Snipe, Gallinago delicata