Saturday, August 2, 2008

random recent birds and non-birds

A whole afternoon to myself and what happens? Severe thunderstorms, of course. So on this lazy Saturday afternoon, since I haven't got a new adventure to detail, I'll share with you some recent photographs of stuff I've seen in Brooklyn and environs.

Here's a bird I "spotted" at the edge of the Reservoir in Central Park. It had lots of spots on its front, and seemed most like a spotted sandpiper of all the sandpipers in my field guide.

This here bird is a mystery to me. It seemed very young, and I think it had small flappy wings that wouldn't yet support flight. My original guess was maybe a juvenile cormorant, but I grew less confident in that the more I looked at picture online of verified juvenile cormorants. This bird was alone swimming and resting at the edge of the Reservoir in Central Park.

Here's a friend I found on my second trip to the salt marsh at Marine Park - a monarch readying for a snack of clover nectar.

When I pass through the Long Meadow in Prospect Park on my way to work, there's a good chance I'll see an interesting insect, just because it's usually sunny and very warm at that time of day. Here's a lovely beetle. I know there are more than 350,000 types of beetles and something like 25,000 of in North America alone, and I haven't found this one in a field guide yet. I love the challenge of a real stumper.

Next we have another lovely entry in the butterfly category. I spotted this one on a sign near Boulder Bridge in Prospect Park.

This little guy Chrissy pointed out to me while pumping gas on Coney Island Avenue late at night. It was about an inch long and very fuzzy.

This is another beetle I found while crossing the Long Meadow - a Japanese beetle, I think. I can't get over how shiny it is. The golden spots at the edge (which I learned from a field guide are not solid spots but little hairs) remind me of something I learned at the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. Some of the caterpillars, when making their green chrysalides, adorned the edges with shiny golden droplets, in the attempt to deter birds from eating them. I wonder if this beetle's design serves a similar purpose.

And this is the gorgeous underside of an eastern painted turtle. Chrissy pointed out the turtle to me on the path that enters the Long Meadow between the wildflower meadow and the Upper Pool. We watched it flip itself over accidentally while trying to squeeze through a space in the fence that was much too small to accommodate its shell. At first I was a little alarmed and thought I should help it right itself, but I decided to give it time. It turned itself over easily and resumed plowing into the fence.

Would you look at that? The sun came out! Seeya!


amarilla said...

hi bluebird, i'm so happy to have discovered your writings and photos. i especially love the way you write about wind.

the first beetle in your post, i believe i ran into yesterday under some unfortunate circumstances.

M.Thew said...

Your green beetle has me stumped. But your fuzzy caterpiller looks like a sycamore tussock moth, Halysidota harrisii. They're obviously fond of sycamores, but I wonder if they like planetrees, which are half sycamore.

BTW, your trips to the Salt Marsh inspired me to go down there for the first time the other day. Very nice!

Christopher said...

Nice shot of the "spotty."
I believe that the other bird photo is likely an immature merganser - I think hooded based on color and shape of bill.
Great blog!

Rob Jett said...

The waterfowl is definitely a Hooded Merganser, either a female or juvenile male.

For insect ID questions, I recommend checking out:

Love your blog.

Bethy said...

you are very knowledgeable!