My mom was in town this past weekend for a date with me at a rained-out Yankees game on Friday and to celebrate my 25th birthday on Saturday. Since it was so hot on Saturday, Chrissy and I took her to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where I was sure there'd be a sea breeze. She enjoyed our trip to the salt marsh at Marine Park, and I couldn't think of a lovelier thing to do on my birthday than share a place I love with a person I love.
But, boy, was I wrong about the sea breeze! It was perhaps even hotter there because there's very little shade. It was also early afternoon, not the best time for birds. But we saw the ospreys on their platform nest, plenty of Canada geese, a pair of snow geese, lots of gulls, two black-crowned night herons, and several very long-necked great blue herons.
The tide was out while we walked around the West Pond, and there were tons of birds out on the mudflats, too far to see any details. The frustration rekindled that old, familiar desire to have my own spotting scope for occasions and locations such as this. I'd love to have your recommendations, reviews, and warnings for/against certain brands/models in the <$1000 range.
At Blind Pond, the water level was extremely low, and therefore, not very attractive to birds. I did, however, see one new life-bird on my birthday: a northern waterthrush gleaning what it could from the pathetic puddle. I didn't get a good photo of the bird, but just a foot in front of the blind basked this gorgeous caterpillar:
And, as a treat just for you, here is a photo of one of Mother Earth's natural color palettes: