Island Hopping

Governors Island is just a short ferry ride away from the Isle of Manhattan, and definitely a summer destination (as well as a spring and early fall place to visit). It has an absolutely incredible view of the Statue of Liberty!

  The view from the west side of Governors Island, Aug. 6

The view from the west side of Governors Island, Aug. 6

There is a lot of nature there, particularly birds and flowers, but good bugs, too! The island has very few cars (only official and vendor motorized vehicles allowed), lots of bicycles, and many pedestrians. Slowly but surely, more and more touristy places to spend your money are popping up on the small island. But in advance of the total commercialization that will probably deprive Governors Island of its charm, I've been visiting and documenting the nature there. On August 6, I walked around the island photographing wildlife and avoiding people. I offer here An August Nature Walk on Governors Island.

For the last two years, a pair of yellow-crowned night herons have been nesting on the island. The babies this year are so delightful.

  Yellow-crowned night heron youngsters, Governors Island, Aug. 6

Yellow-crowned night heron youngsters, Governors Island, Aug. 6

GI 1500 8-6-2017 130P.jpg
GI 1500 8-6-2017 140P.jpg

The first stop of my walk was just west of the castle, where I saw a banded common tern. I watched it for a while, and you can see the flight in the video.

On a building across from the Harbor School, a mother herring gull watched over her kids, occasionally squawking at them. Below, on the ground, two youngsters ran around, stretched or slept. I shifted my focus between the gulls and the heron nest.

  Mama Herring Gull, keeping watch

Mama Herring Gull, keeping watch

  A baby herring gull, hanging out below Mom

A baby herring gull, hanging out below Mom

  A very balletic baby gull

A very balletic baby gull

After leaving the Harbor School area, I walked south along the west shore and found least sandpipers exploring the rocks.

There are flowers to be found everywhere you look on the island, not only in the Urban Garden (which I didn't visit on this trip) or the garden in front of the Harbor School.

And I saw lots of bugs, but focused on the butterflies, including a very beautiful skipper, a monarch butterfly, a cabbage butterfly, a painted lady and a battle-scarred spicebush butterfly (I think, but am not sure).

  This butterfly has seen better days, but has survived. Harbor School garden

This butterfly has seen better days, but has survived. Harbor School garden

The island will remain accessible through the end of October. I will go back, I hope several times, and hope to have lunch those days at Little Eva's.