Whatever You Say, Willet!

A willet (Tringa semipalmata) joined about a hundred ruddy turnstones on June 1 on a pier at Broad Channel Park in Jamaica Bay and gave them all a talking-to. I'm not sure what this large shorebird was saying to the smaller shorebirds, but the bird was very loud! I filmed the willet for a couple of minutes, and I present the lecture in my most recent Filming the Feathers video.

A willet with ruddy turnstones, June 1, Broad Channel Park, Jamaica Bay.

A willet with ruddy turnstones, June 1, Broad Channel Park, Jamaica Bay.

I added a little music at the end of this short video, because the willet seemed to need a little accompaniment. As you will see, the turnstones weren't all that impressed. Soon after this video, the willet and the turnstones took off (the nearby osprey stayed a while longer).

I enjoyed photographing the willet, even though most of my shots show an open mouth!

Ducks Make Me Happy!

In the midst of despair, I have turned to ducks to counter my depression. There is Woody, of course, and yesterday he offered great solace. Today, I offer you the American wigeon, the newest entry in the Filming the Feathers series.

American wigeon, Prospect Park, November 6, 2016

American wigeon, Prospect Park, November 6, 2016

I first saw a wigeon in March 2014 on the Reservoir in Central Park. Then on Sunday, after a nature walk in Prospect Park, we came upon a pair of wigeons gorging on duckweed north of the Lake. What joy to watch them. Little did we know of the coming apocalypse!

So enjoy these dabblers. We were amazed at the high-pitched whistle they squeaked when chasing off some American black ducks. The mallards could be tolerated, apparently, but not the black duckies!

This first grouping is of the ice skater in March 2014.

And these are the dabblers from November 2016:

So let's celebrate the duckies before the climate change deniers and the hunters take over the Department of the Interior and these guys become even harder to find!

The Most Charming Flycatcher

The eastern phoebe is one of Central Park's most delightful visitors. When they arrive in March and September during migrations, they light up the park with their fluttering and song. I've been watching them since 2013. One of the best days ever was March 29, 2015, when we had phoebes flying all around Turtle Pond, perching on the edge of the water or on bare branches emerging from the water. Most of the video that follows is from that day, but also contains some footage from 2013 and 2016. If I saw phoebes in 2014, I either can't find the videos and photos, or just didn't take any!

Eastern phoebe, March 31, 2015

Eastern phoebe, March 31, 2015

The video is set to the "Lark" symphony by Haydn (the same music I used for the Say's Phoebe video earlier this year).

The first nine photos are from March 2015, and the last three from March, September and October 2016.