Thousands of islands and some cool birds

We spent the last few days before school visiting friends in the Thousand Islands. It wasn’t a birding trip, but I carried my binocs around and saw some cool birds anyway.

I got interested in birding when I lived in NYC/Long Island, which means I grew up with coastal birds, something the Albany area seriously lacks. it was wonderful to see osprey nests on the power poles!I don’t know if this one was an adult bird hanging  out at the nest for nostalgia’s sake or a young’un hoping for one last meal.

My friends’ house is on a tiny cove so the water is significantly calmer there than in the open river. We had great views of Great Blue Herons hunting from the docks:

Improvised digiscoping through binoculars

Sometimes their heads were lower than their feet. Those rigid docks look so strange to me — I keep wondering what happens when the tide comes in!

A Green Heron patrolled the rocky end of the point, while Belted Kingfishers rattled, perched and dove for minnows. the Ospreys came through often, once catching a fish so large she couldn’t pull it out of the water. She tried bravely, getting a few inches from the surface, subsiding and resting her outspread wings on the water, then surging upwards again. After four tries, she finally let go of the fish and flew off shaking water from her wings in what looked like aggravation.

And I saw a new bird for my life list: the Caspian Tern! The largest and most gull-like tern, it still has the graceful tapered wings of a tern and, of course, it dives for small fish. They circle, circle, flying with their heads pointed down, then  splash!, the food is swallowed in flight, and they go back to patrolling.

Blue Jay, American Crow, European Starling, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Mallard, Turkey Vulture, Red-Tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Caspian Tern, Ring-Billed Gull, Herring Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Grackle, Osprey, Red-Winged Blackbird, Belted Kingfisher, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, House Sparrow, Robin, Cardinal, Black-Capped Chickadee, Wild Turkey, Common Raven.

27 species, 3 new to this list, 1 life bird!

Thanks for a wonderful visit, Millers!

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Categories: Bird photos, Life bird!, New bird, OMG bird, Species count | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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