Sunday, 25 September 2016

New York, Washington DC + Buffalo - Part One

Date: 2nd - 7th September 2016
Location: New York City, Washington DC + Buffalo (Niagara Falls)
Weather: Blue Sky, Sunny + 30+ Degrees
Other Species: Ring-Billed Gull, Laughing Gull, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Grey Catbird, Double Crested Cormorant, Blue Jay, White-Breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Red Cardinal, Pied Billed Grebe, Red-Tailed Hawk, Black Capped Chickadee, Rock Pigeon, House Sparrow, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Northern Mockingbird - Of Note

Observation: With Dad off in Majorca (see previous posts) me and my sister headed off to America. The trip which we had been planning and saving for over 18 months had finally arrived, the trip involved 7 flights and 5 states over the course of 2 weeks. I set an aim of 1 new bird for each state we visited (as I wasn't going actually going birding and didn't have my 400mm or binoculars with me). All images and wildlife seen were photographed with my Canon 7D and Canon 18-135mm lens ONLY so excuse some of the images.

First stop off was New York City, places visited included Liberty Island, DUMBO Park and of course a day in Central Park (would have been rude not to!)

I caught the boat across from Battery Point to Liberty Island, and there was an abundance of Laughing Gulls, Ring-Billed Gulls and Greater Black Backed Gulls. A few smaller birds including Common Grackle and Blue Jay's also around the Island.

The same day I visited DUMBO Park across the Brooklyn Bridge to do some night pictures (I'll include these at the end of the blog). Whilst I was waiting for Sunset, a quick search of some new ticks was in order. Within minutes I spotted this adult Grey Catbird feeding this single Juvenile. When the adult had left I moved around but couldn't find a better angle (They were well hidden in the bushes and the other side of a large fence).

Here's the Juvenile in between feeds.

I settled down on some rocks as Sunset approached and this little one hopped down in front of me, my first new tick! A Common Yellowthroat (Female).

With my aim achieved for this state and on the first day I was very happy!

We visited Washington DC for a day trip via the Amtrak service. Just past the Capitol Building I heard a small woodpecker type call to look up and distantly see this....
White-Breasted Nuthatch. My second new tick again within hours of arriving!

(I promise the Nuthatch is in the picture!)

With my aim achieved once again, I decided to improve some of my previous ticks.

This moulting Blue Jay was more than happy to pose for a few shots!

American Robin's seem to always been in groups when feeding, unlike ours?

Now back in New York for a final day, this was the one day I was allowed to go birding in Central Park (was on holiday with a non-birder!).

At the Boating Lake, this moulting Red Cardinal is always a highlight to see, so camouflaged for such a bright bird!

I sat for a short break in a sheltered area, where someone had put some oat flakes down on the rocks. Within minutes of settling, 4 Mourning Doves landed to take advantage of the oat flakes.

This one seemed to be confused by the sound of the shutter!

The blue ring around the eye indicates they are Adults.

I walked around the Reservoir which is located on the northern part of Central Park in the hope of some new water birds.

A few Double-Crested Cormorants were present.

A bit of a surprise find, Pied Billed Grebe! It was fishing further out but seemed to come right into the shoreline to pose for the pictures!

The Terrapins were taking advantage of the sunny weather.

I was a little disappointed that I hadn't seen any Red-Tailed Hawks this time until I heard the familiar call which sounds like our Buzzard and looked up to find this....

It seemed to be very happy with the catch of a Grey Squirrel!

Next up on our travels was Buffalo (Niagara Falls). We stayed on the American side and enjoyed the Falls!

In Niagara Statepark, I was amazed to find some Black Squirrel's, I asked and they advised these are common and also have the Grey Squirrels and also Yellow Squirrels within the park!

I come across a group of Black-Capped Chickadee high in the trees, they were very much like our Coal Tits but alot larger! Another new tick for me!

So far the trip was going extremely well, with 3 new ticks (1 in each place).

In the next blog, I visit Los Angeles, San Francisco and a final few days in New York.

Thanks For Looking !

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