Looking Back

Thursday, September 24, 2020,

This is a juvenile Oystercatcher looking back at me as I was photographing it at Point Lookout Beach. I don’t know that this will be the last juvenile Oystercatcher that I photograph this year, but these pics do make for a decent bookend for what has been a pretty good year for Oystercatchers here on Long Island. This particular bird was banded, as you can see in the photo below, so I hope that I can maybe photograph it next year or, at the very least, follow it’s exploits in the coming years. I wish you well, my young one, and I truly hope that our paths cross again.  JK.


A Great Egret With Lunch

Monday, September 21, 2020,

Like the title of this post states, this is a Great Egret with its lunch. Now, even though I am no one’s idea of an informed birder, I have spent enough time near and even on the water to recognize the bird in this photo. However, while I can identify some fish, this particular one was a mystery to me. Luckily, I know some folks that are far more informed than I am. Mike Farina is the Conservation Biologist at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, NY. Mike really knows his stuff and was able to ID this hapless fish as a female Striped Killifish, which are also known as Striped Mummichogs. I’ve been aware of Killies, as we used to call them, since I was a kid, but I had no idea they grew this large.

One of the best things about being Joe Kayaker is meeting and knowing people that are in the actual business of working with, studying, and protecting all kinds of species. These folks are amongst my heroes. Honest. Mike and John, Amber, Annie, Chris and several other fine people work hard every day to study, protect, and preserve not only the species that visit Long Island but the very habitats in which they need to thrive in. You rock guys, you really do. JK.

A Good Sign

Tuesday, September 15, 2020,

This is a pair of pics of a juvenile Green Heron at Frank Melville Park. The key word here is juvenile. You see, a pair of Green Herons has nested at the park for at least the past four years. Unfortunately, after three years of producing three chicks each season, last year’s nest failed. Twice. Both nests were destroyed by storms. It was the first time in at least four years that our park’s Green Herons did not produce any young. Stuff happens and yada,yada,yada, when nest failures occur, sometimes the returning couple do not return. I was fully aware of this and I was worried that “our” Green Herons might not return. However, earlier this year, I saw at least one of the Herons bringing nest materials to the same small island that they had used in the previous years. Alas, nothing ever came of it and no nest was ever fully completed there. I feared the worst. Fast forward to last week when I saw this very beautiful and very welcome bird fishing in the estuary behind the Mill. Now, I cannot be certain that this youngster is the offspring of the couple that used to nest at Frank Melville each year, but I choose to believe so. JK.