Wednesday, September 18, 2018,
This is an Eastern Kingbird that I managed to photograph at the Marine Nature Study Area (MNSA) in Oceanside. I saw my first Kingbird several years ago at West Meadow Beach. The Audubon birders I was with made a big deal of the sighting, but I didn’t understand the excitement. It was just a bird sitting atop a tree that was too far off for me to get a decent photograph. At the MNSA, these birds, while perhaps not common, are regularly seen. The problem, for me, is that they tend to perch outside of the range of even my biggest lens. Luckily for me, this particular bird wasn’t too far off. It wasn’t exactly close but it was close enough. Close enough for me to get these photographs. Now that’s the sort of thing that excites this birder. It’s all about the photo op for me. JK
Thursday, August 1, 2019,
Two weeks ago I posted a photo of an Oystercatcher doing some stretches at Nickerson Beach. This is another Oystercatcher – a juvenile this time – doing a similar stretch. The adults are more striking looking than their kids but I think I like this photo better than the previous one. I believe the background is the major difference. The crashing surf and blue water make for a more pleasing setting than just a sandy beach.What do you think? JK
Wednesday, May 8, 2019,
These are two photos of a pair of Common Snapping Turtles mating, The female is only apparent in the top pic but, trust me, she’s present in both photographs. I’ve seen this at least four times before but every other time that I’ve witnessed this, I was in a kayak. This is my first “by land” sighting.
This occurred at Frank Melville Park in Setauket while I was waiting and hoping to find Green Herons nesting at the park. To answer your immediate question, yes, it does appear that the Green Herons are nesting here for at least the fourth year in a row. These Snapping Turtles are merely a bonus but, oh!, what a bonus. It’s not every day that you come across something like this. As this was going on – and it went on for at least thirty minutes – I was calling people over, not just fellow photographers, but folks with dogs and Moms and Dads with kids in tow. Everyone seemed to enjoy the show.
Despite appearances, this is a happy turtle. Now, as a matter of size and strength, his head is about the same size a grown man’s fist. Check out the size of his foreleg. That is mostly muscle. Imagine just how strong this guy is. And now, think about this: Snapping Turtles are the largest turtles in this and every other freshwater pond on Long Island, but this guy and his girlfriend are not the biggest Snapping Turtles at Frank Melville Park. Not by a long-shot. There are at least two much larger Snappers at the park and if you’re ever lucky enough to see them, they will take your breath away. JK
Friday, April 19, 2019,
This is a pair of photographs of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. I took these pics last December and I just never got around to posting them. This happens much more often than you would think. Actually, it happens more than even I realize. This is a case in point. I was looking for another photograph – the one I used in the previous post – when I came across these two pics. I had forgotten all about them and I even had to check to see if I ever used them. I had not and that is the reason that you’re seeing them here today.
I take a lot of photographs and, sometimes, a few are actually in focus. Unfortunately, I often find it easier to take the photographs than finding something witty or informative to write about them. And sometimes I’m just too darn lazy. I don’t recall the reasons that I never posted these pics till today, whether it was brain freeze, laziness, or maybe even forgetfulness – I’m no Spring Chicken, after all – but time and chance have finally combined to give me something to say about these pics. There are no pearls of wisdom here, and certainly no information about Woodpeckers, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve gained some insight into the less than brilliant mind of a guy who takes too many pictures. JK