Osprey and fish
On Friday I went up to Inwood Hill Park in search of an Osprey. Anya Auerbach had described the bird's roosting spot perfectly in an eBird report--just west of the Henry Hudson Bridge, above the paved path along the headland, the spot well-marked with what birders politely call "whitewash".
The Osprey was atop a tall snag, holding down a large fish, seemingly waiting for sunset to eat. I watched for a while until it stretched its wings, giving me the photo I wanted.
On the way up to that spot, I heard a ferocious buzzing and a commotion in the plants by the path, and saw--well, I wasn't sure what at first. Long and thin and colorful, too small for a bird and too large for an insect.
I finally resolved it into two creatures--a wasp dragging a struggling dragonfly along the ground. The dragonfly didn't struggle for much longer.
You can see a smaller wasp at the bottom of the photo. I don't know what kind it is, but I do know that the big wasp got the heck out of its way and let it feed on the dragonfly.
Down at Muscota Marsh, the tide was high, but a group of small sandpipers was on the rocks right near the bench on the east side of the cove. It was mostly Semipalmateds (I counted 32) and a dozen Least Sandpipers mixed in. Some were standing in the shallows, but others were on the rocks and you could see the webbing on the Semipalmateds' feet.
The Osprey was my 176th species of the year in New York County, matching my total from last year.
My 175th was a Budgerigar in Maintenance Meadow of Central Park on Thrusday.
Budgie and House Sparrow
A Budgie, of course, has to be an escaped bird (or, God help us, a released bird), and so not really "countable". But I had one on my list last year also, so I've still matched my total. Beaten it, in fact, since last year's total also included a Canary (foraging near the Great Hill in Central Park).
Funny thing about this Budgie was that the sparrows were quite comfortable with it. They chased away the blue one from last year any time it tried to forage with them. The Blue Jays gave that one a hell of a time as well.