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I hope this post elucidates what goes on in this photographer’s mind while taking photos, and later at home–in my own type of darkroom–while examining the “catch,” so to speak.

I’d seen these mergansers swim by while I was waiting for a ship.

Two minutes after that . . . in my zoom, I could make out these three tugs, clearly prepared and on their way to meet the same ship.  The mental connection, obviously, was the sets of three, patterns.

A single merganser and

a single tugboat, objectively, have no connection.  The connection is only in the photographer’s brain.

It would not surprise you either if I confessed to seeing the paint protector sheet on the tug fendering as mimicking the face masks that have become ubiquitous in my neighborhood.

 

Photos and tangential thoughts, WVD.

 

Whatzit?  Or, howzit?

It’s just a male bufflehead caught in mid-dive.  This is the winter bird of the sixth boro . . . Hmm . . .  maybe we need a whole set of sixth boro symbols.  I’m open to your suggestions for tree, rock, beverage, flag . . .  the works . .

Sometimes while sitting by the bay, motionless and deep in thought, I am approached by birds doing what they do quite nearby, like this one of a set of mourning doves,

this great blue heron I snuck up on,

and even these ring-billed gulls seen this way and

that.

I could be wrong about some of these identifications, but I’d call this a common loon in winter plumage. Several times I’ve seen these but heard the crazy loon sounds that serve as confirmation.  Ever wonder what a dozen and a half loons together sound like?   Ever wonder what a humans soundlike to loons?  Sorry, I can’t help with the loon perspective.  Of course, there are people who speak like birds . . .

 

And in mid-February this year I saw a whole tree full of these robins, coming up north in a flock early because maybe they knew as the woodchuck did that winter would be mild.

I started with a bufflehead, and as a reminder that I’m open to suggestions for natural symbols of the sixth boro.

All photos, WVD, whose previous birds and critters posts can be found in those links.

Ships with bird names seem plentiful this year.  Recall One Ibis, ONE Apus, ONE Stork, CM CGM AquilaOyster Catcher, NYK Falcon, NYK Crane… I could go on.   In the past months and not posted here, I’ve seen tankers like BW Raven and Yasa Flamingo, Yasa Hawk and Yasa Swan…,

but this guy, a bufflehead, photographed on November 28, is a sign of winter.

Mergansers, too, show here when the leaves fall.

This was my favorite “attitude bird” from last summer.

Birds like this gull eat well.

Transiting the Canal upstate and navigating the Hudson, I look for these guys.

Both eagles and ospreys announce themselves, and I hear them before I see them.

My favorite birds this year were of herons, like this guy by a Canal dam,

peaceful until we spooked him and he took off.

 

These guys have no manners.

And maybe you can help me identify this unusual bird that swam a river in front of our boat . . ..

This specimen appears to be related to this one . . . with proturberances from his head and swimming in the same waters.

Call this a post showing what else I see when I’m out;  all photos by Will Van Dorp, who rarely goes out sans camera. Why would I when there’s always the possibility of spotting a mermaid . . .

If you love birds and herons, specifically, check out babsje’s page here. On FB, check out tug44’s Fort Edward Wildlife Magazine and find out what Fred’s been up to.

And finally, here‘s a heart-warming NYC land bird story about a rooster found by a good samaritan and named Elizabeth Warhen.

It’s already the second day of a new year, and boats and birds plentiful populate the boro.

 

The spate of vessels these days with bird names like Shearwater, ONE Apus, ONE Stork, NYK Crane, NYK Blue Jay, NYK Falcon, Dodo, Southern Owl . . . prompts this post.

During the time I sit by the water, I sometimes walk circles for exercise or talk to folks.  I listen to the radio occasionally.  I never fish, but I watch others do it and I take photos of birds, like here and  a lot of them here.

These are from the past half year or so.  Buffleheads are reverse snowbirds, at least reverse in the sense I hear it used;  you see them here only in cold dark months.

I could be wrong with some of these identifications . ..  but I’d guess two males and one female greater scaup, 

. . . male red-breasted merganser,

 

Canada (or Canadian???)  geese adult and young,

a common loon male, which you generally hear before you see,

a fearsome looking male grackle . . .,

more mergansers, and

some kind of gull, which a friend just calls “homie.”

So now you know . . .  some of the other types of photos I take along the water/land divide.

I almost forgot this guy . . . .

 

Imagine seeing this on the Belt Parkway . . .  a Bell helicopter on a trailer doing the speed limit.   Aren’t these things capable of speeds more like 150?

Wait . . . this one is damaged and the flotation bags have been deployed!!   It’s THAT helicopter!

If you watched network news last week, you may have seen this crash on the nightly news . . .  Click on the photo for more on the New York Media Boat and its multiple possibilities.

Never would I have imagined seeing this chopper, but there it was passing me on the Belt, followed by quite the colorful escort truck running interference as needed.

I occurs to me that this chopper, reportedly a Bell 206, blurs the sixth boro/other boros distinction, making it a sort of sea bird:  it typically lands on any of the terrestrial five boros, it flies seamlessly over them and over the sixth boro, which it can also land on.

Unexpected post by Will Van Dorp, who wonders where the aircraft was headed.

 

Spring and fog coexist a lot, and from there, the gradation from fog to summer haze is somewhat blurred.  Blue-hulled Oyster Catcher, in the foreground, gives clearest indication that this in not a black/white/gray photo.  I’ve searched online fruitlessly to confirm that Oyster Catcher is an NYC DEP vessel.  When

A panoply of vessels converge in the Narrows as the great gray ULCV approaches from many days at sea.

 

I’ve not been paying attention to how many of these ULCVs have multiple bow thrusters.  Anyone know the horsepower on each?

 

 

 

Three 6000s, one 3900, and two brants . . . all converging along with Cosco Faith.

For scale, notice the 25′-to 30′ outboard passing just to the right of the letter O in COSCO.  More to scale, note the size of engineering crew next to this crankshaft.

I waited for a messenger line for the deckhand to send up the towline, but  . . . it happened after they were out of range for me.

All photos here by your faithful observer, Will Van Dorp.

I haven’t used this title in half a decade, but today I couldn’t resist. JRT waited at the Staten Island side of the VZ.

But so were the geese, the brants.

Lots of them.

As well as the gulls.

James D joined JRT as an escort gull whizzed overhead.

Now you see it?

Now?

Jonathan C meets NYK Blue Jay!!

More birds soon.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Looking from the Anthony’s Nose side of the bridge down toward Jones Point, you can sense the scale of the terrain from the way it shrinks the ship,

BBC Seine on the Hudson passing Iona Island.

That’s the south slope of  Bear Mountain to the right.  I’m not sure whether the other peaks have separate names.  More of that mountain can be seen below and was included in this post from almost half a year ago.

BBC Seine was moving quite fast with a favorable current . . . 15+ kts, I believe.

How’s that for a wake.  Is there another word for this indication of turbulence?  Anyhow, at that point, I heard a noise from high up on the bridge that

sounded like this.

Such was the occurrence.   Can anyone identify the prey by the feet?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

On January 10 Emily Ann was moving crane barge eastbound in the Kills.

Columbia New York has lift capacity of 400 tons.

Any time I see Emily Ann, I think of a story shared here by a reader about her role in saving lives in the Florida Strait.

A reliable source tells me that even juvenile loons know this story, although they’ve not yet seen a crane like this.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was the first in this series of titles, from almost seven years ago.

The barge with green containers, the bridge, and the Glovis roll on-roll off (RORO) vessel all look great bathed

in January morning light,

a bit of wolf moon light thrown in as well.

I don’t know if this RORO has called here before, but she is less than a year old,  

and you can tell.

She leaves our fair city for Tema, Ghana.  I’d love to see her in tropical light.  Anyone there reading this?

And here’s the FLOFLO for today, this common goldeneye who flew onto this water and will flow off north when the days lengthen and the sun gets hotter.   The last other type of FLOFLO–the one that floated Peking out– was documented here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s eager to hear from folks in Ghana on this vessel.

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