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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.

 

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.

A news story I read this morning prompts this continuing of the critters series.  I link to the story at the end of this post.  All the following photos I’ve taken since September, and filed away until I feel there’s a story.   Let’s start here in a New Jersey marsh creek,

cr4

go to the North Fork,

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the KVK,

cr2

more of the KVK,

cr1

still more there,

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and finally to the freshwater in the Erie Canal.

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cr99c

 

So here’s the story about a laker captain and his floating forests  . . . .  Click here for more info on part of Pittsburgh Steamship Division fleet.

All critter photos by Will Van Dorp.

These photos I took over three different days as we entered Oswego and then overnighted in Amsterdam, NY . . .  that is.

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Robert S. Pierson arrived after we did, discharged over a dozen thousand tons of salt, and left soon after dawn.

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A horseshoe dam at Minetto was swollen.

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The morning departing Sylvan Beach was

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red, a warning, and yes it rained much of the day.

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Dredging went on near Rome–BB 153, T2, and Hydraulic Dredge No. 5.

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And at Utica, the was T4 and the dragon (?) dredge.

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There were two eagles in this tree, but they refused to fit nicely in a single frame.

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Will Van Dorp took all these photos.

 

 

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All photos here were taken between the east side of Oneida Lake and Seneca Falls.  In the row of buildings behind the boat in the photo above, there is wifi, as well as laundry machines and clean hot showers.  I counted about a dozen eagles–of all ages–along the waterway.

Most of the previous birds posts have been in winter .  . except this one.  I find birds one of the joys of winter.  So on the last day of winter, rather than go out and get rainy/sleet fotos, enjoy these.

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Two Brants discuss the approaching Hayward and the distancing Prominent Ace escorted in by Ron G.

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Mergansers are always a joy.

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Here a flock of them discuss the passing B. Franklin Reinauer.

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Buffleheads are indicator species for me that winter is upon us.

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Mallard female?

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It’s time for winter to retreat . . . .

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Check out the name plate . . . Davis Sea.  Yup, it’s THAT Davis Sea as captured less than a week ago by John Skelson.  Two months ago, I got a foto of Davis Sea looking like this (third foto down).

And from Pam Hepburn, THIS is what I spotted alongside Linda G, back in mid-February.  It’s a Kori pontoon marsh buggy, working here along the Kills.

Here back at the dock, it’s transitioning from barge to terrafirma, not terra marsha.

I don’t generally go to the water to watch birds, but you can’t hang along the water long without seeing all manner of birds, solo or

in multiples or even

exponentials.  Here’s an old post about these floating featured things.  Of course, birds aren’t the only animals I see.  How about ponies

like this one?  And maybe here’s the rider

that chose to venture out solo.

And alien orbs . . . with Scott Turecamo and a turbine in the distance . . .

And then there’s HarvestDome, an ethereal orb coming to the waters this summer.  And if you want to contribute to getting this completed and afloat, click here.

Click here and here for stories on a huge piece of flotsam currently on the western Indian Ocean.

And finally, from the Argus-eyed bowsprite, what’s this?  This sailboat  . . . is it cargo or has this creative captain traded in the usual orange lifeboat for a higher-performance ride back to terra firma for a little déjeuner sur l’herbe a la Manet  should it be desired?

Happy March!  And seriously, consider chipping in some dinars or ducats to help float Harvest Dome this summer.  The link is here.

Here was Birds 4.  Birds intrude on these fotos a fair amount just because they do.  I usually don’t intend bird fotos, but like the second from bottom here, they happen and make intriguing juxtaposition.  Vastly different proximity of bird and vessel sometimes  makes for apparently huge birds and new ways of seeing, as in the fotos of Julia Fullerton-Batten.

The same is true here;  helicopter and building here are several miles apart, but it did give pause.  And I was wondering whether it would alight upon some platform at the top.

But sometimes birds distract me from my usual subject.  Indulge me and take two minutes to watch this two-minute vimeo called “murmuration,” starting out with two girls in a canoe on a lake in Ireland.  If you’ve already seen it, pass it along to someone.

But back to my egret, who was tense, then slack, then tense, calculating … until

the fish seemed in range.

It came up empty-billed, but no matter.  There was plenty in the world beneath the boom to attract them with food, which reinforced the faith and patience of the egret.

Not the best shot, but a fairly typical one of a great blue heron, a timid bird that departs with very annoyed squawks.

Here’s another shot of an osprey I included here about two months ago, third foto from last.  To me this one suggests bird on fish like surfer on board.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.   And seriously, if you didn’t watch that vimeo . . . it’ll make your day.  Thanks to Maureen for sending it my way.  To me, it rivals the amazingvirtualreal  sequences in Avatar, the movie.  Here’s another bird/water video.

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