Walk on the Fire Island

Today’s weather and lack of a tripod were not friends to my amateur photography. Visibility was very low, due to fog and cloudiness. At times I you could see only several feet ahead.

Luckily, the weather conditions got little better as the Sun started to set.

Apparently, finding birds in this weather created a challenge number two. Even deer would hide behind the tall grasses.

Once in a while you could hear bird chirping, but since the area is full of tall grasses and bushes, spotting a bird was like wining a lottery, far and between. Walking pedestrians with dogs and children were not helping the situation.

On the bright side, tree swallows flew vigorously around the benches near the walking path. Photographing them in the shadows gave them some extra mystery…

…and secrecy.

As I walked down the path, a quacking duck, looking for a mate gave me some hope there will be birds eventually.

As I am learning how to take better photographs, I am trying to pay more attention to the background, where the birds are looking, and what’s around them. For animals that are gone in seconds, that can be challenging.

Thus, various sparrows can make interesting subjects to figure out how to position yourself in relation to the birds.

At times they will pose for more than 30 seconds, moving their heads back and forth, giving me time to adjust the focus….

…and snap another image.

I think this American robin was also contemplating, why can’t he have his privacy.

Luckily, I consider ever bird excursion successful if I see a cardinal. Their bright colors make up for some of the failures of the day.

To make it even nicer, a second one gave me a little concert, at least that’s what I took it as. I am sure he found his true soulmate afterwards.

In the short bushes, a gray catbird was making some funny noises, some sounding like harsh meowing, thus its name.

Once you are on the Fire Island, you cannot miss red-winged blackbirds. They can be quite territorial, and I have seen them chasing after Ospreys and people. That can be justified, as they often guard multiple nests. They can be spotted on tops trees and in tall grasses.

Or they can be spotted running on the parking lot.

Tall grasses and marshes are a heaven for birds. Their protection is imperative to bird survival, but also many other animals take shelter in these regions. Thus, swamp drying for construction can have devastating effects on the entire ecosystem.

I cannot capture birds in flight well, this requires a fast shutter camera, but sometimes I get slightly lucky. Bird flight is fascinating, and one of the skills I wish I had.

Walking off the path, you can enter the beach. Right before I made the turn, I snapped a picture of the lighthouse, even that is barely visible in the fog.

Meanwhile, by the ocean seagulls were having a feast during the high tide.

Trying their luck in all kinds of places. In many place in the world, seagulls can be quite audacious. I forgive them, they have been living on the beach far longer than we humans.

Seagulls constantly take feeding trips over the shore, trying to spot fish and other marine animals.

Sandpipers are some of the cutest birds that you can see on the beaches of New York. The speed with which they move, and the flocking flight make them very entertaining to watch. It is like watching extremely energetic toddlers running back and forth, you do not know which way they will turn next.

Piping plowers are also beach dwellers, equipped with tiny beaks.

Till next time Fire Island. I hope I will be able to return to see the horseshoe crabs in June.

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