First, kudos to Orhan Birol for his recent post of a pair of C.Ravens on Shelter Island....which reminded me to follow up on a Raven sighting I had a while back near the water tower on Pulaski St., in Riverhead. On Wednesday afternoon, I did not see the bird (or, with my fingers crossed, a pair) although I think I did see some nesting material. I say "think", due to the unusual amount of small wires all around the tank itself. When querying the T/of/R Water District Office Staff re: their knowledge of any bird activity on their tower, I did find out the reason for the many wires. ! While answering "none" re: the Ravens, and to my 2nd question re: the possibility of their maintenance workers knowing, I learned that the town leases the exterior of their tower to an electronics firm, who by contract are the only ones allowed to climb the tower in order to service their hardware - hence, the large # of attached wires ! Obviously, I will certainly remember to check on the wire/nest in the near future...but now for the surprises !
This spring has been mostly a "non-birding" affair for me because of an operation, followed by ~ 6 weeks of not being able to drive, while having to wear a boot on my right foot. This past Tuesday was the end of my personal purgatory when my foot fit in a regular shoe, and I was allowed to legally take to the streets once again - oh how sweet it was ! Accordingly, on the next day, as I circled the bottom of the tower looking upward in quest of a viable nest, I suddenly realized a Chimney Swift had flown through my binocular field, becoming my first of this species for the season ! Upon regaining the bird, I was thrilled by the speed and "out-of-sync" quality of it's flight...close to 60 days, with only about a total of an hour birding, will do this to you ! A moment later, as juiced up as I was, I experienced the 2nd, and even more exciting surprise of the day, which really got me jumping ! Flying low across the road in hot pursuit of a similar sized, light plumaged bird, was an adult male Scarlet Tanager ! While being completely mesmerized by this quick, unusual encounter, I just did not pick up any more detail on the bird that was chased ! I also can't remember ever having seen a SCTA in such an aggressive activity, and in a mixed industrial/residential area - not your usual singing, perched bird, basked in sunshine, with blossoming, native Dogwoods close by ! This too, was a FOY for me ! Cheers, Bob While my primary objective was put on hold, I did have 2 serendipitous moments, one more striking than the other ! While looking up -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --