This is an open-ended blog ranging from news about my latest gigs and publications
to ruminations about politics, world affairs, culture and whatever piques my interest—or ire.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


Osprey taking flight

Our daily walks in Audubon Park are a welcome break in the lockdown routine. As we stroll along the lagoon, Sylvaine photographs the birds we encounter there. (Sometimes I sit on a bench and practice my clarinet while she shoots.) There are far fewer species in the park today than there were some years ago when Sylviane photographed dozens of different varieties for her book Some Birds...But we still get some surprises.
     The other day, we spotted a large bird perched atop the bare branches of a dead tree. It was on the other side of the lagoon at some distance from us. Looking through her telephoto lens, Sylvaine thought at first that it might be a bald eagle—a rarity in these parts—but the coloring was different. The bald eagle has a white head and a dark brown breast. This bird, which looked like an eagle with its curved beak and impressive talons, had a
white breast. After a check on the internet, we identified it as an Osprey, also a rarity. We spotted it a few more times, closer up, which allowed Sylvaine to get some nice pictures, including one of this impressive bird in full flight.
     Other recent spottings include an anhinga, formerly plentiful at Audubon but now almost vanished, and a couple of blue herons and snowy egrets. Not to mention blue jays and cardinals. Two days ago, we had a real treat: four baby mallard ducklings swimming around, fighting and playing on the water near the bank. Hadn't seen any babies for a few years: sad to say the turtles get them when they're that small. Yesterday, didn't see the ducklings anywhere. I hope they haven't become turtle food!
Mallard duckling

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