Journal archives for April 2024

04 April, 2024

Birds in my highly urban Backyard in NYC

Maybe it is because we are in spring now, but I have been seeing more birds in the backyard in the Upper East Side of Manhattan recently. The backyard here is not good habitat, very urban, no bare soil, no grass, no plantings at all-- it is all concrete and brick with three weed trees. There is one large Ailanthus tree, and a smaller one, as well as a medium-sized White Mulberry tree.

Further west in the backyards along 77th and 78th Streets there is a large stand of bamboo, a Saucer Magnolia, and an American Elm, as well as several more Ailanthus trees, one with quite a lot of ivy growing on it.

Blue Jay.
Saw one today, the first for a very long time.

Northern Cardinal.
I managed to photograph one today after failing to photograph the one that was in the backyard the two previous mornings.

Mourning Doves.
I usually see a few Mourning Doves each day. Back when I still had the bird feeder I got as many as 20 mourning doves each day. The coop board made me remove the bird feeder as it ended up attracting pigeons.

House Finches.
Yesterday I saw three of them in the morning. Two were males.

House Sparrows.
Not surprising to see a few of them.

Feral Pigeons.
Usually I get a couple of these in the mornings.

Posted on 04 April, 2024 19:13 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 11 observations | 8 comments | Leave a comment

20 April, 2024

The small beach at RestHaven is currently hard to reach

On Friday I went to the RestHaven Ruins, which are just outside Charlestown on the Old Hospital Road. If you can get through to the little beach there, there is often very good rarer-quality small-size shell drift washed up there.

However, the whole area has grown up a lot since last year with saplings, thorny acacia bushes and bull nettles, and it is now surprisingly difficult to make your way across the site, even just because of the extremely tough tall grass that grows there. In the old days there was a flock of goats who lived there, and they made very good paths through the whole area, paths about 1 foot wide.

Trying to cross the area we walked over a fire ant nest, and I got bitten on my left ankle 20 times. Ouch!

In the end, Nikki and I had to give up and go back to the parking lot by the Cholera gravyard, and then drive from there over to the old tennis courts.

From the tennis counts it was possible, although not super easy, to make your way down to the north end of the little sandy beach.

The shelling was pretty good once you got there, although by no means was it the best I have ever seen it. At its best it can be really mind-blowing in terms of richness and variety.

The worst thing was that we walked over a Fire Ant nest and so I got liberally bitten by Fire Ants all around my ankles. i got 20 bites just on my left ankle. They all have white blisters on them now. Yikes!

Posted on 20 April, 2024 21:49 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Going to the rich end of Cockleshell Bay on St. Kitts

Today I went on the 9 am water taxi across the Narrows to Cockleshell Bay with my good friend Nikki Johnson. She is a biology teacher and a very good shell hunter.

We stayed on Cockleshell almost 2 hours. The big rich patch of shell drift which has accumulated at the north end of Cockleshell Bay is still really quite good, although crawling around on that lumpy, shelly, rocky, gravely surface is far from easy or pleasant even using my knee and elbow pads. Next time i come I will wear thick linen pants and a thick linen shirt to help protect my arms and legs.

We found quite a good selection of species, although without checking my old list I don't know how many of the species we found today are new to the St. Kitts list. I hope at least a few of them are. I will ask Ed if he can ask the hotel office to print out a draft of the new St. Kitts paper when he finds it tomorrow.

Posted on 20 April, 2024 22:00 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

24 April, 2024

Nature walk on Oualie Bay

During my vacation trip to Nevis, when I don't go out on a special visit somewhere, instead I walk around the hotel grounds on this bay of the northwestern part of this tiny island. I try to find as many interesting organisms as I can to photograph, ranging from the hotel cat to a house fly.

Posted on 24 April, 2024 22:24 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 25 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment