Saturday, March 07, 2009

Rusty Barn at Sandy Hook

Today I was at Sandy Hook. The birds present were mostly the usual salt-water set. One relative rarity was a Red-necked Grebe in the ocean near the park visitor center. There were also a surprising number of Boat-tailed Grackles and a few Northern Gannets.

As is usual at this time of year, there were many Yellow-ramped Warblers foraging among the dunes. Today, though, I noticed a behavior that had not caught my attention before. Many of the warblers would call, and then fly straight up in the air and straight back down. When I have seen warblers hawk for insects in the past, they usually fly out from a perch, either horizontally or on a slightly inclined path, but not straight up. This makes me wonder if perhaps there is a territorial aspect to the vertical flights. I could not find a firm answer (either way) online.

To close this post, here are a few photos from the "Rusty Barn."

These and more are online at my Flickr photostream.