I had never considered myself a birder, only because growing up I looked to the sea more often than skyward. Fins, flippers and pelage caught my eye and intrigued me rather than plumage. Songs of the Humpback whale were to me more hummable than say whistling songs of the Warbler.

I have felt wobbly these past years on Fishers Island, getting to know the vast variety of native and migratory song birds out here. But I figure it’s never too late -even to begin to learn to identify them; so I am a “beginner” -a fledgling.  I haven’t though let the fact that there are 54 species of Wood Warbler stop me from getting my wings; though it’s daunting to factor in, add to that, it appears there is a full spectrum of 54 shades of yellow that each type can exhibit a bit of…

For me, staying out in the field a little longer each season is like staying after class for extra help-Nature being the best teacher. Sitting on a lichen covered rock in the evening with my weighty deluxe edition bird guide by Sibley, I am listening more for distinct, audible sweet chirps, and focusing binoculars towards preferred habitat. The spring Peepers are peeping, and the sun is calling it a day.  Then the camera shutter clicks and so does everything for me –just clicks.



 Today the rain was whipping sideways from the east with wind gusts of 35mph.

  It was quiet up Island. Except for a few Harbor seal heads poking through the chop off Hungry Point, most shore birds stayed hunkered down-small flocks of gulls on both golf courses.

Along with this Great Egret, I found a bit of calm down west by the Duck Pond.

Despite displaying breeding plumage under the drenched and tousled “look; this heron seemed to display some natural sense of confidence (sure footed).

While the Egret’s greatness led to the bird becoming Audubon’s iconic symbol-I find that its simple “walk into deeper waters without fear” quality observed by Native Americans is for me most agreeable…

The Great black-backed gull (“GBB” for my data sheet) is the great big gull of the world’s oceans.

Here on Island, I have continued to document their small colonies (up to 6-12 ) and now have a better view into their lives during our “off season”- when they are very much “on”!

Hungry Points east haulout (rock clumps) is home for local GBBs-these winter months they don’t have to battle it out over squatters rights with the Cormorants. Middle Farms Pond always attracts GBBs when the ice has melted-smack in the center of the pond is their “sweet spot” for months. Far off shore south side around Isabella numerous smaller flocks are counted by binocular scan.

They have been compared to raptors without talons; being fairly aggressive when it comes to hunting. So it’s not unusual for these gulls to take out an Eider duck or two especially in open waters.

 It’s middle of March in West Harbor and the beginning of breeding season. Today, I spied this “fourth winter” (dark plumage) adult pair and it looks to me like “Love is in the air…..”



Most familiar bird wearing

family crest


Sweet whistle


finding thistle.

Red spy in morning

From behind dark mask

Privy to suet in Privet

So I notice.

Chocomount Osprey keeps a watchful lookout for a mate.

Cock Pheasant guards his Hen along East Harbor.

Oyster Pond Egrets find each other at long last.

While a preened Tree Swallow awaits……..

osprey cam

The Fishers Island Conservancy is pleased to announce that the first recipient of a Conservancy 25th Anniversary Grant, the Osprey Cam Project, has launched!

In February 2012, the Conservancy Board unanimously voted to make a grant to the H. L. Ferguson Museum to fully fund the costs of establishing the Osprey Cam.

Many thanks go to the work of our Grant Program Committee, to the Board’s support of the Grant Program and to donors to our 25th Anniversary Grant Fund.

We all now have web access to a special view on the nesting activities of Fishers Island ospreys.

The Osprey Cam can be viewed live here.