The winter ducks were there -
Not a whole lot, but a small flock of Buffleheads -
click this one for detail, focus isn't great but I caught him in mid-dive! :D
and one lone scaup
After stopping beside the bay, I decided to walk a little way down the beach towards Gerritsen Creek.
Looking back toward Kinsborough College and the inlet to Sheepshead Bay.
My original plan had been to walk a little ways down the beach, then turn around and walk to Brighton Beach and take the train home from there. But it was so nice and peaceful heading out towards Plum Beach that I decided to keep walking that way instead. It wasn't the springiest first day of Spring ever, but that meant very few other shorewalkers - I really had the place to myself for most of my hike.
This ended up being a great call - I was rewarded with oystercatchers, just outside of Gerritsen Beach, at the inlet to the marsh behind Plum Beach.
I'm always so happy to see my first oystercatchers of the year. These are one of the first summer birds that I notice returning this time of year and when I see them and the ospreys, I know summer's really on the way. Skimmers mean summer's HERE.
I think this flock must have just arrived from their flight from the south. Usually you hear oystercatchers before you see them, because they loudly and proudly proclaim their presence with shrill cries of "Wheet! Wheet! Wheetwheetwheetwheetwheetwheetwheet!". This flock was so quiet - thinking back, I think there may have been one single "Wheet!" that drew my attention, but then I sat down to watch them for a bit and there wasn't another noise out of them for the whole time. Never knew oystercatchers actually had it in them to be quiet, but if they'd just gotten in, they may have just been to tired to holler.
I watched them for a little while and then headed back for Sheepshead Bay as snow began to fall.
Saw a couple of cute little sandpipers on the way back
A pair of swans flying in the Jamaica Bay direction
Snowy goodnight to the birds and the bay.