BASICS


BASICS: This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
The sanctuary is ONLY open certain, very limited, dates/times, starting july 20, and ending sept 15, and ONLY by specific private appointment, at particular, available "slot" times posted at this blog. No visits of any type without a confirmed appointment (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)

Friday, December 30, 2016

The putative dad


Yestarday I positioned a step ladder so I can film Thumbelina's nest from a more horizontal view, a bit closer - and the step ladder also conceals my movements somewhat.
Here's a male woodstar who is hanging out just on the other side of the cottage from the nest. I'm assuming he is the father. In the first video below you can briefly see his brilliant purple throat gorget (4X slo-mo). In the second video you can see how he repositions himself on his perch, using a very quick flight. Hummingbirds cannot walk - indeed that's why they are classified in the order "Apodiformes" or "legless ones", together with the swifts. Unlike other birds their legs are covered in skin rather than scales.






The wind from the north has arrived with a brief rain-shower, and now the nest is swaying around but looking good - I'll try to get video if the sun comes out and post tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nest at Calypso



There are 3 cottages at our winter property "Calypso" on the island of Eleuthera. Because some renovation work is being done on the main cottage (which we call "Woodstar", after the name of the local endemic hummingbird, the Bahama Woodstar, Calliphlox evelynae), we are initially staying in "SeaStar", which sits on a hill overlooking the ocean through a grove of magnificent coconut palms (see the picture in my previous post at this blog).
Just outside the southeast corner of this cottage sits a large tropical almond tree (Terminalia catappa). Actually when we bought the property 25 years ago, this same tree (along with several other notably large trees) had been recently cut down.  However when we arrived a few sprouts were growing from the cut trunk base; I removed all but one of these, and the remaining sprout (then only a couple of feet long and less than the width of a pinkie) has grown to immense size.
I sometimes sit in the shade of this tree overlooking the front garden, since there's usually a cool breeze coming off the ocean, and yesterday I noticed a hummingbird buzzing around this area. Closer observation revealed that she had a nest at the tip of  the northern-most and lowest branch of this tree, about 10 feet off the ground. Following an earlier suggestion by Donna DeSousa, I'm calling this little lady "Thumbelina" (or perhaps sometimes just Thumb, for short). She appeared to be putting the finishing touches to the outside of this nest (see the first video below). I get a reasonable view of this nest from my chair,  although the nest is almost hidden by the large leaves of the tree. I can also view the nest from at least 2 other angles, including from the front porch of "Seastar" (though I have to climb on top of the low wall that surrounds this porch).
You can see that the nest is built at the end of the branch, but incorporates the start of several small twiglets. The branch slopes down away from the tree trunk, as is typical for hummingbird nest (I believe to better shed water).
Unfortunately tomorrow morning a "cold front' will arrive from the U.S. bringing rain and a north wind ( predicted  a low of 66 degrees), and I anticipate this long branch will be whipping around in a 20 mph wind (it's completely exposed in this direction - probably the first test of her nest building skills!
The tropical almond is a deciduous tree, completely losing its leaves in the dry season, which is just starting. If this happens before the chicks fledge, in about 5 weeks, they will be baking in the sun, which can be fierce even in the winter.

 Although our internet/phone connection has been repaired, it's very slow, and it takes hours to upload these videos. But I will gradually add the clips I filmed yesterday to this post, and tomorrow I will add some I shot today, from a somewhat better vantage point.
We also took our first swim today. The ocean is quite pleasant - about the same temperature as Long Island Sound at the height of summer.

In the video below, Thumbelina, the female Bahama Woodstar hummingbird, puts the finishing touches to her new nest in a Tropical Almond tree at Calypso, our winter place in the Bahamas. At the start of the video she arrives near the nest, and briefly hovers. She then sits on the nest and as the camera zooms in one can see that she carries in her bill a tiny brown wisp of something which she carefully adds to the outside of the nest. This wisps are for camouflage rather than decoration.


In the next clip the camera zooms out to show the lawn rolling down to the Atlantic Ocean in front of "SeaStar" and then swings up and round to show the almond tree that hosts the nest. 

                                 

The last clip I filmed on dec 28 (below) shows the nest (empty because Thumbelina is away feeding or searching for further nesting material)  from a different angle. The camera zooms out to reveal our cottage "SeaStar". You can see that the nest is located about 12 feet away from the eastern edge of the front patio which overlooks the ocean. If I climb up on the low wall around this patio, and stand immediately next to the corner of the house (near the pink shutter to the left of the scene) I get a clear, though slightly precarious view of the nest from a third angle.








Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mini Rufous Update


We arrived at Calypso, our winter place in the Bahamas, just before Christmas. The photo shows the view from our house there. As usual our DSL internet line is not yet working (the summer heat, humidity and salt here always takes a toll on the already flimsy infrastructure) so I'm using my cell phone "hotspot" to get online but only have minimal bandwidth for uploads, so I'll be very brief. In particular I've just had a report from the North Fork homeowner that her 2 rufous hummingbirds are doing well and enjoying yesterday's warm weather.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Videos of the 2 North Fork Rufouses

Here I show a few of the videos I shot on sunday in the North Fork yard which currently has 2 (two!) wintering rufous hummingbirds. Rufouses normally winter in Mexico and summer in the north-west and up into British Columbia and Alaska. However in recent years some rufouses have been gradually shifting their wintering grounds into the gulf coast area and then even into the mideastern parts of the US. This is happening because of at least 2 factors: homeowners are planting more hummingbird flowers and maintaining more feeders, and global warming is slowly altering long-established behavioral patterns (e.g. this recent article). However, a third factor might also be operating: more people are noticing hummingbirds and the internet has greatly facilitated the reporting of data.
Inevitably some of these western birds are ending up in the North East and this year I've heard at least 4 reports of winter rufouses on Long Island. Many thanks to the homeowner for allowing me to film these 2 brave and hardy hummingbirds! The first video is in 4X slo mo. This bird seems to have a single red spot on his throat.


The second video shows the same bird (the one that arrived first, in mid-october) perching on a privet bush from where she/he watches her/his feeders, and enjoying the scant warmth of the sun.




My third video shows what seems to be the second rufous, which prefers the feeder located on the left of the yard. If you look carefully you can see near the start a triangular red throat spot. 



I will post more of my videos soon. But here is another video, not by me, that's also on Youtube. The one shown at the start seems to have a larger triangular dark red spot on the throat than the one shown in my first video, and probably corresponds to the one shown in my third video.







Saturday, December 10, 2016

Update on North Fork Rufouses

Yesterday I was able to see the 2 rufous hummingbirds that are currently residing at a private North Fork yard about 15 minutes away from the sanctuary. The very nice homeowner is doing a great job of keeping them happy, and is determined to do what it takes to see them safely through the winter. Her yard has lots of excellent hummingbird plants, with many salvias still in bloom, but last night was the first hard freeze of the season and the flowers may not survive much longer. She is rotating 3 feeders and I was able to loan her 2 heated freezers (the ones we used to help LaLa survive much of last winter). She also has plans to supply them with a few live fruit-flies - they will need occasional protein snacks. I saw the 2 hummers come separately several times to the 3 feeders but I was not able to get video. I will try again tomorrow. The big test will come on thursday when the temperature will drop into the teens and I'm very happy that I could deliver the heated feeders in time for them to adapt to them. In the mean time here are some excellent photos taken previously by Cathy Taldone.




The second photo clearly shows a red gorget patch, but they may not be both male juveniles - apparently juvenile and adult females can also sport a red throat patch, unlike the rubythroat.




Thursday, December 8, 2016

white-throated mountain gem


filmed at Sevegre Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, feeding on Salvia leucantha. A male - notice the beautiful pale blue patch on the crown at certain viewing angles. 4X slo-mo
San Gerardo was one of our favorite stays - we actually stayed at Trogon Lodge, which is utterly beautiful - the garden with lots of hummingbirds, the various buildings, the rushing mountain stream in a mountain cleft, the little gas fire warming us at night at 7000 feet altitude, the surrounding cloud forest.  The neighboring mountain the sinisterly-named "Peak of Death", reaches 11,322 feet and the pass we ascended before we going down into the valley is at 10,942, where we were definitely short of breath. A couple of days early we were on the Pacific beaches.
Here's another clip at 2X slo-mo


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

More Costa Rican Hummingbirds; 2 Rufous Hummingbirds Show Up in a North Fork Yard!! Hurricane Otto Update


We returned safely to Long Island late tuesday evening from our marvelous family Thanksgiving trip to Costa Rica. Otto, the first hurricane ever known to have hit Costa Rica, passed just north of us at the border with Nicaragua, as we were hunkered down at the foot of Arenal Volcano. While all we got was a bit of wind and considerable rain, communities just 30 miles north of us near Aguas Claras and above all Upala were badly damaged. Otto claimed at least 23 lives, ten in Costa Rica. The rainfall caused several mudslides along our path to the Caribbean lowlands after Arenal, and prevented us from staying in the riverfront lodging we had planned (though we were allowed to stay a bit further back from the Sarapiqui river).

Here I'm featuring some hummingbird photos taken on or near Poas Volcano by my second son Jamie, who's a possibly even more avid birder than Rafael, the eldest. Actually I shamelessly and ruthlessly purloined these images from his deliciously humorous blog http://ncbigyear2014.blogspot.com/, which you should consult for more details, good giggles and great photos of incredible non-hummingbirds.

To whet your appetite here's a list of the hummers Jamie photographed, and I show below, in the first 2 days in Costa Rica:

Fiery
Purple-Throated Mountain-Gem
Scintillant
Violet-Ear
Magnificent
Striped-Tailed
Magenta-Throated
Volcano

First up is a violet-ear - actually the lesser violet-ear, Colubri cyanotus, recently distinguished from the Mexican violet-ear, Colubri thalassinus.






Here the Violet-ear puffs out his "ears", which are actually part of the gorget:



Jamie thinks he does this when he (the hummer!) is miffed though he (Jamie) used a stronger word.

And appropriately on the approach to Poas Volcano, the Volcano Hummingbird:



which should be compared with the Magenta-Throated, which has a neater shorter gorget and white flank marks:

 

Next a striped-tailed hummingbird (note the buff "shoulder"):



and a fiery-throated (unfortunately but nevertheless impressively photographed from the rear):



then a presumed female scintillant:



In such company even the Magnificent Hummingbirds we saw start to pale (we also saw these in Arizona last Thanksgiving, as some of my more dedicated readers might remember):



Last,  purple-throated mountain-gems, with my hand to show the size of the female. I already posted a vid of one of these. And on the right the superb male.
                                                                             
 

Here's Jamie's amusing commentary:

"This Purple-throated Mountain-gem was captured by my father who was intending to bring it home to his hummingbird sanctuary in Baiting Hollow, NY.  However, I convinced him to let it go free. I am kidding of course, he only put his hand there to show how tame these birds are and never actually touched it."

I was indeed sorely tempted to bring some of the amazing hummers back with me - but instead and even better I've just heard that 2 (YES TWO!) rufous hummingbirds are now in residence at a North Fork backyard (NOT at the Sanctuary)! More details to follow.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Largest Hummingbird




This violet sabre-wing is the largest hummingbird north of South America. Photographed by Rafael Adams (my eldest son and avid birder)  at Poasito, Costa Rica.



We are hunkered down for Thanksgiving  in heavy rain at our villa located at the foot of Arenal Volcano, one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world. This evening Otto, the first ever hurricane ever to hit Costa Rica, will strike on the Atlantic coast just east of us. Hopefully it will weaken from its current Category 2 before it reaches us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Costa Rica hurricane and hummingbirds: Purple-throated mountain gem





So far we have stayed 1 night in Tarcoles, 1 night in Dominical (both Pacific coast), 2 nights at the Wilson Botanical Garden near San Vito (central southern border near Panama) and 1 night on Poas Volcano (back in northern Costa Rica, not far from San Jose). The videos were shot this evening at the roadside outside our Poas hotel and show a female Purple-Thoated Mountain Gem (Lampornis calolaemis), which has a buff/orange throat and belly.
Unfortunately it appears that Otto, a late-season Atlantic hurricane, will make landfall in northern Costa Rica on Thanksgiving morning. Amazingly this will be Costa Rica's first ever recorded hurricane! We will be at Arenal Volcano Lodge at the wrong time and place. However I suspect we will just get yet more rain, with the real danger from washed-out roads - the roads leading to the lodge are always bad, and will be worse.
This morning we hiked up to the Poas Volcano crater - it looked like an open-catmone in West Verginia, with a large milky lake in the middle. This afternoon we discovered a marvelous but unnannounced  small hummingbird garden close to our hotel, and just across the road from the restaurant where we ate lunch (all 11 of us; Claire and I shared a dish of "chicherrones") and I have shot a lot of film which I will try to sort out soon - a remarkable display of many types of hummingbirds at the feeders there. But to finish with here's a close-up of another female mountain gem at that garden, who seemed rather torpid and immobile. Tomorrow morning we go to the famous La Paz Waterfall Garden, which is famous for hummingbirds.





Saturday, November 19, 2016

hummingbirds in Costa Rica: Purple-Crowned Fairy and Rufous-tailed



Claire and I (and in a couple of days our 3 children and 4 grandchildren) are spending Thanks-giving in Costa Rica (our third trip together here). The weather is appalling - continuous rain -but here are a couple of hummingbird videos shot just outside our room at the famous Wilson Botanical Garden, near the southern border with Panama. First the purple-crowned fairy (Heliothrys barroti, a male) and then a Rufous-Tailed (Amazilia tzacatl), both feeding on purple porterweed. We are at 3000 feet and the annual rain fall is 150 inches (of which 10 feet seems to have fallen in the last few days - parts of the garden are under water and  hairpin-bend roads have collapsed).
The rufous-tailed hummer seems to be the dominant one at this porterweed patch: he spends a lot of time perched on one of the rat-tail-like flowerstalks of the porterweed. Indeed, the spanish name for this plant is "blue rat's-tail".

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How Time Flies - Oldest Music in the World

It's cold and the days are much shorter so I'm often inside near the wood stove. Here are 2 interesting ancient music pieces. The first was written in cuneiform around 4000 years ago in Hurria (now Syria). There are various rather different reconstructions, this one is played on a copy of an ancient lyre.


The second one, also on the lyre, is more certain. It's from around 2000 years ago.


The last one is a Greek/Roman/Byzantine chant, from around 650 AD, 400 years since the Great Schism that split the Roman and Orthodox Churches.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hummingbird Hovering

Here's a new video about how hummingbird hover:

http://www.biographic.com/posts/sto/lens-of-time-how-hummingbirds-hover

and for a detailed technical/engineering analysis by the same group see here:

http://lentinklab.stanford.edu/uploads/1428083645_2014%20hummingbird%20wings%20kruyt.pdf

They compare hummingbird hovering with the advanced military Black Hornet micro-helicopter :


The wing shape (width/length ratio) is similar in both hummers and microhelicopters (and much less slender than in regular helicopters. Obviously the wing movements are quite different in the 2 cases: the hummingbird wing flaps and the microhelicopter wing rotates, but this difference is not fundamental: the hummer wing generates lift on both down- and upstrokes by changing the angle of attack (by swiveling the wing) and the rotor instead maintains the same attack angle consistently by continuous swiveling. Nevertheless the paper concludes that the hummingbird is about 27% more efficient than the microhelicopter.

Meanwhile here are more examples (including a Cloudless Sulfur and an American Lady) of the more leisurely flight of butterflies at the sanctuary











Friday, November 4, 2016

Hummingbird Painting; Peak Color; Movies

A young hummingbird enthusiast sent me this nice picture she painted:


We must be at peak color here on Long Island. This afternoon I went for a walk in the woods that surround the sanctuary, and was glad to see a young couple struggling through the neglected paths of the Town of Riverhead Sound Ave Preserve at the southern end of the driveway. I rarely see any visitors there, because walking there is so difficult. On the western side of the drive the polo field is immaculate. Then I hiked down to the Sound, back up again and chopped some wood for the stove that keeps me warm these cold nights when I'm not snuggled up at our cosy home in Stony Brook. I wonder whether another LaLa will visit the sanctuary this winter? Most of the flowers are still in bloom. Here's more videos from the summer.







Saturday, October 22, 2016

Anna Pavord's Garden; unseen clips

It's a very blustery, wet and chilly day at the hummingbird sanctuary, and though it's less than a week since my last hummer sighting, I think the season is definitively over, and I'm taking down my remaining feeders. I just went for a wind-buffeted stroll down to the beach, where there are big disorganized waves and too many pick-up trucks, so I hiked back up the bluff and settled down to watch a few english garden videos on Youtube. Here's one I particularly  like :-


Anna Pavord is the gardening correspondent for the "Independent", a national british newspaper, and author of "The Tulip". Every major newspaper has a garden correspondent, but no newspaper in the US does, despite its wealth and five times greater population. The New York Times fired theirs, Anne Raver, several years ago.

 Pavord eloquently and accurately writes:

"The soul needs to look out at things and find rest and peace and beauty in the things that the eyes are seeing. I think that’s a need. it’s a need as much as having a roof over your head and food in your stomach."  

Oscar Wilde wrote:

Give me the luxuries and I can dispense with the necessities.

(sometimes attributed to Frank Loyd Wright).

Enough ranting, here's a couple of hummer clips from my own modest patch 3 weeks ago :-




Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Final Sighting? "Super Hummingbirds"

The last time I saw a hummingbird at the sanctuary was this monday, october 17. However for several days prior I had not seen a hummer, though I was often away. The one I saw monday looked in good shape and quite plump, so was ready to move on southwards.

The PBS "Nature" video "Superhummingbirds" was wonderful (though the title is not, and the narration not of Attenborough standard). The action videos of a dazzling variety of hummingbird species was amazing. You can still watch the video at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/super-hummingbirds-full-episode/14586/
though this may not last much longer.
Claire and I have also been enjoying the current Masterpiece Theater  series "The Durells in Corfu". We are both great fans of Gerald Durrell's books, especially "My Family and Other Animals" (about his magical childhood in Corfu), on which the new series is partly based. Another of his fantastic books (and titles!) - "The Aye-Aye and I".

Here's a video of a flower bed and a hummer at a feeder, from september.




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hummer attacks 2 butterflies; PBS Nature Special on Hummingbirds Tonite!

I didn't see any hummingbirds on tuesday or on wednesday morning, so here is a clip from few weeks ago. The attack happens very fast!


REMINDER: PBS Nature Special on Hummingbirds Tonite (Thursday oct 13 at 9, channel 21).

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Summer Hummer

2 very gray, stormy and windy weekend days in Baiting Hollow, so I thought I'd post a few clips of activity here at the height of summer,  all showing a hummingbird feeding at one of their favorites, red porterweed.







1 pm october 10 update: lunching in the sun, preparing this afternoon's class, thinking about my late brother Mark (it's his birthday) - and I just saw a hummingbird!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Still some lingering hummingbirds; future of the sanctuary

We had a week of blustery, gray and damp weather and I did not get to spend much time outdoors, but over the last week I've had several hummingbird sightings, though of course numbers are way down and soon will reach zero. Here's a clip from yesterday (oct 7).



On oct 1 I met with with 2 senior partners at an eminent east end law firm to discuss whether it would be possible,  under the terms of the lawsuit settlement stipulation I signed back in july, to preserve part of my land in perpetuity as a hummingbird sanctuary open to the public.  They advised me that my best option would be to donate the land to an existing nature conservation organization. I have already discussed this with the Peconic Land Trust (who already own nearby residentially-zoned land that's open to the public and shares the Terry Farm Rd private access easement), however they tell me they cannot undertake to operate it as I have in the past, as a natural hummingbird sanctuary. I think they have been scared by the difficulties they have had in getting permits to continue to operate Bridge Garden (see https://www.peconiclandtrust.org/bridge_gardens.html).
So I'm now exploring other preservation options, and will announce any progress at this blog. In the meantime, many thanks for your support over the past season.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New close-up hummer vids, new Sony Camera 4K camera and old HD Canon.

Today the light was brilliant and since there are till quite a few hummingbirds around I spent an hour filming. I was able to get very close to a patient perched youngster (I think a young male) - only about 4 feet away - and here is one of the results, filmed with my new Sony 4K camcorder. First version is real time, second is 4X slo-mo. In the slo-mo version you can clearly see the brief beak-opening (presumably corresponding to a brief "squeak") near the beginning, which is so quick it's almost impossible to catch on the real-time version. In fact, if you run the slo-mo version at 0.5 speed you can see he does a second brief beak-opening.  The movie was not shot at 4K resolution, but even the HD is much better on the Sony.





And here's a much longer sequence from the same set, in regular time, showing a general zoom-out at the end.



Here for comparison is a close-up of an adult male from a couple of years ago (though not quite as close) filmed with my Canon HD camcorder. 





Monday, September 12, 2016

NOW CLOSED for 2016! Hummer catches insect; hummers fighting


NOW CLOSED FOR THIS YEAR!
Next season (2017) will be our last!

Here's a video showing how a hummingbird catches an insect:


and another fight between 2 hummers (in slo mo - wait for the end):





Last three Open Days for 2016! Hummer catches insect; hummers fighting

NOW CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!
Next season (2017) will be our last!

Here's a video showing how a hummingbird catches and insect:


and another fight between 2 hummers (in slo mo - wait for the end):





Thursday, September 8, 2016

Visiting Opportunities; Something Completely Different

Currently Available Visiting Dates (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: paul.adams^stonybrook.edu)

any time between am:(10-12.30) or pm : (3-5)
fri sept 9 pm only
monday sept 12, pm
tues sept 13 am,pm
wed sept 14 am only
thur sept 15 am,pm

all dates rain or shine; no early birds!
We then close for the year; next season (july 20 -sept 15 2017) will be our LAST!

Here's a hawk (probably a juvenile red-tailed) I filmed yesterday from the top of my bluff.






and here's a watching hummingbird


and a few more recent vids








How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM), and state your first and last names. I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES, or to make an appointment for an undefined person or period. THANKS! However, if you can or must WALK to the sanctuary (1/2 mile from Sound Ave) let me - we may have some flexibility.

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open may not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5; NO EARLY BIRDS) you want to come, mentioning your name, if you have visited before, and the expected number in your ONE car, and whether ALL are good walkers (there are difficult trails).  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you tell me you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come. Attempted visits without an appointment and signed waiver are TRESPASS.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - keeping track just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me with your choice and name.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). They can visit at any time (by appointment), preferably when we are NOT open, so I can give you my full attention. 










Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hermine batters the sanctuary but so far no bluff erosion; hummers coping

Currently Available Visiting Dates (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: paul.adams^stonybrook.edu

any time between am:(10-12.30) or pm : (3-5)

CLOSED LABOR DAY
thur sept 8, am,pm
fri sept 9 pm only
sunday, sept 11, pm
monday sept 12, pm
tues sept 13 am,pm
wed sept 14 am only
thur sept 15 am,pm

all dates rain or shine; no early birds!
We then close for the year; next season (july 20 -sept 15 2017) will be our LAST!

Winds yesterday evening and during the night were very strong (we are completely exposed to northeast winds) and big waves are breaking on the beach below. I went down the bluff at 7.45 this morning and was relieved to see that although the waves came almost to the bluff toe, they did not quite reach it, so there is, so far, no erosion (unlike during Sandy). But the beach itself has been scoured clean and for once looks like a real beach, not a Nascar track. Here are a couple of videos.







More important, the hummingbirds seem to be more or less coping with the difficult conditions, though the flowers and feeder are taking some damage.  

How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM), and state your first and last names. I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES, or to make an appointment for an undefined person or period. THANKS! However, if you can or must WALK to the sanctuary (1/2 mile from Sound Ave) let me - we may have some flexibility.

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open may not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5; NO EARLY BIRDS) you want to come, mentioning your name, if you have visited before, and the expected number in your ONE car, and whether ALL are good walkers (there are difficult trails).  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you tell me you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come. Attempted visits without an appointment and signed waiver are TRESPASS.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - keeping track just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me with your choice and name.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). They can visit at any time (by appointment), preferably when we are NOT open, so I can give you my full attention. 











Monday, September 5, 2016

Good availability for visiting; more hummingbirds in the rain

Currently Available Visiting Dates (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: paul.adams^stonybrook.edu)

any time between am:(10-12.30) or pm : (3-5)

CLOSED LABOR DAY
tues sept 6, am, pm
wed sept 7, am only
thur sept 8, am,pm
friday pm only
sat or sunday: half-day TBA
tuesday sept 13 am,pm
wed sept 14 am only
thur sept 15: am, pm
all dates rain or shine; no early birds!
We then close for the year; next season (july 20 -sept 15 2017) will be our LAST!

Sept 1 it rained in the morning and was damp and gray in the afternoon, but the hummingbirds were very active throughout, and my hardy visitors (general in the morning and personal friends in the afternoon) enjoyed a good show. Here's some more examples in the rain. 



Here the flower is pink porterweed.



and here lavender porterweed




and here a close-up of a hummer at Salvia guaranitica (Aniseed sage; 2X slo-mo)


and another one


How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM), and state your first and last names. I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES, or to make an appointment for an undefined person or period. THANKS! However, if you can or must WALK to the sanctuary (1/2 mile from Sound Ave) let me - we may have some flexibility.

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open may not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5; NO EARLY BIRDS) you want to come, mentioning your name, if you have visited before, and the expected number in your ONE car, and whether ALL are good walkers (there are difficult trails).  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you tell me you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come. Attempted visits without an appointment and signed waiver are TRESPASS.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - keeping track just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me with your choice and name.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). They can visit at any time (by appointment), preferably when we are NOT open, so I can give you my full attention. 











Thursday, September 1, 2016

Visiting Slots; hummers in the rain

Currently Available Visiting Dates (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: paul.adams^stonybrook.edu

any time between am:(10-12.30) or pm : (3-5)

CLOSED LABOR DAY
tues sept 6 am, pm
wed sept 7 am only
thur sept 8 am,pm
friday pm only
sat or sunday: half-day TBA
tuesday sept 13 am,pm
wed sept 14 am only
thur sept 15: am, pm
all dates rain or shine; no early birds!
We then close for the year; next season (july 20 -sept 15 2017) will be our LAST!

Today (sept 1) it rained in the morning and was damp and gray in the afternoon, but the hummingbirds were very active throughout, and my hardy visitors (general in the morning and personal friends in the afternoon) enjoyed a good show. Here's some examples in the rain. The first one shows a clash between 4 hummingbirds, after one of them enjoys a peaceful though rather wet feeding. To see the details of the fight, run the video at 0.25 X speeds using the little Youtube cogwheel. The flowers are the tall, willowy sky-blue flowers of bog sage, and the pink flowers of bog sage.




How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM), and state your first and last names. I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES, or to make an appointment for an undefined person or period. THANKS! However, if you can or must WALK to the sanctuary (1/2 mile from Sound Ave) let me - we may have some flexibility.

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open may not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5; NO EARLY BIRDS) you want to come, mentioning your name, if you have visited before, and the expected number in your ONE car, and whether ALL are good walkers (there are difficult trails).  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you tell me you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come. Attempted visits without an appointment and signed waiver are TRESPASS.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - keeping track just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me with your choice and name.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). They can visit at any time (by appointment), preferably when we are NOT open, so I can give you my full attention. 










Monday, August 29, 2016

Kids and Hummingbirds; Visiting

Currently Available Visiting Dates (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: paul.adams^stonybrook.edu

any time between am:(10-12.30) and pm : (3-5)

tues sept 6 am, pm
wed sept 7 am only
thur sept 8 am,pm
sat or sunday: half-day TBA
tuesday sept 13 am,pm
wed sept 14 am only
thur sept 15: am, pm

Then we close till the 2016 season, which will be our last (as agreed in the recent lawsuit settlement). More details at the end of this post.

One of the greatest pleasures of the summer is seeing the delight children take in the hummingbirds at the sanctuary.  Indeed encouraging children's interest in nature is one of the reasons I open the sanctuary to visitors, and it's sad that after next year I have to close the sanctuary to general visitors. A wonderful summer nature camp for kids (grades K-6), enthusiastically and knowledgeably led by the marvelous musician/artist/naturalist duo Johnny and Kristen Cuomo, has visited the sanctuary for many years and here's a sample of the children's art work from their visit this year.














How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM), and state your first and last names. I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES, or to make an appointment for an undefined person or period. THANKS! However, if you can or must WALK to the sanctuary (1/2 mile from Sound Ave) let me - we may have some flexibility.

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open may not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5; NO EARLY BIRDS) you want to come, mentioning your name, if you have visited before, and the expected number in your ONE car, and whether ALL are good walkers (there are difficult trails).  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you tell me you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come. Attempted visits without an appointment and signed waiver are TRESPASS.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - keeping track just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me with your choice and name.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). They can visit at any time (by appointment), preferably when we are NOT open, so I can give you my full attention.