The South Shore Audubon Society has Sunday birding walks at various locations on Long Island and Queens.
One of my favorite places is The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at 175-10 Cross Bay Blvd, Broad Channel, NY 11693.
This place is beautiful. There are woods in some areas and a 1.5 mile path around a lake and next to the Bay – lake on one side of the path; bay on the other. It is spectacular walking that path.
Off in the distance you can see the wonderful skyline of Manhattan; on the other side in the distance are the beach-front buildings of Long Beach. It is nature and civilization juxtaposed.
Even if you are not a birder, the walk alone is excellent. You will, of course, see many different types of birds flitting about from branch to branch and the great predators soaring into the skies. The “soarers” are usually hawks and falcons, the rulers of the air. Little birds fly in the air; the predators (known as raptors) own the air.
Last Sunday we saw a beautiful peregrine falcon sitting in a tree, near her nest. This falcon can fly up to (hold your breath) 200 miles-per-hour as it makes its descent to kill its prey. I saw this once at Jones Beach. It was dazzling, jaw dropping. Think of driving 65 miles-per-hour and having this bird pass you as if you are parked.
The park is easy to find. Just take exit 17S off the Belt Parkway and go about two miles. The park will be on your right. Here is the website of the New York Audubon Society: http://www.nycaudubon.org/queens-birding/jamaica-bay-wildlife-refuge.
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