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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Governor's Island Terns

There is now free ferry service that runs to Governor's Island from Brooklyn. The ferry is at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is at the end of Atlantic Avenue near Columbia Street. Robin and I rode our bikes down to the ferry then spent a couple of hours pedaling around the island.

Once off the ferry, the first spot we headed to was the Yankee Pier. It is located on the south-east side of the island on Buttermilk Channel. Shaped like the letter "Y",  most of the pier is still in use and people can stroll out over the water for a view of the island and Brooklyn. Barn Swallows nest under the pier and are constantly flying back and forth across the water. The lower part of the "Y" is in disrepair and closed off to the public. It has become an unlikely refuge for nesting Common Terns. I usually associate terns with the city's ocean beaches, so it seems a bit incongruous in this setting. Here's a short video of the nesting terns:

Another interesting bird observation on the island was of Northern Rough-winged Swallows. I've seen these birds on Governor's Island in the past, however, while walking off of Yankee Pier I spotted one flying into a small hole in the seawall. It is the only place that I've ever seen them nesting within NYC.

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