The weather recovered quickly. Two days above 50, most of the snow is gone and I may have my first sunburn of the year. So, highlights:
Got home from work yesterday, decided to walk to my favorite birding patch. It’s a mile down the road all along one of the Hudson River Tributaries so the entire walk has the potential to be a lovely bird experience. The walk goes nearly halfway across the Hudson River and is a bird mecca, or at least a frequently birded place by local Audubon outings. In the summer, with the shimmering heat, it’s like walking through VanGogh’s mind.
Birds at the Pier yesterday: Canada Goose, Canvasback, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Ring-billed Gull Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, House Finch, House Sparrow.
A bit disappointing – normally there are more ducks… hello Mallard? There was a stiff wind.
So, I decided to head back there this morning. The Pier is a lovely combination of woods, river, and wetland. Watching ebird, I know people bird it in the morning and have fantastic luck (Iceland Gull, Common Goldeneye). So I was out there, and, boy, was I surprised to find it was flooded. The flood waters up to the road on the way in should have been an indicator. Possibly some combination of high tide and wind.
So instead of walking the mile out and back, I contented myself with wandering past the dogpark and into the woods where I met a man walking his Napoleon-complex-dog.
Birds at the Pier this morning: Canada Goose, Mallard, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren, American Robin, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle and others I couldn’t identify, including these:
My guess is Red-tailed Hawk based on (1) size, (2) location – have personally seen Red-tails here although others have seen Bald Eagles, Coopers, and Marsh Hawks, (3) have seen Red-tails pairing up recently, and (4) they look just like the Red-tailed Hawks I photographed yesterday. My biggest reason why I’m not confident on this ID is the pale rusty-orange tinge of the leg feathers. It’s in multiple photos. It could be a product of poor lighting – they were out where the water was and I couldn’t get to a better view despite my best efforts.
New visitors to the yard over the last few days have included: Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Wild Turkey, and American Tree Sparrow.
The turkey looks so majestic with those bold colors, and also, so reptilian.
As I was finishing up at work today, one of our members/volunteers stopped in to record a sighting on the grounds: Hermit Thrush. So of course, once I locked up the building I had to go have a look-see. While I was out there making my way around the pond, the Belted Kingfisher was going berserk. Sounded like a bee in his bonnet.
TNC birds: American Black Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Northern Harrier, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Grackle, and…. Hermit Thrush!