Thursday, January 19, 2012

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 1-14-2012...

On Saturday, 5 intrepid birders joined me for our bird walk at Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx NY.  It was a cold morning and one of our new attendees who I know from other NYC Audubon walks indicated that she was hoping to get a lifer, the Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), which had stayed into the new year.  Using our strategy of birding the parade grounds, I held the group back as I noticed small groups of geese began arriving.  I was gambling that the Greater White-fronted Goose would show up.  After a few minutes of waiting, the gamble paid off as I heard then spotted the Greater White-fronted Goose arriving with a flock of Canada Geese.  It was a good way to start our walk and nice to get a lifer for someone.  After studying the flock of Canada Geese for any possible Cackling, which I did not find, I led the group around Van Courtlandt Lake.

Along the way we picked up a few passerines, but nothing unusual. Waterfowl numbers were very low and only a few Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) and Pied Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) were of note on the lake. We had a very cooperative juvenile Red-tailed Hawk which gave us all very obliging looks.  Bird seed near the bridge by the golf course brought in a few of the usual suspects and the group enjoyed close up views of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches.  A pleasant surprise were 2 Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus), which came in for close up views.  We completed our loop of the lake and headed up towards Vault Hill where we were treated to great looks at 2 Golden Crowned Kinglets and a Brown Creeper.  After a brief stop at the North Woods, we ended our walk soon after with 32 species. See below for a complete list.

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) (Anas rubripes x platyrhynchos)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

Tags: ,

Share with Bookmark and Share


hilary said...

Despite the cold it was super fun as always. Thanks for being such a brilliant and generous bird guide, Andrew!


Don't even try it Hilary. All those niceties will not spare you from the many breakfasts and lunched you owe me :)

Keep this up and I will get Frank to collect :P

hilary said...

Dangit! You see through my plot. Fine, but know that I am bringing some holy water and garlic to protect against Frank.