Saturday, December 15, 2012

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 12-15-2012...

A beautiful day at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx was highlighted by a couple of rarities and some hardy birds that would look good on a Christmas Count list.  With the Bronx Christmas Count just around the corner, I eagerly sifted through the flock of Canada's on the Parade Grounds this morning before our walk began hoping the Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) was still around.  It was and we had a bonus, as I picked out a Cackling Goose (B. h. hutchinsii) from the flock.

Our group had excellent looks of both species and we took some time studying the Cackling Goose, which appeared to fit well for B. h. hutchinsii – Richardson’s (or Hutchins’s) Cackling Goose.  It was small and lighter colored.  While doing our Geese studies, we were pleasantly surprised by a couple of American Pipits flying overhead.  Later on our walk we had excellent looks at Rusty Blackbirds, Belted Kingfisher (female) and an assortment of waterfowl.  In total we had 37 species.

Barnacle Goose lower left with Cackling Goose walking right.

Cackling Goose a real beauty!

Cackling Goose with the rising sun providing soft tones.

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle and Cackling Goose in the same frame - lower right

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