Sunday, February 8, 2009

Soaring Raptors of the Hudson Valley...

Despite battling a cold, I joined Joe Guinta as his assistant and along with 34 birders boarded a bus heading to Croton point where we were going birding as part of the "Eagle Fest." Our main objective was to see the American Bald Eagle and if possible pick up an Owl or two. We left a little bit after noon and by birding standards, this was late. However, our strategy for leaving late was we reckoned on staying out towards dusk in the hopes of spotting "Short Eared Owls" as they ventured out to hunt. We got to Croton point in about an hour and headed over by the train station, where we immediately picked up several Eagles. We had three scopes with us and that enabled us to allow everyone in the group to get good looks at the Eagles, that were perched in branches on the other side of the shore. We had excellent looks at One Adult and two immatures in the trees. As we stood there in awe, two other adult Bald Eagles flew in and we got looks at those as well. Once the group had their fill of the Eagles in the scope, Joe and I began scanning the water for additional water fowl and Joe quickly pointed out Common Mergansers (male and female) ...a little bit later, we both picked up a nice find..."Ring Necked Ducks." The group had good looks of both species as well as a white tail deer that showed up for a drink. We then boarded the bus and went into Croton State Park. After parking, we walked the hills and went looking for other birds. We spotted several different species, but no Owls; nevertheless, we ended up with a total of 31 species sighted. Share with Bookmark and Share

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