Sunday, February 13, 2011

Van Courtlandt Bird Walk Report...

This week (Saturday), our group took the trail around Van Courtlandt Lake, but spent some time looking in some areas for Owls.  While we did not find any, there was evidence of pellets and whitewash although old.  I will not be specific about the location where we looked and if you are a regular reader, you would know that I do not post any details about Owl sightings.

It is important to note that many parts of the trails we use remain iced over, which makes walking in some areas a bit tricky.  However, our group managed pretty well as I kept the pace to a crawl so that we could navigate the icy conditions.Our first neat species of the day were some Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus).  Everyone in the group were to able to get on them and that was quite pleasing as this bird, is one of North America’s most rapidly declining species.

We continued adding to our day list picking up Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea), Fox Sparrows (Passerella iliaca), Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) and American Coot (Fulica americana) to name a few.  Our highlight of the day was a Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) that I spotted as we rounded the turn by the golf course just before the bridge.  The Harrier was cruising along the edge of the Phragmites and is a first for the walk.  In looking at my records, I found this to be the first Northern Harrier that I have seen at Van Courtlandt.  The other highlight was a Coyote (Canis latrans) that a few of us got on before it slunk away into some bushes near the golf course.  We had a total of 27 species for our walk.

Tags: , ,

Share with Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Hilke Breder said...

Nice photo of the Rusty Blackbird. I'd love to see one again. Saw one a couple of years ago but at that time could not appreciate my good fortune.