Saturday, November 12, 2011

Van Courtlandt Bird Walk Report 11-12-2011...

Our Van Courtlandt Park group met up at our usual spot, the nature center near the parade grounds. We began our walk by scanning the fields for a Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) that was seen earlier in the week at the park. On our first pass, we did not find the GWFG; however, as we crossed the field heading north east towards the Van Courtlandt Park Lake I decided to scan the furthest end of the field and found our bird. The Greater White-fronted Goose was tucked in behind a couple of Canada Geese and it was the leg color that alerted me to its presence. Soon it came out into view and I got everyone in our group on the bird. It was pretty exciting for our group since none of them had seen one before. Jennifer a new attendee was especially thrilled at seeing a GWFG for the first time. After having our fill of the GWFG, we birded along the lake adding to our day list. While the birds were not plentiful we added a bird here and there. A Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) teased us with fleeting looks and a White-breasted Nuthatch came in and stole the show, enthralling everyone with closeup views. A couple of Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps) on the lake were new arrivals along with a couple of Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis). We worked our way back to the restoration area and noticed how many trees had taken a hit from the storm we had a few weeks ago. The marsh area in the restoration area was all matted down from the snow we had and there were very few birds there. Nevertheless, we did manage to pull out a few Swamp Sparrows (Melospiza georgiana) and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) from that area before wrapping up our walk. Despite a paucity of birds we managed 37 species. See below for a complete list.

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

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