Friday, March 2, 2012

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 2-25-2012...

On Saturday, our bird walk group gathered at the Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center for our morning bird walk. We had several new comers, who were immediately given obliging looks at the star of Van Cortlandt Park, the continuing Greater White-fronted Goose. We also had a couple of Killdeers on the field, which we observed and studied for a bit before heading towards the Van Cortlandt Lake.

Near the beginning of the lake we quickly picked up Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal and Tufted Titmouse. On the lake we had good looks at Mallards, Black Ducks, Hooded Merganser and Ruddy Ducks. Near the shore, an immature Red-tailed Hawk was spotted with its back to us; identified from a distance by size and the white "V" in the scapulars. The bird was extremely cooperative and we had very good looks as we got closer.

At the bridge we had a very nice surprise in a handsome drake Northern Pintail Duck, which was the tenth species of Ducks seen at Van Cortlandt Park this year. John Young, a long time birder of Van Cortlandt Park remarked that it had been ten years since he had seen a Northern Pintail at Van Cortlandt. Everyone got great looks. Looking at my records, this was my first Pintail at Van Cortlandt Park, making it the 49th species seen this year and the 125th species seen at Van Cortlandt since I began leading this walk.

After studying the Pintail, we then headed to the bridge by the Golf Course where we enjoyed looks at Red-bellied Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees and a few others. We were disappointed at not seeing any Rusty Blackbirds this time around, but since we were on a time constraint we were not able to linger and work the areas as I would have liked. Our walk ended earlier than usual due to a Birdathon meeting that many of us needed to attend. Below is a list of the species seen.

American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

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1 comment:

Cindy said...

I like to read about these walks..bird w/ you vicariously..Handsome Pintail..