Monday, March 19, 2012

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 3-3-2012...

On 3-3-2012, our bird walk group gathered at the Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center for our Saturday morning bird walk. We had several new comers, who were from out of town hoping for some new birds. We scanned the Parade Ground for birds, but did not see much other than 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 picked up 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. It was a gray, drizzly kind of day, but we plodded on working the shore picking off a bird here or there.

At the bridge near the golf course we picked up a couple of birds of which, Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus) put in a pleasing appearance making many of us happy especially for those who counted them as life birds (birds seen for the first time). We abandoned any ideas of the North Woods due to the rain and by then many had begun to take in water and so abandoned the walk. Alex Pirko and I continued to bird and picked up what was probably the three best birds of the day in Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis), Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) and Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), but only after we worked over an area after hearing them. Despite a wet and dreary day, we were quite pleased with the birds we saw.

Here is a list of birds from our walk:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

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