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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Cold, cold, cold

Shane asked Sean and I if we were interested in brutalizing ourselves today in the name of a winter nature experience. We were both suckered into it. I had to work in the morning so Sean would bird the coast with him in the morning and then he'd pick me up in the afternoon.

The plan was to bird Floyd Bennett Field, Riis Park and Fort Tilden looking for owls and other winter species. Winter has been kind to us in New York up until today. Arctic gusts blasting in from the north made the wind chill dip below zero for most of the day. The good news was that the sky was clear. The bad news was that we didn't find any owls. At Floyd Bennett Field we located a flock of around thirty Horned Larks. Horned Larks, with their cheerful, yellow faces are one of my favorite winter land birds. Using the car as a blind Sean was able to take some great photographs. We're thinking of making a round of all the owl locations next weekend. I hope it warms up at least a little bit.

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)

(Photo credit - Sean Sime)

-click to learn more about Horned Larks-

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Floyd Bennett Field, Riis Park, Fort Tilden, 1/18/2005
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Great Cormorant
Snow Goose (Riis Park.)
Canada Goose
Eurasian Wigeon (Floyd Bennett Field, near Coast Guard Station.)
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow (Ft. Tilden.)
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch
House Sparrow

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