Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blustery day around the lake

Merlin above Center Drive (click to enlarge)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

It seems as if winter can't decide whether to arrive or take a sabbatical. In between long stretches of mild weather, there have been scant days that feel appropriately blustery. Some people have probably appreciated the respite, but I actually like the seasonal changes. All of Prospect Park's waterways remain free of ice as the short blasts of cold haven't lasted long enough to freeze them. During one of the few blustery days this month the lake held a nice assortment of ducks and 4 or 5 Pied-billed Grebes. One or two grebes usually overwinter as the lake is seldom completely covered in ice. During the Christmas Bird Count in December there was an astounding 17 of these cute little grebes present on the 60 acre lake. As expected, Northern Shovelers were the dominant species of waterfowl. Another nice sighting on the lake was of a young Hooded Merganser drake. The juvenile duck hadn't developed the bold black and white hood of an adult and still sported mostly brown feathers.

I looked around for the Pine Warbler at the Breeze Hill feeders but didn't find him. In fact, most of the birds in the area disappeared briefly when a hungry Cooper's Hawk zipped through the woods and perched in a pine tree overlooking the feeders.

Great Blue Heron

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Northern Shovelers

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Hooded Merganser on Prospect Lake (click to enlarge)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Prospect Park, 1/20/2007
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Pied-billed Grebe (4, Prospect Lake near West Island.)
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Gadwall (Drake & hen, behind Three Sisters Is.)
Northern Shoveler (Common.)
Bufflehead (3, Upper Pool.)
Hooded Merganser (1, juvenile male near West Is.)
Ruddy Duck (Fairly common.)
Cooper's Hawk (Adult, Breeze Hill near feeders.)
Red-tailed Hawk (1 adult, 1 juvenile.)
Merlin (Female, perched near Nethermead Arches.)
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
American Crow (2.)
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2, feeders.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (3, feeders.)
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, House Sparrow

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