Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Central Park: AMNH Walk and then more walking

Today was the make-up walk for the AMNH walk that got rained out. It was great! We went over to the lake, crossed the bridge over the upper lobe, and saw a palm warbler and a ruby-crowned kinglet. The palm warbler I got only a brief look at, they have much more yellow here and now than they did a couple of weeks ago in Cayman! The ruby-crowned kinglet was really active and showed me his crown once, so that was great. We kept on, and saw a golden crowned kinglet (I saw his crown flashed once also) then two ruby crowned kinglets who were either having some sort of dispute or were engaged in some sort of mating behavior. There was definitely one male, and his crown was out there on display for a long time, it was great! The other one we couldn't definitely see a crown, so, unknown. We also saw a hermit thrush, who hung out for a while. That's the first picture, although we saw quite a bit before that! After we saw this first thrush, it seemed like there were thrushes every-where, we kept seeing them. I even saw them on my own later! Continuing around the shore of the lake, we saw a raccoon way up high in a tree, looked a bit dicey. There was a dead something (I think raccoon, someone else thought it might be they coyote) at the bottom of Indian Cave. A white throated sparrow posed for me and they are just so vivid now with their new breeding colors I couldn't resist taking a few pictures. Then there was also a raccoon dispute of some sort, apparently two coons wanted the same tree. They hissed like cats! It was pretty interesting to see. Then we headed into the ramble and by a clearing saw a bunch of waxwings in a tree, it looked like they were eating something in the flowers. We headed up to Belvedere where we saw some sort of warbler (I think palm but I don't totally remember) and then we went to Sparrow Rock where we saw a chipping sparrow. Then back towards the museum, along the way we briefly saw a cooper's hawk but he gave us the slip with embarrassing ease. Then I was on my own. I went up to the reservoir where I saw these gorgeous ruddy ducks with their bills quite blue, a pair of buffleheads hunting (quite tricky to photograph), and the usual suspects - various gulls, geese, mallards. From there, on to the turtle pond where a cormorant (we had seen a few flyovers, and I saw one hunting in the reservoir) landed virtually right next to me, and did something with its throat. Maybe it was swallowing something? Or making a song? But I didn't hear anything, and I was quite close, I would have. Anyway, he was gorgeous! Then I walked home fairly directly and quickly, my feet were done. I did see one last raccoon snoozing. Some tourists saw me looking and were amazed, then some other tourists came over, I told them all that it was a raccoon, that they sleep in the trees during the day, if they see one walking around during the day to stay away from it. As I was walking off, they were telling some other folks walking by about it. :-)

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