Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A hawk at last, and downies mating!

Today I spent most of the afternoon in central Park. I started at the pond, where I saw this raccoon being entirely too friendly with the humans. It was on the near shore, and didn't seem bothered at all by the tourists etc. There was another across on the far shore, I saw it briefly and then it hid and hopefully rested like a normal healthy raccoon. On the mud flat past the bridge was the wood duck hanging out with his lady love. Up by the rink, I saw a dark-eyed junco, palm warbler, kinglet, and red-bellied wood-pecker. No good pictures though!

 On the path south of Sheep's Meadow I saw this Eastern Towhee, possibly the same one I saw a few days back! I was so happy to see him again!

 Also visiting the path were a flicker and a male cardinal. This time I went by the mineral springs, where this female cardinal was busy gathering nesting materials. I managed to see her during a brief rest on the hedge. She was singing and so was a nearby male, he came nearby but not super close. 

Then up to the lake, where I was watching a kinglet but got distracted by a hawk cry. It sounded more serious than a jay, so I checked it out just in case. I saw the hawk perched briefly, then it flew down the lake shore, so I went walking (with incentive) and managed to find it perched again. At last! I have missed seeing them perched! On to the area by Bow Bridge, where I saw a kinglet and a couple of chipping sparrows. Another red-bellied wood-pecker also visited there briefly. Then on to the oven. There I saw a pair of double crested cormorants, sunning themselves and swimming away from the fascinated people in the rowboats.

 Then a female downy came over, and then a male downy came over. Then the male flew over to the female and sort of ....... landed on her.

 I took these pictures of them mating, turns out they can mate while facing away from each other.

 Then this red-bellied wood-pecker hung out for a while, not minding posing for the cameras, and another joined it briefly. I don't know how to tell male from female but I was hoping they would mate as well, but alas, it was not to be. 

This pair of blue jays came over, surprisingly quietly. 

Then on through the ramble and back to the oven, where I watched this kinglet for what felt like hours until I finally got this picture! It was a great afternoon.

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