Saturday, February 12, 2011

Croton Point with NYAS - Eagles! :-)

Today jack and I went to Croton Point with the NY Audubon Society, on a bus trip.  We were hoping to see eagles!  Last year we went on our own and had a couple of spectacular moments of overhead fly-overs, surrounded by a few hours of freezing boredom.  Maybe going with people who know what they are doing will be a better choice!

The bus ride was fine, the guy really like to talk, but, okay, it's fine.  As soon as we pulled around to the train station someone spotted an adult bald eagle perched on a dead tree, it was a great welcome!

In the water 3 kinds of gulls were clustered together.

There was a juvenile bald eagle perched over in the trees also, he was really hard to see.

As we were standing there, a red-tailed hawk came flying in and settled in a tree on the opposite side of the parking lot.  Hello old friend!  The crows chased him off after a couple of minutes.

We spent quite a bit of time watching the eagles fly around, they were quite beautiful.

Then in came this bufflehead.  I love these guys!  They are hilarious in flight - they flap so fast, they just look somewhat desperate and like they're not totally sure this whole flying thing is going to work.

We also saw a couple of mute swans, but too far away to get even a half-decent picture.

Then this northern harrier came by, showing off its flying skills with a swoosh-swoosh here.....

... and a swoosh-swoosh there!

The eagle did not like our attention being diverted, and promptly got all eyes on it again.

At the next spot, this juvenile was being chased by gulls over the water.  He settled down on some ice.

We walked quite a ways around, and spent some time looking for an owl, but didn't find it.  Dang, that would have been cool!

Walking back up to the point, Jack and I lagged behind the main group a bit, and nearly walked right by this gorgeous eagle perched not 40 feet away.  It was the only one we saw on our side of the water, and it didn't stay for many pictures!  A couple of the others saw it, but clearly it didn't want so much attention.  When we were walking back to the bus we looked for it again (we saw where it resettled) but couldn't find it.  What a treat that was!

Oh, and there were ducks - ring-necked, common merganser, goldeneye.  No good pictures, but I did see them through the scope.  Whatever, I was pretty focused on the eagles!  :-)

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