Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marathon day covering the park

Today I woke up early so I decided to go on Starr's walk, and got myself on the train up there.  I was so motivated I got there about a half hour early!   Hahahaha, that doesn't happen often.  So I wandered aruond a bit before joining the group.  While I wandered around I saw a palm warbler, a chipping sparrow distracting me from the palm warbler, a towhee teasing me, a black and white whizzing by and then hopping about, a yellow rumped warbler or seven, and ........ 

this gorgeous flicker, who didn't care one whit if I was that close.  There must be something quite delicious in there!

On my way to join the group the palm popped its head up closeby and tried to make me late.

The group was quite large - I think 27 - and a bit unwieldy.  But right away by the pool she found this beautiful prairie warbler!  My first time seeing one in NY - the only time I've seen one before this was in Cayman.  So lovely! I saw a common yellow throat here and some other folks saw a waterthrush, but my camera was pretty much glued to the prairie warbler.

After this we headed up to the blockhouse, we saw a vivid rosy breasted grosbeak.  He was so much more vivid than the one I saw last year, it was amazing!  Sadly all of the pictures are headless.  The intervening branches were cruel indeed, decapitating that grosbeak over and over.

While I was off finding a different angle the group spotted and was watching a black and white, who saw the wisdom of my ways and flew right over to me.  I mean, it was so close that I couldn't get a picture.  Then the group started towards us, and it was off again.  

I spotted a hermit thrush!  Yes, that was my contribution to the group.  Yes, quite crucial!

Up by some rocks we saw a savannah sparrow.  I don't think I could ID it, but still, I think I might have seen one...... Looks quite a bit like a song sparrow, no spot on the front, streaks weaker on chest.  It was hanging out with a song sparrow and about 4-5 chipping sparrows.

Next was this northern parula.  Looks pretty sleek when stretched out like that! 

By a tree by some benches and I think some restrooms someone called out a blue headed vireo.  This picture is ~not~ good, but that might be what it is.

Hahahahahaha, this raccoon is totally splayed out.  Soaking up the sponge and getting the good sleep!

This towhee was somewhat more cooperative, and allowed a picture.

A Baltimore oriole looking startlingly beautiful.  We were walking towards the stream.

Whelp, gotta go!

Another prairie warbler - what a treat!

A blue winged warbler.  How gorgeous!  This was my first time seeing one.  Okay, I don't love a big group, but we are seeing a lot!

We made it to Harlem Meer, where this eastern kingbird was surveying its domain. At the meer I left the group, and decided to just keep walking.  

The loon was still on the reservoir!  Okay it's not a great shot, but between the wind being easier and the bird being a tiny bit closer, at least it's much better than the last round.......

Such a gorgeous bird.  

Made it to turtle pond, where this egret was stalking something.

Went for it!  :-)

This field sparrow was between the castle and Shakespeare garden.  I found it and identified it all by myself!  :-)  Two life birds in one day.  Yay!  :-)

I was so exhausted I pretty much just headed for the oven, sat for a while, and then to the stone benchlet, where I saw this waterthrush.  I think northern.

At azalea pond this common yellow throat came by, for just long enough for me to snap a picture or two.  Hello masked one, I have missed you! 

Out at the point was a black crowned night heron, a northern parula, several yellow rumped warblers, and this wood duck.  

Made it to the pond, and my feet have not actually fallen off!  The goose had just stood up - look at all of those eggs!  

The red-bellied woodpecker is probably calling out a sweet good-bye to me as I leave the park.  I'm exhausted - what a day!

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