Friday, April 13, 2012

Central Park, gorgeous and crowded

What a gorgeous day!  I headed up to the park as early as I could, which turned out to be about 2:30 PM.  This is not thought of as ideal birding time, but rather ideal kids-playing-after-school time.  There were so many families with kids, it was amazing!  Even more amazing - they were all happy and smiling and playing.  I heard not one child crying, not one parent yelling......

On my way up to the ramble I saw three red-tailed hawks circling, one of them was quite low and made a couple of passes while I frantically got my camera out of my bag.  Sadly they did not stay long enough for my anxious fingers to get any good pictures.

This rusty blackbird was much more cooperative!  It was in the same area we found it on Tuesday, and as you can see, better light makes for better pictures.  Check out that eye!  
Rusty Blackbird

There were hermit thrushes everywhere.  But only one would pose.  Apparently this is its good side.
Hermit Thrush
 There were kinglets around too, but I didn't feel like taking enough time to get a photo.  I was in a walking mood.  Until I spotted this black-crowned night heron, my first of the season!  It was at the point, hopefully we will see several of them this year.  :-)
Black-Crowned Night Heron
 I was in a walking mood again, but was thwarted again by this winter wren!  Yes, probably the same one we saw Tuesday, but in better light and a little more accommodating.  I think these are my best pictures of a winter wren ever!
Winter Wren

Winter Wren
 The swamp sparrow was still there too.  This time I tried to make it an ovenbird, but that didn't work out.
Swamp Sparrow
 Back at the upper lobe bridge I saw some duck drama - two males fighting over this female.  They are both after her, and one is trying to prevent the other one from making any progress.
Mallard Ducks
 He's blocking for all he's worth!  But the other one went actually up and over him, monster truck style, and won the heart of the fair lady.  What a great note to end on!  :-)
Mallard Ducks

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