Thursday, February 21, 2013

AMNH Walk - Blustery and Beautiful!

Today was another walk with Paul, and although we still did not find an owl, it was a great walk.  I will miss next week, so there will probably be multiple owls...... We started out with a bunch of shovelers in the lake.........

Northern Shovelers
 ..... with one gadwall joining in!  The shovlers seem unimpressed.
Garwall, Northern Shovelers
We saw a hawk flying nearby and I took a quick side trip to see it - everyone knows I cannot resist a hawk.  Got a quick picture, then rejoined the group.  Heading towards a possible owl sighting!
Red-tailed Hawk
 At the upper lobe there were several white-throated sparrows and tufted titmice.
White-throated Sparrow

Tufted Titmouse
 It was a good day for woodpeckers.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
 I thought I saw a kinglet flying around and heading for this tree, but I couldn't find it again, so who knows.  I did find this sapsucker though so all was not lost!
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
 Paul was very excited about this grackle.  There were about a half dozen there, I'm just glad they kept quiet.
Common Grackle
Another hawk!  Or possibly the same hawk again, we're pretty closeby.  Cool up close sighting, with bad light.  Oh well, can't have everything!  :-)
Red-tailed Hawk
 No owl, so on to the reservoir for some fancy ducks.  Our first was a grebe, which is not a duck!  No, it's not.  Yes, it floats like a duck, but it's actually different.  Yes it is!  Okay, it's not ~completely~ different.  Yeah, it pretty much looks like a fancy duck.  But it's not a duck.  It's a grebe.
Pied-billed Grebe
 This one is a duck!  A wood duck.  This is a duck that makes its nest in cavities in trees.  And the little ducklings have to dive out and fall onto the ground, often bouncing, and waddle with extreme cuteness to the water.
Wood Ducks
 There were several male wood ducks and just one female.  So a nice peck on the cheek is a good idea.
Wood Ducks
Cormorant flying - there were actually several there, but only one swimming about and flying.  The others were just sitting around.  Can't blame them, it was quite chilly. 
Double-crested Cormorant
Bufflehead!  I can't say bufflehead! without the exclamation point.  Look at them!  They deserve it, right?
 Among the geese were several coots.  I missed seeing them swim around though, I love watching that, when their heads a going like crazy.
American Coot
 These mallards played like they were going to mate, but it didn't go well.  It seemed like the male just had no idea what came next.  He just stayed next to the female (who is clearly doing her part) bobbing his head up and down.  Maybe he's a young guy who just needs a bit more guidance.

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