Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This and that

I walked all the way around Randall's Island on Sunday. There were a lot of Red-Breasted mergansers on the southern shoreline.

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Red-Breasted Merganser, Randall's Island

A note for anyone thinking of visiting Randall's: some of the pedestrian paths marked on the map don't look much like paths when you're walking on them. There's a path running under the Hell Gate Bridge approach that isn't really passable in spots.

I finally made my way to the freshwater marsh near the Little Hell Gate Inlet. There's a path into the middle of it, which does not go through, so I backtracked to Central avenue and walked on the west side of the wetland. I heard a loud, low-pitched chack call, and scanned the tall grass.

There was a Rusty Blackbird clinging to a reed--a male, black with a lot of rusty feather edging, especially on the head and back. He spotted me as I raised my camera and took off in a looping flight up and over the Hell Gate approach road, coming down somewhere in the water treatment plant area. My 62nd species this year in NY county.

The north end of the island had a massive flock of over 300 Brant.

Monday, I went to Central Park. Lots of Downy Woodpeckers around Evodia. The Baltimore Orioles remain there as well. I think the second oriole is an immature male, because the adult male bird basically dominates it, chasing it away for the feeders over and over.

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