Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Horned Lark, Randall's Island

Anya Auerbach reported a Horned Lark in the southeast part of Randall's Island two days ago, and that was enough to drag me to the island on this grey morning.

I came over the Ward's Island Bridge and walked along the south shore.  The tide was coming in fast.  You could see the hard currents that gave this stretch of the East River the name Hell Gate.

A half-dozen Brant flew past me from the east, landed a little offshore at the start of one of the more obvious flows, and floated back east.  Then they flew back and did it again.  They seemed to be doing this just for the enjoyment.

Just north of the Triboro Bridge, in a small pine near the shore, I saw a little movement.  There it was!

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Horned Lark, Randall's Island
A Horned Lark.  It came down from the tree, poked around in the snow for a minute, and flew off west into Field 74.  I wouldn't have thought a brown bird could disappear so easily on a snowy field, but it did.

Shortly after that, as I walked past the Scylla Playground, it started to rain seriously, so I made my way past the freshwater marsh near Little Hell Gate inlet to the nearest bus stop.  I'll check the northeast shore again some nicer day.

Horned Lark is my 68th species in New York County this year.

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