Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Early Spring in Van Cortlandt Park

I was in Riverdale visiting my aunts and decided to take a stroll through the southwest part of Van Cortlandt Park before going home. On the way there, I watched five crows mob a Red-Tailed Hawk across the road from Brust Park.

At Van Cortlandt, Spring was swinging into motion. It looked so different from just two weeks before; snow had been everywhere and was now all gone, and the flooding was gone from the paths.

At the little freshwater marsh south of the Van Cortlandt mansion, many Song Sparrows were singing and some Red-winged Blackbirds calling, and a small group of Rusty Blackbirds popped out and back into the tall grass. Along the path northwest of the Parade Ground, Tufted Titmouses sang.

The best part was the marshy north end of Van Cortlandt Lake (just south of teh golf course fence), where countless Red-Winged Blackbirds called and sang, and then this guy cruised out of the reeds:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ring-Necked Duck, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx NY
Ring-Necked Duck on Van Cortlandt Lake

A very nice Ring-Necked drake, always a good bird in New York City.

I worked my way eventually to the east side of the lake. There were some female Hooded Mergansers along with the Mallards on the south part of the lake, and yet more Red-Winged Blackbirds going off like alarm clocks everywhere. I especially liked this gaudy male:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Red-Winged Blackbird, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx NY
High-steppin' Blackbird

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