Sunday I went back up to Randall's Island. On Saturday people had reported Common Goldeneye, Common and Red-Throated Loon, and Greater Scaup there. I haven't seen any of those this year, and my wife was at an orchid show, so off I went.
It was quite a slog. Especially the northeast shoreline, where most of the interesting reports were, was covered in eight inches or so of snow covered with an inch or two of ice crust. This is very difficult to walk on. The ice crust would sometimes hold my weight for a step or two, then I'd go crashing through. And when I was on top of the ice, it was treacherously slippery.
Worst of all, none of those birds were visible anywhere I went on the island. In particular, I wonder where the frequently-reported Goldeneye ducks are. If they're always way off near the Queens shore, I'm going to need bigger binoculars.
Anyway, I did see two Peregrine Falcons perched on two corners of a building in the mental health center. Those were my first Peregrines in New York County this year, and my 66th species in the county. The photos were distant and not great, but I may try to work one of them up, showing the birds--certainly a mated pair--each on its own corner.
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