Julie McCall writes: "Went out before the rain this morning.
"Although I did not get an absolutely certain visual ID on the shrike today, I definitely heard it "yelling" as it moved along Disposal Road, past the Carillon and toward the Transco Trail. Given the scolding and the speed it seemed to be moving at, I assume it was a territorial pursuit. About a half an hour earlier, I saw a shrike-sized bird chasing a sparrow-sized bird from Disposal Road, across the Teal Pool.
"I left around 12:15. [Another birder saw the shrike in that vicinity 15 minutes later.]
My personal highlights this morning included 2 belted kingfishers and a Ring-necked Pheasant."
Click "Continue reading…" for Julie's full report and list. (Thanks, Julie!)
The kingfishers flew along Disposal Road from the direction of Schuyler, rattling the whole way. Interestingly, they did not seem to be squabbling; no one seemed to be chasing the other, which is the way I've become accustomed to seeing more than one kingfisher at a time over the past few months. One was definitely a female (she landed in the trees at the beginning of Saw Mill Creek Trail.) Maybe this is the time of year that they start to entertain the notion of partners?
The second highlight was a ring-necked pheasant that flew in over the Teal Pool, crossed over the Saw Mill Creek Trail, and la nded on the ice on the other side. It then proceeded to scurry and run along on the ice, tail bobbing the whole time, and disappeared into phrags on the other side. Easily one of my most amusing bird encounters to date.
I couldn't relocate the wood duck today, but a northern shoveler had taken its place among the mallards.
Here's the list:
Belted Kingfisher (2)
Ring-necked Pheasant (1)
Northern Shoveler (1)
Common Merganser (1)
Hooded Merganser (6)
1 small falcon (too fast to ID)
Great Black-backed Gull
(plenty of other gulls)