People may have been discouraged by the rain falling this morning, but by 10:00 it was all over. A small group (7) of participants paused at the beginning of the Transco Trail, then continued across Lyndhurst Nature Reserve toward the Saw Mill Creek Trail where there was plenty of open water and waterfowl.
Horned Grebes generated the most excitement – two males and a female were seen diving repeatedly. Five Red-breasted Mergansers were nearby, as were some Common Mergansers, two Lesser Scaup, a Bufflehead, and a pair of snoozing Canvasbacks.
We watched two Northern Harriers chase each other above the Erie Landfill and two Red-tailed Hawks hunting on Kingsland. A group of Fish Crows passed by the power lines on their way south. And a Great Blue Heron took a long slow route overhead. There was a Black Back Gull (the largest gull in the world, at the top of the food chain) among a mixed group of gulls. We even saw a couple of Tree Swallows out there.
Two groups of Canvasbacks (about 20 in all) flew towards the Impoundment, as a group of about 30 Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls stood on the diminishing ice below. Circling Lyndhurst Nature Reserve, we saw American Black Ducks and Mallards on the shore and a Fox Sparrow in the Beach Plum.
We finished with a stroll along the Kingsland Overlook trail. We heard and saw Dark-eyed Juncos, a Carolina Wren, American Robins, Red-wing Blackbirds, a few more Fox Sparrows, and a White-throated Sparrow.
Many thanks to BCAS’s Don Torino and to Chris Takacs for sharing their wealth of experience.