My husband and I took a stroll through the park, and walked some of the trails, trying to avoid the crowds of sledders. The lake was kind of frozen, it seemed more like a layer of slush, but it was solid enough that it pushed the waterfowl into small pockets of water on the lake. There were tons of gulls and mallards, but in the mix we also saw some Northern shovelers, female hooded mergansers, American coots (the birds, not those crazy Brooklyn people), a female bufflehead, ruddy ducks, and I think I spotted a female scaup. The mute swan family was there as well, they are probably the nicest wild swans I have ever seen - as in, they are not aggressive towards people who are in close proximity of them and their family.
The best part of the walk was finding an Eastern Towhee and having a conversation. Actually, I don't know if we were having a conversation, but I have an app on my phone (the best app ever) which acts as a bird field guide, but it doesn't just write out the birds' songs and calls - like a towhee would sing: "drink-your-teaa!" The app also plays them and I LOVE this feature, because it can sometimes allow you to interact with wild birds. I played the towhee call (which goes: "chewink") while he was foraging, kicking leaves and soil out from under a low lying branch. After a few calls played from my phone he started to respond but continued to do his thing, it was really neat, it never gets old and I get really excited every time.
|Snowy trails in Prospect Park|
|A cute log trellis along the lake, near the Audubon Boat House|
|The little black and grey bird is an American Coot, they have the coolest feet. Unlike the mallards, who have webbed feet, the coots have lobed feet.|
|Here is an American coot from our trip to New Orleans, but you can see their neat feet!|
|This Canadian Goose had its right leg, but had no foot, so getting around is a bit tougher for him/her. Injuries happen to wildlife for many reasons, but with lots of people around, many of them are due to us.|