Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Walk in Prospect Park

     With the sun shining and mild temperatures I headed to Prospect for a long walk. I just got my binoculars back from Nikon this past week- they fixed the eye cups and cleaned them and they are like brand new. I was very excited to have them back and use them.
     I am also excited to have my binoculars back in time for the Christmas Bird Count in 2 weeks. I look forward to this annual event and enjoy the team leader I continue to join for this walk. This will be my 3rd year participating in the count. Here is more information on the count and how you can participate:
     I saw a total of 33 species today including one I was hoping to see, enjoy the sights!
Heard some singing in the phrags when I first arrived at the lake. I knew it wasn't the house sparrows or red-wing blackbirds... then this guys popped out. A non-native European Goldfinch. My husband asks, "Why is that a goldfinch? It's not very gold." It has yellow on its wings- I suppose the American Goldfinch has a better suiting gold in their finch.
Sweet gum trees are filled with (both) goldfinches, red-winged blackbirds, and lots more chickadees.
A European goldfinch takes advantage of the bounty.
This male cardinal in the midwood area was feasting on fallen seeds (note the crumbs around his beak).
...And he sat for photos.
I was hoping to find one, my first of the season fox sparrow! I love their rusty brown color, their chunky size, they are just very beautiful birds.
A melanistic squirrel on the Neathermead fattening up for the cold.
Cute mouth and paw action!!
A nice find, one of a pair of pied-billed grebes.
So cute in that afternoon sun!
Most of the N. Shovelers were in huge feeding groups, I love watching them swirl!
A drake shoveler looks pretty sweet in his breeding plumage. Winter is best time to catch ducks looking good. While song birds are not in breeding plumage, ducks are looking spiffy.
Canada Geese coming in for a landing, a funny, clumsy-looking landing.

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