We had an enthusiastic group of 16 birders this past Saturday morning at Hudson Gardens, and we tallied 35 species of birds.
While the female Wood Duck we saw was not quite as colorfully attired as a male would have been, I always enjoy seeing any Wood Duck and know that good views of males will come again on another trip.
Perhaps the BIGGEST highlight of the morning was provided by the couple of American White Pelicans we saw soaring overhead. So, if I tell you that a Red-tailed Hawk has a wing-spread of four feet, guess what the wing-spread of an American White Pelican is. What do you think? Can you imagine a bird with a nine-foot wing-spread? Pretty incredible, no?!!
From the entertain perspective, the highlight was provided by a family of raucous Belted Kingfishers. They never settled down for a good look, and just kept flying in circles around us (clockwise, as one astute participant pointed out). Likely, a couple of recently fledged birds were still demanding a three-course meal from one of the parents, who, while hesitant to abandon the youngsters, was ready for them to take on the job of provisioning themselves.
The most numerous award goes to the ubiquitous Cliff Swallows that nest on the nearby Bowles Street bridge and then forage over the adjacent river and ponds. They were everywhere.
A couple of other great moments were provided by Cedar Waxwings, Yellow Warblers, and Bullock’s Orioles, just to name a few.
Hudson Gardens, Jun 24, 2017
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 16
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 6
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) 2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 9
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) 1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 3
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 3
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 4
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 1
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) 1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 5
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) 80
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 4
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 3
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 8
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 11
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 7
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) 15
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 5
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 10
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 22
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 3
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) 2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 8
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 2