Sunday, January 17, 2010
31 degrees and rather gray at 7:30 a.m. It's been two weeks since I've been able to get to the park and I really had to get over there!
The lower gardens were covered with blue jays and not much else at that hour. They were very active and raucus.
Didn't see much in the upper gardens except a few goldfinches and besides I wanted to look for the owl and see if there was any chance it would still be there so I decided to walk down the path behind the gardens to the river. No owl. As I got closer to the river though, I finally heard and saw some birds. Lots of titmice, chickadees and a downy woodpecker. I heard something which made me think I had frightened a large animal, but it turned out to be a rabbit that high-tailed it out of there.
The river looked pretty well frozen, so I had no hopes of seeing any ducks. I heard some birds near the Nahanton Street (bridge) part of the river and headed down that way. There was a huge flock of mourning doves which were frightened by my boots crunching in the snow. As I looked down the little embankment I realized the area near the bridge was not frozen and I thought I saw some ducks. I climbed down and was so excited to see that they were mergansers! They appeared to be three female hooded mergansers but no male. Where is he?
The soccer field had American Tree sparrows and cardinals and I heard the purring of the red-bellied woodpecker. Finally saw it in the stand of trees between the gardens and the soccer parking turn-around. They are so beautiful.