Saturday, November 29, 2014

GWC to Bush Terminal : staying in the nabe

Rather than take a longer drive to the coast, staying local on this chilly day paid off. Loads of juncos with other sparrows and ducks topping the ten species list fulfilled our satisfaction; if one is content with enjoying the birding day particularly in cold weather,it can be enough to call the day a success.

In Greenwood Cemetery, Mary Eyster and I were treated to a spectacle of DARK EYED JUNCOs in many locations.We estimated at least 800 birds. Along the Sweetgum Path across from the main castle entrance ,Ocean Hill the birdiest and Jasmine Ave, we found sizable flocks of Juncos. Among those birds, we tallied 10 FOX SPARROWS, a single FIELD SPARROW along Ocean Hill Ave. Likely the best bird was AMERICAN  WOODCOCK hiding in open field in leaf clutter ,no way of seeing  till it flushed ,by the Wistaria Path at Jasmine Avenue. Also here we watched an AMERICAN KESTREL mobbed by ten BLUE JAYS. On the latter, this species occurred in many spots, our count easily 45 birds. Its great this gorgeous bird shows up in numbers, always taken for granted.

Greenwood ducks started our day count.HOODED MERGANSER hens and RUDDY in Sylvan Waters supplemented the Bush Terminal  Park ducks ,among them the continuing rarity.

The best Bush Terminal duck is the drake EURASIAN WIGEON. First reported by Mike Yuan this morning,we found it in the  usual broken pier area behind the building with the statue before the park entrance, with some AMERICAN WIGEONS.

Bush Terminal ,just recently opened continued to  impress with ducks. In the west cove ,over 140 BUFFLEHEAD mingled with 23 LESSER SCAUP with a single GREATER. after this ,single KILLDEER on the rock jetty, a high number of 55 GREATER BLACK BACK GULL and a lone RED THROATED LOON were noted. We documented eleven duck species,without even going coastal today.