Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cloisters Pond - Pre-Birding

Christmas Morning - Cloisters Pond - On the 17th of January I will be leading an "Easy Birding" walk in the Cloisters Park.  My goal this a.m. was to find out what birds to expect on the day of the walk.  Due to a total lack of rain, the pond is shrinking, and the vegetation along the park paths is extremely dry and birds are scarce (nothing to eat I figure).  The park lawn and some of the plants are watered which helps in providing habitat and insects for the warblers and flycatchers; the number one attraction for the birds is the pond.  The majority of the 26 species I observed were in or around the pond or on the lawn.

The above photo was taken from the overlook; as I approached, a family that had been feeding the ducks crumbs, were leaving.  The Mallard Ducks, being more skittish, moved closer to the water which left the Sparrows pecking at the crumbs.  As I was watching the little darlings, a California Thrasher came into view - a most unusual sighting.  Ca. Thrashers are usually off in the distance singing from atop a tall bush.  I am hoping this Thrasher will appear on the "Easy Birding" walk in January.   For a 24 second, could stand improvement Thrasher video, go to
 On my last visit to the pond I saw a male Northern Pintail Duck - a first-time Cloisters sighting (photo from wikipedia - with tailfeathers).  Male Pintails have long, pointy tail feathers, and this fellow was missing his tail.  He was probably hanging around the pond waiting for his tail feathers to grow back.  And sure enough his pointy tail feathers were sprouting, but they had a looong way to go.  I am hoping this handsome male will make an appearance in January.

Since the majority of the Cloisters birds are located in and around the pond, it looks like "Easy Birding" will be easy birding.

1 comment:

  1. oh it is sad that the pond looks so little ! very beautiful ducks ! Hope you have an easy birding on the 17th :)