Monday, April 20, 2015
As I pulled into a parking space, my eyes were directed to a Greater White-fronted Goose, accompanied by two Snow Geese, marching across the road to the picnic tables; hoping (if a bird can hope) for a handout.
From a dense cluster of willows sang Song Sparrow, Wilson's Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat - a most delightful serenade. I walked down the road for a wider view of the lake, to be more precise, a view of the lake bed - not a pleasant sight; a large portion of the lake had evaporated, a stark example of our on-going drought.
On the far side a small flock of migratory water fowl lingered, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck. Feeding in the muck a flock of Western and Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, and two Killdeer. As the lake continues to shrink, and the water is confined to a smaller and smaller area, the birds will be feeding in a toxic soup.
On a more pleasant note, I was returning to my car when a Red-tailed Hawk swooped in, grabbed a Coot and flew into the trees. If I had blinked, I would have missed the action.
Could not leave the park without visiting the horses grazing in the open space. There were 17 females, 5 adorable colts and one very lucky white stallion.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
(Photo by Mike Baird) is the most widespread Grebe in the New World, nesting from Southern Canada to Argentina. There is barely a pond, lake, marsh, bay, estuary, or marina that does not have a pair of these stout-billed absolutely adorable divers. Photo shows the Grebe in breeding plumage. Most distinguishing marks are white eye ring, and a white bill with a black ring.
Today, I checked on the nesting Grebes. One Pied-billed Grebe in the water and none on the wet and muddy nest. To be honest I felt sad, but I am hopeful the potential parents have constructed a new nest in a better location, and within a few weeks adorable young Grebes will be seen floating on Cloisters Pond.
You may find this video of a baby Grebe of interest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UfA12eSZyw&feature=em-share_video_user