Colleen and I had planned to visit Coxsackie this morning (Sunday 1/17), so we travelled a few more exits down the Thruway to Saugerties and walked out the Lighthouse Trail. This is a very pleasant walk, and must be terrific in the warmer, greener months. Go early, as even in the dead of winter we passed a half dozen groups making the walk. Tides are in play here as well, so check the tide tables and try to avoid high tide, as portions of the trail are underwater.
We were greeted by a singing Carolina Wren, and then three woodpeckers in succession (Red-bellied, Hairy, Downy.) There are a pair of seed/suet feeders at the lighthouse, and Song Sparrows and cardinals were going back and forth from the reeds and brush. In the open water south of the lighthouse spit, the mouth of the Esopus Creek, Common Mergansers were moving around, and a Belted Kingfisher was surveying the scene from a distant tree branch. An adult Bald Eagle flew across the river as well.
We scanned up and down the river for a previously seen Greater White-fronted Goose; it had been spotted amongst a huge flock of Canada Geese and reported on the previous day's Annual State Waterfowl Count. We had no luck seeing any geese, however. On the walk in, we did see a pair of Mute Swans swimming in unison in a small open lead nearer to shore. I highly recommend a visit to the lighthouse, and also the nearby Esopus Bend Nature Preserve.