Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eagles, kestrels and falcon

Colleen and I spent much of the day visiting sites in Schoharie, Montgomery and Albany Counties. At Franklinton Vlaie (Vly), there was still ice and snow covering much of the area. Just a small group of geese and ducks were present.

We hiked up to the top of Vroman's Nose next. The sun was out at the time we reached the top, and an adult Bald Eagle was soaring high up to the southwest. As we were about to descend, a smaller, sharp-winged bird was holding himself nearly in place facing the gusty, southerly wind. It was a Peregrine Falcon. We watched it soar and stoop for a while, very cool. Apparently there is at least one pair who use the craggy cliff face to nest.

At Mine Kill State Park, there was one adult and three immature Bald Eagles flying over the reservoir. The few ducks in a sheltered cove were mostly Common Mergansers, but with a twist- the water is running very high and fast throughout the area, and much of the water has a reddish-brown coloration to it (from iron oxide sediment?) The mergansers' normally white bellies had turned light orange from the discolored water.

Up in Sharon Springs, Ames, and Carlisle things were pretty quiet, with the exception of a fair abundance of American Kestrels, mostly seen on wires along the roadside. During a quick jaunt through Black Creek Marsh, there was a kestrel near the NE Industrial Park, and a kettle of eleven Turkey Vultures was viewed from the RR crossing at Hennessey Rd.

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