#326 and #327 at Croton Point Park

I picked up two more life birds yesterday on a Westchester trip with the Brooklyn Bird Club led by Peter Dorosh. The first was an Eastern Screech Owl that has been roosting in a tree in Croton Point State Park for a couple of weeks now.

Eastern Screech Owl at Croton Point State Park

From the screech owl tree, we drove around the cap to the campgrounds where we scanned the pines for more owls. Peter fairly quickly found the Great Horned Owl. Suzanne found some Dark-eyed Juncos and I spotted a couple of White-throated Sparrows. Amber picked out a Downy Woodpecker calling; but overall it was fairly quiet and getting late in the afternoon.

The central feature of Croton Point is a large hill built on landfill called “The Cap.” The cap is often good for Short-eared Owls and other grassland birds. However, no Short-eared Owls have been seen there since it was mowed a few weeks back. However a Northern Harrier was coursing low over the meadow looking for small mammals or birds to pick off. A little later Peter found four Horned Larks on top of the cap, my second life bird of the day:

Horned Lark at Croton Point State Park

Circling back, I found four Savannah Sparrows. We also scoped some American Coot and Bufflehead in Croton inlet. However the Long-eared Owl took some more searching. We all missed it the first time we passed its grove, but Peter spotted it on the way back.

Long-eared Owl at Croton Point State Park

We drove around to the picnic area to scan the Hudson for ducks. I was hoping for Redhead (the only local waterfowl I don’t yet have on my life list) but no such luck. However we did find several Song Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows foragin on the water’s edge.

We finished the day at the pond behind the train station where we found 49 American Coots and our final bird, a Bald Eagle.

Other birds seen or heard at Croton Point included:

  • Canada Goose
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Wren
  • European Starling

We also had productive stops at Rye Playlands and Marshlands Conservancy. My year list is now at 80.

3 Responses to “#326 and #327 at Croton Point Park”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wow. You had much better luck at Croton Point than I did this weekend. We would have loved to see Horned Lark, not to mention the screech and great horned owls!

  2. Mokka mit Schlag » Looking for Owls in All the Wrong Places Says:

    […] We finally tried one spot in the Japanese Garden where I’d been keeping an eye on some apparent whitewash. The whitewash was still there and didn’t look too old, but no owl was found. We gave up about 10:00 A.M., and Don headed up to Croton Point to try for the Long-eared Owl there. We did have a good morning with 22 total species including Brown Creeper, Common Grackle, and Hairy Woodpecker; but I’m afraid the owl search was a bust. :-( […]

  3. elmer fudd Says:

    Croton Point Park is not a state park.

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