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New York Botanical Gardens - March 27, 2011

posted Apr 5, 2011, 5:45 AM by Arie Gilbert
by  Rick and Linda Kedenburg

Meeting in the parking lot, we were relieved that all ticket booths were open early and we could proceed up the path toward Twin Lakes. As usual, many Robins and Juncos  foraged in the new spring grass and two Song Sparrows joined them. Also, as usual, we were greeted by early spring flowers: daffodils, snow drops, crocus, scylla and glory of the snow. Forsythia was poised to open, buds were swelling on the trees and Red Maples were in early bloom. 

Twin Lakes provided the hoped-for Wood Ducks, more than usual. There were two pair and several bachelor drakes as well as Mallards. The usual Phoebes had not yet arrived but a lone Rough-winged Swallow darted about. There were also Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays, Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds and White-throated Sparrows. Entering the forest, we eventually tallied more chickadees and titmice, Red -bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch and a Brown Creeper. Although we had vague directions to the owls, we searched but came up empty. However, a Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead. Finding new benches in a sunny location, protected by a rocky outcropping, we stopped for lunch on the Overlook Trail and enjoyed the rushing waters of the Bronx River below. Considering the chilly weather forecast, it was a most comfortable spot for a lunch break.

Investigating the Snuff Mill, we discovered that it is now a catering facility for private parties. Crossing back over the river, we discovered several newly landscaped trails, most of the afore-mentioned birds plus a male Cardinal and  the ongoing work in the native plant garden.  Perhaps it will be open for next year’s trip.  Or maybe not. Rick tells me the sign read Ready in May, 2012. On March 27, 2011, we were happy for the birds we did observe and the bright sunshine and blue skies of an early spring day.  It was a jolly old QCBC walk -about.

Participants: Linda and Bernie, their guests - Peter and Judy, and Lenore and A.W. from North Shore Audubon.