I walked over to the National Museum of the American Indian this afternoon to check out what birds were hanging around there. On the way I stopped by the Capitol's reflecting pool. Lots of ring-billed gulls were in and around the pool. The flock included this finely-streaked first-winter ring-billed gull.
The folks running the Indian museum, as I have noted here before, planned several habitats into a series of gardens surrounding the museum. So far, the most interesting to me - and to birds - has been the freshwater marsh. The marsh pond has become a gathering place for ducks and other birds. The mallard flock has grown to about 15-20 birds, which is fairly large for a pond of this size. One has the opportunity to watch them at close range, since they are used to people.
Today the marsh also held a small flock of red-winged blackbirds. Several sparrows were represented as well, including house sparrows and swamp sparrows. A few of these are pictured below. Shortly before I left the museum grounds, a large flock of mourning doves (about 40) flew in, alighted briefly on the trees, and then took off headed south across Independence Avenue. This was not a real surprise since I have seen mourning doves in large numbers around the Mall before.
Technorati tags: Birding, National Mall