Monday, December 12, 2005

Sunday Birding

Following a report of some very good birds for DC along the Anacostia, I went over to Anacostia Park to see if I could find the greater white-fronted goose that had been present the day before. There were several large flocks of Canada geese, on both the north and south ends of the park, but unfortunately no white-fronted goose was present.

The trip to Anacostia Park was not a waste, however. On the north end of the park, a gorgeous adult red-shouldered hawk glided past me and settled in a tree that was full of starlings. The latter barely stirred, and held their ground. A blue jay and northern mockingbird did take interest in the hawk, and began harrassing it. The hawk eventually left its perched and flew away, with the mockingbird and blue jay in close pursuit.

Among the geese on the river, I saw at least three pied-billed grebes, at several different points along the park. On the south end of the park - below the 11th Street bridge - an adult lesser black-backed gull was in a group of various other gulls. The small flock was on a sandbar across the river from the Navy Yards. I walked all the way down until the road appeared to stop and then back up to Pennsylvania Avenue. As I got to the bridge I spotted a northern harrier soaring over the bridge. Now, harriers are not particularly rare, but do not venture into Washington very frequently; this was my first sighting of one within the district.

Later in the afternoon I headed up to the McMillan Reservoir to check on the waterfowl. Most of the birds were on the south end of the reservoir, across the street from the Howard University student center. There were good numbers of American coots and ring-necked ducks, though both were in lower concentrations than the last time I visited. The usual gulls rounded out the crowd at the reservoir.


Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Ring-necked Duck
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
American Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Northern Mockingbird
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
House Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird