Monday, March 13, 2006

Birds on the Mall

This evening I walked around the west end of the Mall for an hour or two. I started out to see if anything was new at Constitution Gardens. It turned out that only the common birds were there: large flocks of American robins, dark-eyed juncos, common grackles, red-winged blackbirds, and European starlings. The lake has been refilled, so the mallards and ring-billed gulls are back. A northern flicker called repeatedly from high in a tree. The gardens here have a reputation as a migrant trap, so the site bears frequent visitation.

As I walked, I could see small flocks of double-crested cormorants flying high overhead as they followed the course of the Potomac northwest. Later, when I rounded back along the river, there were few birds on it. A small flock of lesser scaup has returned to the Tidal Basin, along with the usual gull species.

This first-year ring-billed gull let out a big yawn as I took its picture. It needs to learn better manners.