Shawangunk Grasslands NWR

I waited for a good while for this female American Kestrel to fly…
…and finally she did. American Kestrel at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR 3-21-13.

I went out to the grasslands yesterday after work in response to a post to the Mearns Bird Club by Ken McDermott. A couple of days earlier, he had eight Short-eared Owls at 3:00 in the afternoon. I was thinking that I had seen my last SEOW of the season before I read the post, though I am not sure when they actually head north. I figured I would give it a try and see if I would get lucky. I did not have any luck with the owls, but it was still a good visit with an interesting combination of what I consider winter birds and spring birds. The Common Redpolls and Horned Larks are still lingering, but I also had Red-winged Blackbirds and my first of season Eastern Meadowlark:

Common Redpoll – Shawangunk Grasslands 3-21-13.

Turkey Vulture  4
Northern Harrier  5
Red-tailed Hawk  3
Killdeer  3
Ring-billed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  8
American Kestrel  1
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  10
Horned Lark  1
Eastern Bluebird  3
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Eastern Meadowlark  1
Common Grackle  1
Common Redpoll  25

The Common Redpolls were hanging around the parking lot for my entire visit. I was trying to get photos of them in flight (without any luck) and then they decided to line up for a photo. Common Redpolls at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR 3-21-13.
Of course the Northern Harriers were flying out at the Shawangunk Grasslands, 3-21-13.
One more Marsh Hawk, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR 3-21-13.

Today I did my usual brief visit to 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, where things were a little less birdy than my last visit, but I still had a good list:

A beautiful Red-tailed Hawk at 6 1/2 Station Rd Sanctuary, 3-22-13.

Canada Goose  30
Mute Swan  2
American Black Duck  2
Green-winged Teal  15
Ring-necked Duck  8
Common Merganser  1
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  4
Ring-billed Gull  23
Rock Pigeon  2
American Kestrel  1
American Crow  6
Song Sparrow  3

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