09/12/11 – Beacon Hiking

Double-crested Cormorant

It’s been a long time since I hiked in Beacon, so I decided to get to as many places as possible.

The gauntlet of spots started with Madam Brett Park and continued with Denning’s Point, the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, the Klara Sauer Trail, Long Dock Park and finished at the Beacon Riverfront near the train station.

At Madam Brett Park, I really just wanted to check out the falls and gather photos for my ‘Places to Hike’ section.  It wasn’t until I got to Denning’s Point that I began to see some of my feathered friends.  At one of the clearings, I spotted some great blue herons, a green heron and a pair of belted kingfishers.  We tried to hike the trail loop, but some portions were under a little water and were very muddy.

Tioranda Falls

The hotspot of the day was actually at a cove near the Beacon Institute.  From there, I spotted a majority of my birds.  I had spoken to a fellow birder while heading to the spot who mentioned seeing a juvenile black-crowned night heron from the same spot, but I was unable to find it.

However, great blue herons, green herons, double-crested cormorants, solitary sandpipers, and spotted sandpipers were all photographed here.  I even had a sharp-shinned hawk fly by, but I couldn’t react fast enough to get a shot.

I then picked up the Klara Sauer trail, which is a path that connects the Denning’s Point area to Long Dock Park and the Beacon Riverfront.  We didn’t see much wildlife here other than a few monarchs, but there were some great views of the Hudson River at various spots.  Long Dock Park was still under construction and isn’t open on weekends, but that didn’t stop a noisy kingfisher .  That just left us with the riverfront park.

Great Blue Heron

There, we had the most cooperative great blue heron near the shore on one of the docks.  He only got closer to us the longer we hung around, and even caught a little fish, as if to display his hunting prowess to us.  Other sightings included more green herons, some ring-billed gulls, mallard, and canada geese.

After that, we rested a bit, and came back the way we came.  All in all, another exceptional day with plenty of photos to share.

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