10/02/11 – Norrie Point, Mills Mansion Hike

Belted Kingfisher

We FINALLY had some sun on Sunday, so I decided to head out for some bird watching.  I barely got to the car with my fiancee when she saw a large bird in the sky.  It was a bald eagle!  It made us decide to head to the Hudson River to look for more, so Norrie Point and Mills Mansion were now the stops on our list.

The first stop was Norrie Point.  We had a very vocal and busy belted kingfisher flying about, so I was very surprised to get the picture you see here!  This is probably the best capture yet of this species I’ve gotten!  This nemesis bird has always been a thorn in my side, so it was good to add a better picture to my personal collection.

Near the environmental center, there was a lone great blue heron sitting on a log, who didn’t feel threatened at all by our presence or the presence of others who walked by.  We also had two vocal red-shouldered hawks flying about, but they stayed at a distance.  Add in a few cormorants, some mallards, and a single canada goose, and that wraps up the sightings at Norrie.

Mills Mansion

The next stop was Mills Mansion.  Once again, we headed down to the river to see what we might find.  All the way out near the Esopus Lighthouse, we could faintly make out an adult bald eagle flying around.  It was too far away for a photograph though.  Other river sightings included a great blue heron and some canada geese.

With the sightings coming few and far between, we headed to one of the trails leading back to the mansion.  Along the way, we found some green frogs, carolina wrens, and both clouded and orange sulphur butterflies.

It wasn’t the most exciting bird watching day, but I’ll take it!  Better than rain any day!

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