Friday, April 18, 2008

short but sweet

I took a very short walk through the Vale of Cashmere at Prospect Park this afternoon. The flora is starting to become quite fuzzy and colorful, with small buds giving way to tiny flowers and leaves. I saw the usual suspects, including starlings and a cardinal, squirrels and a chipmunk, and a proud robin keeping watch over the Vale from its perch. The same pair of friendly mallards from last week paddled around in the very shallow puddle. I wonder when that pond will be filled - I'm sure it will be beautiful. I also saw again the ruby-crowned kinglet, and this time he was out in good light with his ruby crest raised like a little mohawk. I kept my binoculars trained on a northern flicker for a while as it popped in and out of a high tree-hole. As I climbed the hill-path toward the Long Meadow, I saw a spot of black and white moving about on a log. I'm always happy to see a downy woodpecker, so I watched for a few minutes. But it quickly became apparent from the size of the bird and the size of its beak that what I had here was my first hairy woodpecker. I watched it slowly push its way up a tree and out of sight. It was a nice way to end my brief outing.

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