To the editor:
I just finished a treasure hunt right here in Amsterdam. What treasure, you ask. Birds, of course. The natural areas in and around Amsterdam have many overlooked gems, birds being just one of them. I think exploring the wonders of nature is a great way to support and enjoy the Gateway Overlook and surrounding community. This was the second bird walk that I’ve led over the Overlook and they’ve both yielded beautiful treasures.
Four people joined me in this search. We bested the August walk of 25 species by finding two more for a total of 27. The most unusual birds were a peregrine falcon and a bald eagle, observed twice! During the first half of the walk, as we left the boat launch area and crossed the South Chuctanunda Creek we spotted at a distance, in the sun-golden glow of the morning fog, an eagle being harassed by a peregrine falcon. At one point the falcon swooped at the eagle and the eagle responded by doing a quick flip over in flight exposing its talons to the falcon. The two then quickly moved on to the east and out of sight.
The second observation occurred toward the end of the walk. We were at the River Link Park, heading back to the South Side when the peregrine flew by. It was flying strongly at eye level, over the middle of the Mohawk, heading up stream, disappearing under the Route 30 bridge. No sooner than I had joked, “Wonder if the eagle has turned the tables and is chasing the falcon,” the eagle sauntered slowly up river at tree top height on the South Side giving us a long spectacular view.
We ended our excursion at MaryJane’s Market for some coffee and refreshments. Why not support some of our local businesses while enjoying Amsterdam naturally.
Next walk, Saturday, October 7 at 7:30. Meet at the boat launch on the South Side just past the Bocce Club. Who knows what treasures we’ll find then?