Yesterday morning I stopped by the northwest corner of City Park (Marconi x Robert E Lee), where I spent 20 minutes working the bald cypress glade and the northern end of the bayou along Marconi Drive.
The most exciting find was an active Red-shouldered Hawk nest- a big clump of sticks about 35 feet up in a cypress. It is ~30 yards south of the dirt driveway that leaves Marconi, and also ~30 yards into the woods from the levee edge. One adult was moving from tree to tree nearby, keeping tabs on me; the other was sitting low on the nest- usually a sign of incubating- with her tail sticking out visibly over its south rim.
Finding few land birds among the cypresses, I walked across Marconi to scan the lagoon. A couple dozen swimming birds there included 11 Gadwall, 10 Lesser Scaup, 1 Ring-necked Duck (male), and a Pied-billed Grebe. An Anhinga was sitting on the far shore, wings stretched to dry.
Songbird activity was mainly concentrated in the scattered trees along the bayou edge, where a mixed flock included 3 Carolina Chickadees, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, and a bright male Pine Warbler. A Yellow-rumped Warbler and a very vocal Eastern Phoebe were loosely affilitated with this group. A duo of Loggerhead Shrikes sat quietly in a tree, apparently paired in anticipation of nesting.
My main reason for coming to this spot was that an Ash-throated Flycatcher has been reported spending the winter here. No luck finding it today, but that just gives me an excuse to make another visit.