Following three days of bad weather and no birding (really). I was looking for something good to do today. Karen Miller must have read my mind, asking if I’d like to go to Westchester. We headed down the east side of the Hudson, having crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge. Our first stop was the waterfront at Peekskill. There we had 15 Great Cormorants, all three common gulls and half a dozen Bald Eagles. We moved on to Croton Point, birding both the train station and the park. At the water front by the station we had many of the common gulls, Canada Geese, Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Mallard and Black Ducks. Two Cooper’s and one Red-tailed Hawk. Another 8 Bald Eagles and the bird of the day for me, a Merlin. The Merlin put on quite a show. He zoomed and swooped and swirled through and around the trees. It would lite for a moment and then start all over again. In the balmy 50 degree weather, the only explanation was it was having fun, as no prey was seen. From there we went into the park where we had more Mergansers and many common passerines. We soon headed on to Read Nature Sanctuary in Rye. We had many ducks there including Greater and Lesser Scaup, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Black Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, two White-winged Scoters, Horned Grebe, Common Loon and Brant. Both Great and Double-crested Cormorants were on the rocks. Fish Crows were calling all around. We had a nice lunch on the water front and then headed back to Orange County. Karen headed home and I headed to Oil City Road to try for owls. I met Matt Zeitler and Jesse Jaycox there. We had many Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks and one Northern Harrier. No owls by the time I left at 5:45, but still a great day with an abundance of raptors. Thanks Karen for a great day!