Saturday, March 8, 2014

Inwood Hill Park, Mar 8, 2014 - White-winged Scoter and odd Canvasback continue

The male White-winged Scoter that appeared two days ago continues east of the Henry Hudson Bridge at the north end of the park. This morning before 9:00 am there were also 13 Canvasbacks there and a couple of female Greater Scaup. With the Canvasbacks was the leucistic male individual I spotted here two days ago.

Canvasbacks, Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter                                                                            © Joseph DiCostanzo

Also nearby were a couple of female type Red-breasted Mergansers. I say female type because I believe at least one of them is a first winter male (see below), based on the dark around the eye.

Red-breasted Merganser                                                                                                                              © Joseph DiCostanzo

Also this morning there was a lone Common Grackle on the edge of the soccer fields. The return of the grackles to Inwood is usually the first sign of spring here. March 8th is actually a bit late for recent years. I usually spot them the last week in February, but with this cold winter it does not surprise me that they are running late.This afternoon it is 54 F outside and the snow is melting rapidly. I haven't wanted to risk the icy paths up onto the ridge recently, but it may be possible in the next day or so.


  1. Always wondered how to tell greater and lesser scaup apart.

    1. The best way is by the head shape. Greater's have a slightly rounder, more rounded head; Lesser's have a peaked crown. A good field guide will show the difference.


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