Saturday, May 3, 2014

Inwood Hill Park - May 3 - The warblers have arrived.

A fairly birdy day in Inwood. The winds were right for a flight last night (west and southwest winds) and the day did not disappoint. As I was getting ready to leave my apartment a bit after 6:30 am, Nadir Souirgi texted me that he had heard a Nelson's Sparrow from Muscota Marsh at the north end. I did not find this bird but while looking for it I received another text from Nadir reporting a Marsh Wren in the reeds north of the soccer field. I quickly headed over there (flushing a Solitary Sandpiper from the mudflats along the way) where I met Nadir and got some nice views of the wren - a bird I rarely see in the park. Nadir and I briefly birded the north and west sides of the soccer field, but he had to leave to lead a trip at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

On the way up the Clove a Hooded Warbler sang from the west side of the valley before flying in front of me to the east side. A few feet beyond three Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (two males and a female) chased each other around the vegetation. Further up the Clove a Wood Thrush gave its characteristic whip call, but did not sing. Yellow-rumped Warblers seemed to be everywhere.

Yellow-rumped Warbler                                                                   © Joseph DiCostanzo

Across from the southern pine grove on the ridge I encountered my first Magnolia Warbler of the season, while an adult male Orchard Oriole was nearby a few minutes later. In the afternoon, when i was back in the park with Dale Dancis, an adult male Orchard Oriole was feeding in the trees over the Henry Hudson Parkway by the Meadow Overlook. There were good numbers of Northern Parulas at the northern end of the ridge in the morning.

Many of the trees are just getting small leaves. I had not been in the park since before Wednesday's heavy rains so it was nice to see the continuing progression of flowering trees and wildflowers. To mention just a few, the Eastern Redbuds in the woods (as opposed to the planted ones on the edges of the park are now coming into their own.

Eastern Redbud                                                                                      © Joseph DiCostanzo

Also adding color to the woods are various apples and crab apples.

Crab Apple                                                                                  © Joseph DiCostanzo

On the ground in various places Common Blue Violets are adding to the purple of the Periwinkles that have been in bloom for weeks.

Common Blue Violet                                                                               © Joseph DiCostanzo

Between a few hours in the morning and another couple in the afternoon, my bird list totaled 60 species. In the evening a Black-crowned Night-Heron heard from my apartment window brought the total to 61. The full list follows.

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Solitary Sandpiper - 1 (see above)
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift - 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe - calling in the Clove
White-eyed Vireo - 1, heard calling on ridge
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo - several heard around edges of soccer field and on ridge
Red-eyed Vireo - edge of soccer field and on ridge
Blue Jay
American Crow
Barn Swallow - by the Hudson River near the Amtrak train bridge
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Marsh Wren - 1 (see above)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - still a few around
Hermit Thrush - several in the Clove
Wood Thrush - 1 (see above)
American Robin
Gray Catbird - all over
Northern Mockingbird - calling by Muscota Marsh area
European Starling
Ovenbird - on the ridge and singing in the Clove
Worm-eating Warbler - one east of the center trail on the ridge south of the meadow
Northern Waterthrush - singing off the northwest corner of the soccer field
Black-and-white Warbler - quite a few
Hooded Warbler - 1 (see above)
American Redstart - at least two adult males
Northern Parula - (see above)
Magnolia Warbler - (see above)
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler - ridge
Palm Warbler - ridge
Yellow-rumped Warbler - everywhere
Black-throated Green Warbler - ridge
Eastern Towhee - male and female calling on the ridge
Chipping Sparrow - 25 or more on the soccer field in the later afternoon
Savannah Sparrow - at least 1 on the soccer field with the Chippings
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager - ridge
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - (see above)
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole - (see above)
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

The winds are predicted to be favorable for migration again tonight and on Saturday evening as I write this the NEXRAD radar is indicating a flight in the northeast.

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