Sunday, May 4, 2014

Inwood Hill Park - May 4 - Another great migration day

Another great morning in the park for migrants! I went into the park twice during the day - first at 6:30 am. On the west side of the soccer fields I ran into Nadir Souirgi and we spent the morning birding the park together. Our combined list was 70 species, including 20 warblers. The weather kept changing. It was sunny, but a bit cool at first, then clouds moved in and it became mostly overcast. Interestingly, at one point during the overcast there suddenly seemed to be birds dropping out of the sky when we were on the northern part of the ridge. With the overcast it seemed to get cooler, rather than warmer as the morning progressed, but then as we left the park, it suddenly cleared again and warmed up. Ann and I went in to the park together at 12:30 for a few hours. Most of the time it was sunny, but we retreated towards the apartment when it clouded over and a light rain fell briefly around 3:30. by the time we were leaving the park, it was getting sunny again and the rest of the day was bright, but breezy. It was not as birdy the second time in so Ann and I concentrated a bit more on plants than birds. A spring wildflower we have been watching for has been Jack-in-the-Pulpit and in the afternoon I spotted one with Ann in the upper part of the Clove.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit                                                                         © Joseph DiCostanzo

Much showier, but also a spring favorite was the Flowering Dogwood now coming out in spots on the ridge.

Flowering Dogwood                                                                       © Joseph DiCostanzo

There were a number of other trees, vines, and wildflowers in bloom, many of which I am still learning to identify. I find plants much harder than birds, even though they don't move!

Another touch of color Ann and I came across was a bright orange fungus growing out of a small log at the top of the Clove road. I don't know what it is, but it certainly seems distinctive.

                                                                                                               © Joseph DiCostanzo

To finish up, the following are some of the highlights of the morning's bird list in more or less checklist order:
Common Loon - 2 breeding plumage individuals Nadir and I saw flying over as we left the soccer field
Spotted Sandpiper - 2 by Muscota Marsh at 6:30
Greater Yellowlegs - 1, Nadir spotted one on the flats north of the soccer fields that flew off to the south.                          Not common in the park.

Greater Yellowlegs                                                           © Joseph DiCostanzo

Nearly all of the following warblers were seen in the morning with things much quieter in the midday.
Ovenbird - a few, some calling
Worm-eating Warbler - 1
Northern Waterthrush - several calling as well as seen along the temporary running water in the Clove                             left by the recent rains
Blue-winged Warbler - 3, on the ridge
Black-and-white Warbler - all over
Tennessee Warbler - 2, on the ridge
Nashville Warbler - 3, ridge
Common Yellowthroat - lower Clove
American Redstart - a few all day, males and females
Northern Parula - all over the ridge
Magnolia Warbler - a few in the morning and midday
Blackburnian Warbler - 3, ridge
Yellow Warbler - on the edge of the soccer field
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 2, males on ridge in the morning and 1 male lower Clove midday
Black-throated Blue Warbler - all over the ridge all day
Palm Warbler - still a few around, but getting scarcer
Pine Warbler - Nadir spotted one in a far tree on the ridge which I missed, but didn't try very hard for                               since I have seen a number of them earlier in the park this spring
Yellow-rumped Warbler - fewer than yesterday, but still good numbers
Prairie Warbler - 2, ridge
Black-throated Green Warbler - scattered individuals on the ridge
Scarlet Tanager - 1, singing in the upper Clove in the morning
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1, a male on the ridge in the morning
Orchard Oriole - 3, an adult male and two first year males

Over the weekend, I recorded 75 species in the park. The winds are going back into the northwest tonight so I expect things will be much quieter for the next couple of days.

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