Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 5 - Inwood Hill Park - Great morning; followed by disappointment in Brooklyn

Birded Inwood Hill Park on this cool, crisp, fall morning. I went out to Muscota Marsh around 7:20 am to see if yesterday's White-rumped Sandpiper was still around. There was no sign of it - couldn't even find any of the Semipalmated Sandpipers that have been present for weeks. Around 7:40 Nadir Souirgi arrived, followed by Ed Eden's scheduled arrival at 7:45. We fairly quickly headed into the park. We wanted to get away from the entrance before masses of bicyclists started arriving on a charity bike run. Things were quiet crossing the soccer fields until we arrived at the west side of it where we found one tree that we dubbed the "magic tree". There were numbers of migrants, particularly warblers, feeding in the tree and its immediate vicinity. We spent probably the next hour standing on the soccer field birding this tree and its environs. We were joined by James Knox and Ann Shaw, though Nadir had to leave after 9:00 for other commitments. We found eleven warblers in the park this morning and ten of them were in this spot. Among the other species here were Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, both kinglets, Chipping Sparrows, and Indigo Buntings. At one point we heard the call of a Common Raven behind us and turned around to see one flying over Indian Road; when James joined us a few minutes later he said he had seen the bird over Isham Street. Later in the morning we had a raven go over us when we were at the meadow overlook on the ridge and shortly after three more ravens together soaring overhead. This is the most ravens I have yet seen in the park. The ridge was not as busy as we hoped it might be given this beginning, but we continued to pick up species. The overlook was good for hawks. Danny Karlson joined us while we were at the overlook. While we were on the ridge, my friend Sean Sime called to let me know the Northern Wheatear that had been presnet at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn had been seen there again. Ed, Danny and I left the park around noon to make the run to Brooklyn for the wheatear. (James and Ann had left us earlier. Danny met a friend and went to Brooklyn by public transportation while Ed and I drove out.) Unfortunately, we had no luck with the wheatear, though it was a lovely afternoon at Plumb Beach. Our morning list in Inwood totaled 58 species - a very respectable total for an October day in the park. Ann and I added one species, Semipalmated Sandpiper, at the end of the day. The complete list follows.

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant (2)
Great Blue Heron (1, immature flying east along canal in morning)
Great Egret (1, usual bird around the lagoon by the soccer field)
Osprey (at least 12, mostly seen flying south along the Hudson from the overlook)
Red-tailed Hawk (2)
American Kestrel (1, overlook)
Merlin (4, overlook)
Peregrine Falcon (1, overlook, and 1 seen by Ann and me at Muscota in the evening)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (2, seen at Muscota in the late afternoon on my return from Brooklyn)
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (the others saw them over the ridge in the morning and Ann and I saw numbers                      gathering over the soccer fields around sunset)
Belted Kingfisher (1)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2, on the ridge)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)
Northern Flicker (small numbers. Surprisingly, we did not encounter any Red-bellied Woodpeckers -                    just random chance since this last species is a common resident in the park.)
Eastern Phoebe (5)
Blue-headed Vireo (1)
Red-eyed Vireo (2, on the ridge)
Blue Jay
Common Raven (5, see account above)
Black-capped Chickadee (1)
Tufted Titmouse (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2, heard and seen by the edge of the soccer field)
Carolina Wren (2, heard)
House Wren (1, I saw one on the edge of the fenced area on the north side of the soccer field)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swainson's Thrush (2)
American Robin
Gray Catbird (5, numbers were way down from recent days)
Northern Mockingbird (1, the usual bird by Muscota Marsh)
European Starling
Black-and-white Warbler (1)
Nashville Warbler (2)
Common Yellowthroat (3)
American Redstart (1)
Northern Parula (3)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1, on the ridge - the only one of the warblers seen that was not on the edge of                    the soccer field in the morning)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (2)
Palm Warbler (4, mostly "Yellow Palm Warblers", but at least one "Western Palm Warbler")
Yellow-rumped Warbler (10)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Eastern Towhee (1, heard on the ridge)
Chipping Sparrow (5)
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow (4, Muscota)
White-throated Sparrow (2)
Scarlet Tanager (1, on the ridge by the Indian Cave overlook)
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting (3, two at the "Magic Tree" (see account above) and one at the meadow overlook)
House Sparrow

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