Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20 - Inwood Hill Park - Cooper's Hawk, blackbirds & Muskrat

It was above freezing for the first time in a couple of days this morning when I went into Inwood Hill Park for a quick walk along the ridge. Migration is nearly over and the woods were fairly quiet, but there were flocks of blackbirds - mostly Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds - passing south overhead. In the hour or so I was in the park, well over a thousand birds passed overhead.Among the waterfowl there were only the usual Canada Geese, Mallards and American Black Ducks, but the Black Duck numbers are slowly increasing with at least four around this morning.

On the way back out of the park I saw a Cooper's Hawk fly into a tree east of the soccer fields, just a little way in from the Indian Road side of the park. As I got closer to the bird it seemed to be busy eating. It allowed a relatively close approach while it ate what appeared to be a House Sparrow. After taking a few pictures, I left the bird to its repast.

immature Cooper's Hawk                                       © Joseph DiCostanzo

I had one other interesting sighting in the park this morning, this one from my apartment window before I went out. A week or so ago I noticed a suspicious looking mound in the middle of the freshwater pool areas in Muscota Marsh. I thought it looked like it might be a Muskrat lodge, at least it looked as if it might be, and I have on occasion seen Muskrats in Inwood. This morning I had my suspicions apparently confirmed when I spotted a Muskrat swimming in the partially frozen water next to the mound. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera handy when the Muskrat was visible, but below is a picture of the mound as seen from my window.

apparent Muskrat lodge in Muscota Marsh                                                                                               © Joseph DiCostanzo
When I mentioned the Muskrat in the new Muscota Marsh area to my friend Sean Sime, his comment was: "If you build it, they will come."

1 comment:

  1. Great scouting and observations!! Guess he wanted to upgrade his accommodations from the Rocky Edge of the Inwood Hill marsh. Too many rat neighbors possibly. : )


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