Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27 - Inwood Hill Park - Spring and winter meet

I had a very pleasant couple of hours walk in Inwood this morning. In that short time the weather kept changing. When I first went in it was mostly overcast and cool, but then it cleared to bright, blue skies before some clouds moved back in to turn it into a fairly bright, partly cloudy morning, Later in the day it was mainly cloudy again. It was still early and cloudy when I first stopped by the Trout Lilies (Dog-tooth Violets) and the flowers were still closed.

Trout Lilies 04-27-2015 Inwood Hill Park
A couple of hours later when I came by again, the same flowers were fully open.

Trout Lillies 04-27-2015 Inwood Hill Park
Trout Lily 04-27-2015 Inwood Hill Park
Up on the ridge there were some nice patches of Cut-leaved Toothwort. I didn't go past them again later, but I expect they also fully opened as the morning progressed.

Cut-leaved Toothwort 04-27-2015 Inwood Hill Park
I must thank Leslie Day for the identification of this wildflower. A couple of days ago Jessica Ancker posted some pictures of this flower on the inwoodbirdwatchers listserv hoping for an identification. Leslie very quickly provided the name.

Once again the birding was relatively quiet in the park. There were a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets around and a singing Blue-headed Vireo, but I only could find two warblers - Black-and-white and Yellow-rumped. However, easily the best bird of the morning was more reminiscent of winter birding than a spring day. I was surprised to spot a second year immature Glaucous Gull wheeling around over the Hudson from the overlook on the ridge. The large, very pale gull kept climbing as it circled over the river and gradually moved north.This was the first time i had seen this species in the park and my first for Manhattan. My Inwood Hill Park list is now 207 species and my New York County list is 242. The full morning list of 35 species is below.

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Glaucous Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue-headed Vireo (singing)
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren (singing)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-and-white Warbler (male)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (a number singing)
Eastern Towhee (singing and calling)
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

[UPDATE: I raised that the above total to 36 species this afternoon with a Great Egret feeding in the salt grass section of Muscota Marsh as seen from my window. Also, the Muskrat was active in the middle pool. It does seem to have taken up residence there. Also I meant to mention two butterflies seen on my morning walk - Spring Azure and Cabbage White.]

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