Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5 - Inwood Hill Park - Common Loon, Mourning Cloak

Took a walk around Inwood Hill Park this morning before going to Brooklyn to visit family for Easter. The park was relatively quiet, but there are increasing signs of spring arrivals. On the ridge I spotted my first Golden-crowned Kinglets of the season. I had heard reports of them in other city parks already, but these were the first I have had here this spring. While I was at the Overlook I spotted a black and white bird drifting slowy northward as it sat on the Hudson River. At the distance it was, it was little more than a speck, but I guessed it was a Common Loon. I quickly headed north and crossed under the Henry Hudson Bridge to one of the lookouts west of the Henry Hudson Parkway. A quick scan reloacted the bird and I confirmed my earlier suspicion - it was a winter plumage Common Loon. I have regularly seen loons in flight overhead at the park on migration, but only rarely seen them on the water. While I watched the loon it started actively diving and I eventually lost track of it. While I watched the loon an Osprey flew north over the river.

Non-avian spring signs were the first Mourning Cloak butterfly I have seen this year. James Knox had told me he had seen a couple on a warm day about a week and a half ago, but this was my first. Also spotted a few patches of daffodils that looked like they will be in bloom within a few days.

Daffodils about to bloom.                                                                                                     © Joseph Dicostanzo
My full list of 31 species follows.

Canada Goose
Common Loon (1, on Hudson River)
Great Egret (1)
Osprey (1, flying north over the Hudson)
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (2)
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet (2)
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Sparrow

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