Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4 - Inwood Hill Park - migrants, old and new

Another beautiful morning in Inwood Hill Park with even more birds than yesterday. Yesterday Ed Eden and I found 52 species in 5 hours; this morning I found 55 in three hours. It was a sort of strange mix of new arrivals and early spring migrants that had mostly passed through already. Clearly the overnight migration brought in some of these early migrants that had wintered further south. For instance, yesterday morning we did not hear or see a single White-throated Sparrow. This morning its familiar old sam peabody, peabody, peabody  was one of the first things I heard in the Clove and I later came across some small groups of them on the ridge. Similarly, I hadn't seen an Eaastern Phoebe in the park in probably more than a week, but I came across one this morning.

Before moving on to some of the new arrivals, I want to report that the Wild Turkey was encountered again this morning. As I said in some facebook psotings, I have decided its name is Norma, because it was ready for its close-up!
Wild Turkey 05/04/2015 Inwood Hill Park
Actually, I think what happened was it was trying to quietly walk away from an approaching dog-walker when I suddenly came around a bend in the path and came upon it, and it just froze allowing me to get this headshot. Though I must say, it is not very wary.

Back to the more conventional migrants. On the incoming tide there were two Least Sandpipers feeding on the shrinking mudflats of the bay north of the soccer fields - my first of the year. Yesterday Ed and I were surprised that we did not see a Black-throated Blue Warbler, especially when there were so many Black-throated Greens around. Today the Blues outnumbered the Greens!

male Black-throated Blue Warbler 05/04/2015 Inwood Hill Park
Another new arrival, and not a common bird in the park was a Yellow-throated Vireo singing its three-eight, three-eight song from the top of a tree on the ridge north of the pine groves. Later, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was feeding and singing in the same vicinity.

male Rose-breasted Grosbeak 05/04/2015 Inwood Hill Park
On the ridge I encountered Danny Karlson who said he had just had a wabler singing in a tree, but he hadn't been able to identify it as it was high up and mostly silhouetted against the sun. We tracked it down and it turned out to be my first American Redstart of the year. I understood Danny's problem because it was a first year male, nit yet in its bright black and orange colors. Also as is typical of many of these young males, it hasn't really perfected its song yet so it doesn't sound right. It was surprosing that this young male was my first of the species for the year since the adult males tned tobe the first migrants. My complete list for the morning is below.

Canada Goose
Wild Turkey
Great Egret
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Finally, to mention a few plants - the large lilac bush by the Hudson River overlook has started to bloom.

Lilacs 05/04/2015 Inwood Hill Park
Also the invasive, and abundant, Garlis-Mustard that covers so much of the woodland understory is starting to bloom.

Garlic-Mustard 05/04/2015 Inwood Hill Park
I seem to have a strange mental block about remembering the name of this abundant weed, since once again this year I had to get it identified for me. Perhaps if I embarrass myself enough times askig for its identification I may finally get past the block and rember it myself!

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