Friday, May 15, 2020

May 15 - Inwood Hill Park - The day we have been waiting for.

There was a light rain at dawn, but this was the day birders had been waiting for. The sunup rains quickly cleared out and there were partly cloudy skies and rising temperatures the rest of the day, getting into the mid-80's in the afternoon. More importantly, in the morning there were lots of birds with good variety.Most of the day was spent birding with Danny Karlson, Hilary Russ, and Diane Schenker. Rachael Joakim was with us fr part of the morning.

I knew it was going to be a good day when I heard and saw a singing Common Yellowthroat as soon as I stepped on to 218th Street. It was in a small shrub by the platform overlooking Muscota Marsh. In the afternoon I had the bird again, but this time from my apartment window, bringing my April/May window list to 45 species. On the rocks at the shoreline of Muscota Hilary spotted a Least Sandpiper. She also suspects Barn Swallows are nesting under the Columbia University dock.

The walk up the road to the north end of the ridge that passes in front of the Henry Hudson Bridge toll plaza was very good. My species list got to 50 species before getting to the plaza. This included four new year birds: Swainson's Thrush, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, and Canada warblers. Later in the morning Cedar Waxwing was also new for the year bringing my April/May Inwood list to 114 species. My final tally was 70 species; perhaps my best ever single day Inwood list.

Before I get to the full bird list there were some flowers in bloom that I hadn't gotten pictures of before. On the way up to the bridge there was some wisteria in bloom.
Near the old hacking station some pretty Common Cinquefoil were along the edge of the path.
In the Clove the Mayapple was finally in bloom.

This last photo is not botanical. At sunset Ann and I sat on a bench in the lower portion of the Muscota Marsh area. I hoped for a sight of migrating Common Nighthawks, but none appeared. Instead we were treated to a bright Venus in the west.

Below is the day's bird list

Canada Goose 7
Mallard 6
Rock Pigeon 4
Mourning Dove 2
Chimney Swift 6
Least Sandpiper 2
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 1 - My 70th bird of the walk. On the mudflats north of the soccer fields.
Ring-billed Gull 12
Herring Gull 2
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture 4
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Least Flycatcher 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 5
Red-eyed Vireo 5
Blue Jay 9
Common Raven 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Tree Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
House Wren 2
Carolina Wren 4
European Starling 12
Gray Catbird 10
Northern Mockingbird 1
Veery 2
Swainson's Thrush 4
Hermit Thrush 1
Wood Thrush 5
American Robin 20
Cedar Waxwing 12
House Sparrow 15
American Goldfinch 1
Song Sparrow 4
Eastern Towhee 2
Orchard Oriole 1
Baltimore Oriole 10
Red-winged Blackbird 6
Common Grackle 5
Ovenbird 4
Northern Waterthrush 2
Black-and-white Warbler 10
Nashville Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 4
American Redstart 8
Northern Parula 10
Magnolia Warbler 2
Bay-breasted Warbler 5
Blackburnian Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Blackpoll Warbler 5
Black-throated Blue Warbler 6
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Black-throated Green Warbler 3
Canada Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 2
Scarlet Tanager 6
Northern Cardinal 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1

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