Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Tropical Storm Isaias passed northward to the west of New York City today. Until the mid afternoon I watched Muscota Marsh area from my apartment window. In the afternoon shortly before the rain stopped I walked down to Dyckman Street to look at the Hudson River from there. Even before I got there I received word that a Sooty Tern had been seen on the river from there. When I got to the river I was disappointed to discover the gate to the pier was closed and locked. I headed onto the ball fields to find a vantage point to watch the river. I soon encountered Nathan O'Reilly who said he had seen two Sooty Terns about ten minutes earlier. Before too long we saw a Common Tern out over the river, the first of that species either of us had ever seen from the park. Soon after that, Nathan spotted a Sooty Tern high over the river headed north. It was too far to photograph, but it was identifiable. In a little while we were joined by Nadir Souirgi. Over the next couple of hours we saw a number of flocks of shorebirds flying south over the river. Most were too far to identify in binoculars beyond calling them peeps. Nadir had his scope with him and thought most were Least Sandpipers. We did see a flock of five Semipalmated Plovers and a flock of 20 Sanderlings. The Sanderlings were also new for my Inwood Hill Park list. Another new species for my Inwood list was Least Tern: we had a group of four and later a group of six flying south over the river. After Nathan left, Nadir and I had another single Least Tern go by. During our watch of the river we were joined by Ari Rice - we all maintained social distancing while birding. :) At one point Ari called he had a Sooty Tern coming down the river. This one came much closer than the one I had seen earlier and I was able to get some identifiable though not great photos of it.