We have had two days of rainy weather courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Zeta. So I used some of the indoor time to make a new page on my blog. It is a full list of the birds I have found in Inwood Hill Park. The page can be found in the list of pages on the right side of the main page of the blog. Here is a link to go to it directly: My Inwood Bird List. The list currently stands at 222 species. I will add to it as I see new species in the park. I will also be adding more photographs of birds to the list.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Very gray morning. Cleared a little in the afternoon before turning gray again. In the afternoon I looked out the window and saw there were some hawks and vultures going by. I saw at least two Bald Eagles and a few Turkey Vultures. I headed down to Muscota Marsh with my scope to watch from there. I saw another Bald Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Osprey and some Red-tailed Hawks. There were again Pine Siskins feeding around the marsh plantings. Later I walked over to the soccer fields (minus the scope). Met Hilary Russ and later Diane Schenker and Elizabeth Pultz-White there. Lots of Dark-eyed Juncos, a few Song Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow and an immature White-crowned Sparrow.
|White-crowned Sparrow - Inwood Hill Park - 10/27/2020
Overhead small flocks of Brant were migrating south.
Monday, October 26, 2020
It was a dreary, wet day with lots of clouds and drizzle. I did make a trip up on to the ridge trying to refind a mystery warbler seen, but not identified yesterday. I had no luck finding the unknown bird from yesterday. However, there were still Pine Siskins around and a number of sparrows including flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos, Field Sparrow and several White-crowned Sparrows. There were at least two White-crowns out on the soccer field. Back at Muscota I found another immature White-crowned. As soon as I saw it I realized it would be visible from the apartment window, so I headed upstairs to try to add it to my apartment bird list. When I looked out from the window there were no birds at all in the bush I had seen the sparrow in. It took a few minutes, but finally birds started coming out to feed again. My guess is that someone had walked by and frightened all the birds back into the dense bushes. Finally they were out feeding again and there with the Song Sparrows, goldfinches, and siskins was the White-crowned Sparrow. The sparrow was species number 121 for the apartment.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
|Pine Siskin (left) and American Goldfinch - Muscota Marsh - 10/25/2020
|Vesper Sparrow - Inwood Hill Park - 10/25/2020
|Resinous Polypore (Ischnoderma resinosum) - Inwood Hill Park -10/25/2020
|Ring-billed Gull - Inwood Hill Park - 10/25/2020
|Red-tailed Hawk - Inwood Hill Park - 10/25/2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
I didn't get out into the park today, but in the afternoon when the weather cleared a bit I watched from my apartment window. Yesterday a single Pine Siskin was a new species for my apartment list. This afternoon there were 20-30 Pine Siskins (plus 10+ American Goldfinch) feeding in the plantings in Muscota Marsh. It was hard to know whether the flocks I saw flying around were always the same individuals or different groups so I don't know for sure how many siskins were about. The pictures below were all digiscoped from my apartment window.
|Pine Siskin - Muscota Marsh - 10/24/2020
|Pine Siskin - Muscota Marsh - 10/24/2020
|Pine Siskins - Muscota Marsh - 10/24/2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Yet another foggy morning at sunup, but it mostly lifted early, though it remained cloudy for most of the day. However, as in recent days I saw reports on the Internet of flocks of Pine Siskins around the city so I decided to spend some time in the later morning watching from an apartment window in hopes of adding the species to my apartment list. I was encouraged by flocks of American Goldfinches feeding in the flowers and weeds around Muscota Marsh. Finally I spotted a siskin with a group of goldfinch across Muscota on the other side of the boat ramp. At that distance I was only able to get a poor digiscope photo of the bird, but it is recognizable.
|Pine Siskin (above) - Inwood Hill Park - 10/23/2020
This was species number 120 for my apartment list, the second new species for the list this month, after the Nelson's Sparrow on October 14.
|Yellow-rumped Warbler - Inwood Hill Park - 10/23/2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Another foggy morning in Inwood; the third in a row. So I thought I would post some bird pictures I took back on October 9. That morning was a lovely morning with a fair number of birds around. I birded that day with Danny Karlson, Hilary Russ, Diane Schenker and a couple of others. I recorded 55 species that morning. The list included five woodpeckers: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker. The list also included both Ruby-crowned, and Golden-crowned kinglets; both Red-breasted, and White-breasted nuthatches; and a couple of Pine Siskins. Another highlight was eight species of sparrows: Chipping, Field, White-crowned, White-throated, Savannah, Song, and Swamp sparrows, and Dark-eyed Junco. A White-throated Sparrow was especially cooperative and posed for its picture.
|White-throated Sparrow - Inwood Hill Park - 10/09/2020
I also recorded seven warblers that morning: Tennessee, Magnolia, Blackpoll, Palm, Yellow-rumped, and Black-throated Green warblers, and Common Yellowthroat. A Tennessee and a Black-throated Green, like the White-throated Sparrow, were both particularly cooperative.
|Tennessee Warbler - Inwood Hill Park - 10/09/2020
|Black-throated Green Warbler - Inwood Hill Park - 10/09/2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
On this somewhat dreary morning I thought I would add some recent photos to my Butterflies of Inwood Hill Park page. First is a Red-banded Hairstreak photographedby the fenced in area on the north side of the soccer field about two weeks ago.
|Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) 10/03/2020
Second is a caterpillar of a Spicebush Swallowtail found up on the ridge in September. I have seen this butterfly in the park but have not managed to get a good photograph of one yet.
|Caterpillar of a Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troils) 09/21/2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
|American White Pelican and Double-crested Cormorant
There were quite a few waterfowl on the East Pond including many Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, one male Bufflehead and two early Snow Geese. While we scanned the East Pond a Peregrine Falcon flew into the tree over our heads and studied us for a few minutes.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Edward William Nelson (1855- 1934): His father was killed in the Civil War. His mother's dressmaking business was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. When he was seventeen he went with some school friends on a trip to the Rocky Mountains led by the great 19th Century paleontologist and fossil collector Edward Drinker Cope. From 1877 to 1881 he explored and collected in Alaska. The field work in Alaska was so arduous that he suffered somewhat poor health from it for the rest of his life. Contracting tuberculosis after returning from Alaska didn't help either. In 1890-1891 he was on the US Biological Survey's Death Valley Expedition. Nelson went on to become President of the American Ornithologists Union (1908-1910) and Chief of the U.S. Biological Survey (1916-1927). In the latter capacity he negotiated the Migratory Bird Treaty between the U.S. and Canada. There are about 120 species and subspecies of mammals named for Nelson as well as two reptiles, five fish and two butterflies. On the coast of Alaska there is a Nelson's Island named for him. But before that distinuguished career, in 1874, when he was only 18 he collected the first specimen of a previously unknown sparrow at Calumet Lake in south Chicago. The ornithologist Joel A. Allen named the sparrow for Nelson when he described it in 1875.
Now, back to today's birds. Also down in Muscota Marsh this morning was an immature White-crowned Sparrow.