Tuesday, February 16, 2021

late-December 2020 to mid-February 2021 - Catching Up

I haven't posted in a while for a number of reasons. The biggest was that Ann and I caught COVID-19 in early-January. I was lucky and only had relatively mild symptoms which I got over in about a week. Ann, however, had more severe symptoms leading up to being hospitalized and on oxygen for nine days. She is now home and feeling fine.

Since my last post back on December 17, before COVID, and since my recovery I have had some good birding, both in Inwood and elsewhere which I will put together in this post. Back in December we did have a Barred Owl in Inwood Hill Park (originally found by Danny Karlson). Danny found it before the local Christmas bird count, but I agree with the policy of not publicizing owls on-line so I did not report it at the time. We were lucky enough to have it on the bird count.

Barred Owl - 12/13/2020

Another great, in fact incredible, bird for the park was a Brown Pelican on the Hudson by Spuyten Duyvil on January 16, 2021 seen by Dmitriy Aronov and Nathan O'Reilly (and photographed by Nathan). It had been reported up river in Westchester earlier in the day and Dmitriy and Nathan watched for it when it headed downriver. Unfortunately, I was in COVID quarantine at the time and could not go out and watch for it myself. Congratulations to both of them on a great addition to the Inwood list.

Dmitriy Aronov is also to be congratulated on another great find and addition to the Inwood list: a Common Redpoll he found on the ballfields by Dyckman Street at the south end of the park on January 30, 2021. By then I was out of quarantine and was able to get down there to see the bird.
Common Redpoll - January 30, 2021 - Inwood Hill Park

The Common Redpoll was my 225th species for Inwood Hill Park. My full Inwood list is on My Inwood List page.

Away from Inwood Hill Park, I picked up two new birds for my New York State list. I was extremely lucky to get them since they were both originally found in early-January when COVID curtailed my birding. One of them was New York State's first ever Ferruginous Hawk which was discovered in early January up in Orange County. Lucky for me, the bird settled in and I was able to get a brief view of it on January 25 on my second try with Georgia Rose. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a photograph. I believe the Ferruginous is still present, but is often elusive. The second state bird, also originally found in early-January, was a Spotted Towhee in Baldwin Harbor in Nassau County. This was not a first record for NYS, but there are less than ten previous records. This individual was also often elusive, but Hilary Russ and I were able to see it on February 14. The Spotted Towhee was my 430th bird on my New York State list.
Spotted Towhee - Baldwin Harbor Park - February 14, 2021

Finally, this catch-up report would not be complete without noting my dashing down to Central Park on January 27 to see the Snowy Owl that turned up on a ballfield in the north end of the park. A second record for the park, the last one being in December 1890. Because of COVID, this was actually my first visit to Central Park since 2019.
Snowy Owl - Central Park - January 27, 2021

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