Monday, February 02, 2009

Bike Trip around Manhattan

Due to the warm weather, I decided to do a bike tour of all of Northern Manhattan. Starting at 125th St., over to the Harlem Piers, then North all the way to Inwood, around to Broadway Bridge, and then south via the Harlem River, I was able to make a pretty in-depth survey of over-wintering wildlife.

Here's a tally of what I found:
At the Harlem Piers, two canvasbacks continue,

while there were also these newcomers...

3 American Black Ducks!
I was also able to observe the Riverside Peregrines, and 1 adult

and 1 juvy RTH over this section of Riverside Park. Working North, the park was devoid of all waterfowl save for one or two mallards, scads of ringbilled gulls

and 1 small group of Canada Geese (much depreciated from their numbers even last week).
At the GWB, I saw no evidence of peregrines, eagles or any other raptor, but working just 5 blocks to the North, was a very shy and secretive Adult RTH moving down along the Henry Hudson Parkway. It was here that I almost died due to the icy/slush conditions! Regaining my composure, I passed Ft. Tryon and up into Inwood Hill. Songbird activity was hushed, no doubt due to the presence of hawks. At the Ranger Station, I observed 4 Redtailed Hawks--2 adults and 2 juvys--kettling up over the soccer fields.

They scattered in different directions, and I scanned the waterline for more ducks. Finally after scouring the nooks and crannies, I discovered a raft of 6 more Canvasbacks!!!

Including this shy female (a lifer).

Refueling at Indian Road Cafe, I then shot over to Broadway Bridge, where I encountered the 2 resident peregrines hunting along the towers as well as 2 more redtailed hawks way out over Kingsbridge.

Here's the remains of breakfast.

The light and relative warmth made for an enjoyable afternoon here. If I had more time, I would've stayed till night fly-in. But now to the South I traveled, hitting up Swindler's Cove on the Harlem River. I found many ring-billed gulls, mallards,

more black ducks and this gal, skulking in the trees!

I was not able to observe the Highbridge Pair of RTH's, but way out over 180th in the Bronx I did see 2 adult RTH's circling each other...perhaps the Fordham U. pair?
By now I was pretty beat, so I exited off the bike path onto 155th for my final surprise...

The overwintering Merlin, high on a Watertower.

Species totals:
4 peregrines, 2 riverside church, 2 broadway bridge.
10 rths, 1 125th st, 1 145th St. 1 185th St., 4 Inwood Hill, 2 180th over the BX and 1 over Highbridge and 155th.
2 Coopers: 1 Swindler's Cove, 1 Kingsbridge
10 canvasbacks: 2 harlem piers, 6 columbia boathouse, 2 Harlem River
10 black ducks, 3 harlem piers, 7 Swindler's Cove
near-death experiences: 2
surveying so much natural beauty in NYC: priceless!


Robert said...

If I'd known you where headed up the bike trail below Fort Tryon, I would have warned you about the conditions.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. I walk over the Broadway Bridge a lot, see the bird remains on the sidewalk, but I never knew why! Two falcons....I'll look for them next time.