Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inwood Hill Park

It has been a few months since I last visited Inwood and was curious to see how it had fared Sandy's wrath. Just as I entered the Park on Dyckman, there was a large eagle over the West Side Highway. Inwood Bald Eagle It wheeled above me with two ringed billed gulls in tow. InwoodBaldEagle It continued on South over the West Side Highway. Shortly, another adult bald eagle whizzed past. Inwood Bald Eagle 2 I wondered if this was why there were no geese anywhere to be found. In fact, there was absolutely no bird song or any sightings at all except an adult RTH fly by. After almost 1 hour of walking through the Park, I heard a yellow shafted flicker and his chirruping call. As I sought it out in the upper story of a dead tree, the adult RTH dove in with reckless abandon, but missed the woodpecker. I could hear the scritching noise of its talons raking into bark. It was a cool scene but had my camera away then. As for Storm damage, the Park was moderately affected with sick large trees coming down and taking neighboring healthy ones with them. One interesting difference than in other Parks was that the trees fell Southwest-ward. I cant account for why this is the opposite North-easterly direction the trees fell in places like Central Park or Croton Point. I pondered this as I left the Park. Crossing by the mudflats, I saw some birds scatter. There was just time to catch this juvenile Cooper's hawking through. Inwood Cooper's As it sallied on towards the Boathouse, I noticed that distinctive "churrr" of a Kingfisher. By the Ranger station this Belted Kingfisher was making its displeasure with the hawk known. Inwood Kingfisher Finally at Broadway Bridge, some 2000 starlings were coming home to roost. Broadway Starlings Broadway Starlings And waiting for them was you know who. Broadway Peregrine

Friday, November 23, 2012

3 Owl Day

It was a really great day of birding in Central Park today. Lots of raptors to be found in all parts of the Park. @Tennis Courts: 12 Turkey Vultures, 1 adult RTH, 1 juvy RTH and 1 adult AMKE. @Reservoir had 2 coots and dozen or so ruddys. @Belvedere Castle had 1 adult Cooper's, 1 juvy RTH and a brown thrasher. @ the Ramble had 1 adult RTH, 1 adult Cooper's and one peregrine (flyby). The highlights of the day were the 3 owls I was able to locate. I started with one of the Barred Owls, Central Park Barred then heard a Great Horned Owl had been found. RambleGHO While watching it coughed up a pellet, which I retrieved and dissected to reveal the bones of a Norway rat. GHO Pellet Last but defintely not least this Norther Saw-whet. Here he is coughing up a pellet in the dark! NOSWO Coughing Up Pellet The final highlight were a few of the red bats that were flitting about. RedBat

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Croton Point Park

It's been almost a year since I visited Croton and wanted to see how it fared during Sandy. GreatHeronandCoyoteTracks It was a beautiful, sunny day and I found most of my wish list. Although I didnt actually see the coyote, there were absolutely no ducks and these coyote tracks in the sand. I also found this downy, Downy this kingfisher, BeltedKingfisher bald eagle, BE and this adult male Cooper's Hawk. Cooper's The surprise of the day was this juvenile osprey. Osprey I also found this kestrel hunting over the Cap, MaleKestrel and what I think are white-winged crossbills. Finch ID? Storm damage to the owl sanctuary was bad, but I was happy to see both GHOs at flyout. CrotonStormDamage Hopefully the screechys did just as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


What am I thankful for? Im thankful for hawks, IsoldeAngel_2 and owls, WhooULookingAt_ on the same day! R.I.P. to Stormin' Norman, who was its seems, another of Sandy's horrible toll.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Barred Owl

Some say there are three of them around but I've only been seeing this one since Sunday. Barred Owl Roost Barred Owl Preen Flyout was at 448pm. Barred Owl Flyout Barred Owl Moon

Saturday, November 17, 2012

We Came, We Saw, We Hawked

Lots of hawks to be found today but fairly impossible to say exactly how many raptors we saw. In each of our 4 locations there were adult and juvenile red-tailed hawks plus a smattering of Cooper's, kestrels and peregrines. HarlemRTH_1 HarlemCooper's HarlemCanada HarlemRingBilled HarlemKestrel HarlemPeregrine Thanks to all the intrepid souls who came out today...may the wind be always to your back!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Harlem Hawk Walk 2012

If the Mayans are right then this will be the last Harlem Hawk Walk ever. If they are wrong then its a cool day of birding rain or shine. There are always some surprises and always lots of hawks. So next Sunday, November 18th, its on like the proverbial donkey kong. Email me if you want some of this at yojimbot at gmail dot com. DwyerJuvy

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Harlem Fall Raptors

There were tons of raptors on the move today. It was hard to id many of the juveniles positively due to their distance, but I saw at least 4 juvenile RTHs, 2 adult RTHs, 3 juvenile RSHs, 12 or so BWHs, 12 TVs, the two resident peregrines, PerigrinePerigee and two AMKEs including this juvenile female. Female Kestrel A shot of one of the roofs reveals a smorgasboard of the peregrines prey. Peregrine Prey In this pic I count YBC, AR, YSF, ES, RP and Blue Jay. I also found a junco and HOSP. The surprise was the sheer number of YSF I found, even more numerous than the pigeon carcasses.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Harlem Piers: Bald Eagles and Northern Gannets

Some interesting birds have been around lately. Not sure if its Sandy related, but today along the Hudson River at Harlem Piers I got to see 3 Bald Eagles and about a dozen Northern Gannets. First this juvenile BE flew over. BaldEagle1 Followed by one adult BaldEagle2 and its mate! BaldEagle3 They continued south for some time and I even watched the two adults engage in courting behavior somewhere over Riverside Park in the 80's. From there, I turned my attention to the River, where groups of Northern Gannets were fishing up and down the Jersey side. I think I saw over a dozen in total. Here in this shot I count 8. 8Gannets It was impossible to get close looks, GannetFlybys but it was hypnotic watching them coast around and then dive headlong into the River. GannetDive I wonder what they are catching? NorthernGannet