Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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. It wheeled above me with two ringed billed gulls in tow. It continued on South over the West Side Highway. Shortly, another adult bald eagle whizzed past. 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. 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. Finally at Broadway Bridge, some 2000 starlings were coming home to roost. And waiting for them was you know who.
Friday, November 23, 2012
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, then heard a Great Horned Owl had been found. While watching it coughed up a pellet, which I retrieved and dissected to reveal the bones of a Norway rat. Last but defintely not least this Norther Saw-whet. Here he is coughing up a pellet in the dark! The final highlight were a few of the red bats that were flitting about.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
It's been almost a year since I visited Croton and wanted to see how it fared during Sandy. 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, this kingfisher, bald eagle, and this adult male Cooper's Hawk. The surprise of the day was this juvenile osprey. I also found this kestrel hunting over the Cap, and what I think are white-winged crossbills. Storm damage to the owl sanctuary was bad, but I was happy to see both GHOs at flyout. Hopefully the screechys did just as well.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
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. Thanks to all the intrepid souls who came out today...may the wind be always to your back!
Sunday, November 11, 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.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
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, and two AMKEs including this juvenile female. A shot of one of the roofs reveals a smorgasboard of the peregrines 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
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. Followed by one adult and its mate! 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. It was impossible to get close looks, but it was hypnotic watching them coast around and then dive headlong into the River. I wonder what they are catching?