Inwood Hill Park birding - April 21st, 2012

Inwood Hill Park is a beautiful 196 acre park at the northern tip of Manhattan. I visited it for the first time on Saturday. It only took about 40 minutes to reach by subway from my area of the city.

One of its resident Red-tailed Hawks soared the sky ahead of me as soon as I reached the area:

A local birder in the park informed me that the resident Great Horned Owl's babies recently fledged. I didn't see the fledglings or their parents when I was in the park but at one point Blue Jays were maniacally calling out and clustering around one spot in a tree (seeming to harass whatever was there) so I hoped to see some owl (or hawk) action but the foliage was too thick to make out what they were fussing over.

But that was ok! I was there to bird in general and enjoy the deep woods.

What was fun for me was finding a three inch scrap of squirrel fur stuck to the top of a bush. It meant a raptor had eaten a squirrel in the tree above at some point. The fur had obviously been discarded from above. I later found another scrap of squirrel fur on the path a few feet away. I was in raptor territory.

Bathing beauty:

Boats docked at the other side of the Hudson River:

Yellow-rumped Warbler flitting about:

Hermit Thrush:

Inwood apartment buildings as seen from the edge of the park:

Salt water marsh by the Harlem River is nearly dry:

We're seriously lacking in rainwater in the area.

Thankfully, there is still food to be found. Looks like this Grackle found a mosquito larva snack:

Dust kicked up on the ball field:

A couple of turtles made their way up a marsh trench (you can just see a head and a foot sticking out above the water):

Turtle back:

White-throated Sparrow hunting at the water's edge:

Great Egret fishing:

Female Mallard having a preen before nap time:

This Egret had a good fishing trick. It'd stand still at the pool of water in a marsh bed tire and wait for its chance to snatch a morsel:

Another tire to fish from:

Goodbye, Inwood. I'll be back!