-- photo by DAVID SPEISER
I received this very thorough report from Tom Fiore yesterday afternoon:
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City -- 8/7/15
On this Friday, Aug. 7th, and in the last several days, another uptick in migration noted, although on some nights such as around the full "blue" moon and afterward, tremendously more migrants flew by & almost none dropped in, at least in my & other birders I've talked with observation. However, there has been a modest, but steady increase, with numbers of some common Aug. migrants creeping into double-digit no's. per day. Many of the stop-over species are warblers, and of them, Yellow, American Redstart, and N. Waterthrush are the most evident, but also showing in the multiple in the last couple of days were Black-and-white, Blue-winged, & Louisiana Waterthrush, with Ovenbird at least up to 2 locations, Ramble & the n. end of Central. Slightly more notable was a Tennessee Warbler on Thursday (Aug. 6), with a lone Veery also of note as an early southbound migrant. Other warblers seen in the last 2 weeks have included another Worm-eating, Canada (today as well), & Common Yellowthroat, with only Yellow Warbler being fairly consistent in any daily numbers. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was in the Ramble on Wed., but I & a few other birders were unable to re-find it later. As with any number of the early migrant sightings local 'wanderers' could be a part of the more general onward migratory movements.
Some diurnal migrants in the past 3 days include E. Kingbird (getting to 10+ today), Baltimore Oriole (up to 15 on Thursday), and some swallows, mainly Barn Swallow. A few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been in, and no's. of Chimney Swifts have seemed to fluctuate somewhat. These are in addition to the birds of these species that are lingering in the park. For shorebirds, I am aware of just a couple of Solitary and multiple Spotted Sandpipers, but there is a good chance some others may be moving, not easily found in Central unless there's some bit of habitat where they'd put down & linger. The reservoir's central dike is barely visible lately, & the majority of shorebirds I've been seeing are at the reservoir, but mainly along the edges, not on the dike. A few of the Spotted SP's are showing up along other water-bodies such as the Lake, & Meer, but have not been easy to spot & are frequently flushed.
Supposedly the Bow bridge, an historic & famous piece of Central Park which connects the s.w. corner of the Ramble to the areas immediately south (and is the fastest access route to the Ramble from W. 72 St.) will be reopened as of today - at 9 a.m., some clean-up was still in progress, so it had not yet reopened. In part due to this month's-long bridge closure (and signage redirecting visitors) the Ramble area has been rather quiet, & peaceful, over much of the summer period. Birders have been increasingly showing up around the park, eager to see what's turning up.
Incidentally, along with the timely (earlier today) migrant warbler report for Forest Park (Queens Co.), there are increasing sightings out of Prospect Park in Brooklyn (Kings Co.) - including Worm-eating Warbler & a variety of others, & it is reasonable to assume that most areas that typically produce some migrant land-birds will, at the least, have some warbler activity now - the more so as we go along thru August, which is when the peak of diversity in warbler movement begins, in this region. Some warblers are already back on their winter grounds, and a good many have been seen in migrant-rich areas on the Gulf coast & vicinity in the last few weeks - which is all normal & expected timing for a lot of the species in the warbler tribes. To my knowledge, in the last 3 weeks there have been at least 15 species of warblers in Central Park, with some just noted as singletons, but quite a few in the multiple.
Since Steve Walter dared to add a bunch of "bug" sightings in a report on Jamaica Bay recently, I'll add that the Oldwife Underwing moth (Catocala palaeogama) is being found in Central Park, too. And also showing signs of a current outbreak is the diminutive Red-banded Hairstreak, a butterfly which is more common or more typical in places south of here (as is that moth); the hairstreak quite possible in many NYC and Long Island locations, but increasingly rare as one gets farther north.
good birding, & thanks to others sharing sightings, including those on this list!