Tuesday, September 30, 2014

End of September Birding

                 Blue Jay - photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK - 2007 

Tom Fiore's End-of-September report: 

Sept. 25 - 30, 2014 
Manhattan, N.Y. City

In the past 6+ days, there have been modest flights of finches that have included more than a few Pine Siskins, sometimes seeming to be in company with American Goldfinches, & just as often not. There also have been small numbers of Purple Finch, which had also been on the move in prior weeks, and are somewhat more of an annual thing downstate even if subject to large fluctuation year to year.

The finch flights have been noted mainly in the first hour or two of daylight, and from parks including but not limited to Central, Riverside, Fort Tryon, & Inwood Hill parks.    Some have also been noted at points in the Bronx.  Pine Siskins also have been noticed in the past week or so in many other states, with some in the east getting south of NY, perhaps well south although I have not looked for all of those reports.  From the modest-seeming flights thru Manhattan, it's been hard to see big differences from the days with a lot of obvious migratory movement (nocturnal & diurnal) & did not seem to be so many more finches mixed in with the heavier flights - but I suspect that on those days, more, possibly many more were actually moving; that notion is somewhat borne out thru looking at a variety of reports, for ex. checking daily sightings at 50+ hawkwatch sites in the east, which are fairly consistently kept & have observers often keen on anything flying by (birds, bugs, planes, superheroes, whatever), and typically put in long hours & in some places also beginning at or before sunrise, which can indicate the movements of many birds along ridges and other features at some elevation, in addition to coastal passage-ways.

Also continuing to be noted are very modest (so far) numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Blue Jays have been increasing - Blue Jay is a fairly common and regular autumn migrant at just about this time of year in most if not all fall seasons, downstate.  One difference could be in how many are being seen; it will be interesting to see if they gather in any great numbers somewhere south, or move around as fall goes along, and as food sources dwindle or are perhaps concentrated in just some areas.

Seen at least since Friday 9/26 have been a few White-crowned Sparrows, including in a few locations in Central Park, & other parks, these joining the modest but increasing number & variety of sparrows found by those seeking them out. Indigo Buntings also continue with many in 1st-fall plumage variation, occasionally leading to flirtations with some other ID's in some instances.  Warbler diversity has been a bit lower with numbers of most spp. dropping off, yet it was still possible to turn up about 20 species as of today.  There have been a notably high number of reports of CT Warbler in the larger region, some nicely photographed, in states from east, west, & south of NY. It's still quite possible a few 'new' ones will pass through in the coming week or two.

Good October birding,

Tom Fiore


Monday, September 29, 2014

Young birder scores heavily

Pine Siskin  --   photo by DAVID SPEISER  www.lilibirds.com

Junko Suzuki writes today [9/29/14]:
There were nice activities in Strawberry Fields this morning included at least 2 Tennessee Warblers. But most unexpected sighting was a flock of 5 PNE SISKINS on conifer tree on N.W. side. It was seen around 9:30AM. Those very streaky tiny birds were first spotted by a young birder who asked me if those were House Finches. I needed to investigate them for a while. The fine streak was too dark and contrasty for House Finch and the sharp pointed bill did not fit for H. Finch or any other possible finch type birds. A flock moved to one other conifer tree in mid-section of the fields, stayed there for a few more minutes, and then took off flying north.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Today's Birds

Wednesday 9/24 --Joe DiCostanzo of the American Museum of Natural History [That's the one we all call The Natural History Museum] posted this report on eBirdsNYC today:
                                 Eastern Phoebe -- photo by David Speiser
Much quieter this morning than yesterday for my regular Wednesday morning AMNH bird walk in the Ramble. The Point seemed to have the most activity of any spot we visited. Highlights below.

Chimney Swift (one or two overhead; less than yesterday)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (4; just watch the Jewelweed patches)
Northern Flicker (a few; nothing like yesterday’s flight)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (along the Gill)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1, The Point)
Eastern Phoebe (1, Upper Lobe)
Red-eyed Vireo
Tufted Titmouse (1, The Point)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1, Maintenance Meadow)
Swainson's Thrush
Brown Thrasher (scattered individuals)
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart (including an adult male at the Maintenance Meadow)
Northern Parula (1, The Point)
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler (male at the Point, female by the Upper Lobe)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1, heard at the Point)

Joseph DiCostanzo
Great Gull Island Project - AMNH
CPW at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ugly Duckling's Birthday Party

My friend the photographer Murray Head writes:

Hi Marie,

Each year there is an event at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in Central Park -- A Celebration of the Ugly Duckling's Birthday Party --  put on by the 
Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center.

I had the honor this year of being invited to tell the story of how a duck family
chose to have and raise their family at The Sail Boat Pond, the body of water right opposite the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. It became the book: "Swim, Duck, Swim!", an allegory for children who might be reluctant to try something new.

The presentation took place this past Saturday, 9/20/14.


There's a New Duck in Town!

... and he was invited to 

"The Ugly Duckling's Birthday Party"

The duckling

Murray Head at the statue, telling the story

   Murray concluding

                                 The book [written by Susan Lurie, with photographs
                                  by Murray Head]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mid-migration report by Joe

Black and White Warbler 2007 Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik http://www.Lloydspitalnikphotos.com

Joe DiCostanzo of the American Museum of Natural History posted a report of this morning's birds on eBirdsNYC:

Beautiful morning for my AMNH bird walk group. Not exactly overflowing with birds, but definitely more action than yesterday morning. Around 30 species in the Ramble from 7 - 9 am. Highlights below:

Chimney Swift (Overhead in a number of places)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Maintenance Meadow)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (west of Azalea Pond)
Blue-headed Vireo (Cherry Hill just south of Bow Bridge)
Warbling Vireo (west of Azalea Pond)
Philadelphia Vireo (We looked for it on Cherry Hill after hearing a report of it there – no luck. Crossed back to north side of Bow Bridge and I had a quick look at it high in a tree as we went north along the Lake shore.)
Red-eyed Vireo
Tufted Titmouse (vicinity of Bow Bridge)
Swainson's Thrush (west of Azalea pond)
Brown Thrasher (Maintenance Meadow)
Magnolia Warbler
Prairie Warbler (Maintenance Meadow (clearly a different individual than the one by the Oven yesterday morning)
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Scarlet Tanager (male by Upper Lobe, female at Maintenance Meadow)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (scattered individuals)

Joseph DiCostanzo
Great Gull Island Project - AMNH
CPW at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024