Monday, July 30, 2007

Something delicious in the mud and PS from Marie

Spotted Sandpiper [non-breeding plumage] on the Lake mudflats
Photo by Bruce Yolton Http://

Jack Meyer posts almost-daily reports of Central Park bird sightings on the listserv "e-birds." I noticed that the downy woodpecker didn't appear for a few days in a row and wrote him a worried note. Here is his response:

I'm sure there are plenty of downys there, but hard to find. Usually on the trunk or a large branch, they tend to get buried in foliage. But the birds of the day were the two waxwings on the mud. They were close, and getting something to eat from the mud, as were the sandpipers. A shame none of us had a camera; it was unusual behavior from waxwings. Even the mockingbird was running about pecking at the mud, as if it had decided the sandpipers were onto a good thing.

Here's Jack's list of birds seen yesterday [Sunday}

DATE: Sunday, 29 July 2007
LOCATION: Central Park
OBSERVERS: Patricia Craig, Jackie Boardman, Jack Meyer

Great Blue Heron (Lake shore by Cherry Hill.)
Great Egret (Turtle Pond.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Lake, a few.)
Solitary Sandpiper (Mudflat north of Hernshead, 1.)
Spotted Sandpiper (Mudflat north of Hernshead, 2.)
Least Sandpiper (Mudflat north of Hernshead, at least 10.)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (Lake, 6 or more, 7:15 AM.*)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Ramble.)
Eastern Kingbird (Hernshead.)
Warbling Vireo (Hernshead.)
Blue Jay
Barn Swallow (A few over Turtle Pond & Great Lawn.)
Wood Thrush (Ramble, singing.)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (Mudflat N of Hernshead, 3.)
White-throated Sparrow (Evodia field.)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch (Mudflat N of Hernshead, 3 or 4.)
House Sparrow

PS from Marie: The Lake has been partially drained as part of the Bank Rock Bay restoration Capital Project. This has exposed a marvelous mudflat at the lake's north end, attracting many species of shorebirds that don't commonly show up in Central Park. Three species have been seen during the last weeks: The spotted, solitary and least sandpipers. Bruce Yolton's blog [URL above] has many photographs of all three species taken at the mudflat.