Saturday, October 31, 2009

Whoo who who who whooooo!

The inimitable Cal Vornberger sent in this greeting yesterday evening:

Believe it or not I got this shot of a Great Horned Owl sitting on a tombstone late this afternoon at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Happy Halloween!

PS from Marie

Cal Vornberger is the author of the book Birds of Central Park. Check out his website at

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yankees win and so do Tom and Ardith

Orange-crowned Warbler --[not in Central Park]
Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

Yesterday was a red-letter day for Yankee fans [Reader I married one] and also for Central Park birdwatchers. Tom Fiore sent a report by e-mail. Ardith Bondi's report is via eBirds. Wrote Tom:

Hi Marie,

Lots of whooping & hollering from the bars in my neighborhood & the streets... those Yankees won again.

anyhow, about all the birds...

Some Sunday! Oct. 25, 2009 - Central Park:

There was some flight Sunday morning in/over Central Park, and there were a good number of straggling warbler species (mostly singles) around. I suspect that most of the latter were either already in the park a while, or in the immediate area. I tried for, but did not re- find the reported Connecticut Warbler later on. I was still able to add a warbler species in the Ramble area even near sunset- an Ovenbird, and also saw the N. Waterthrush lingering near W. 77 St. ["triplets" bridge] later in the day. At least 3 Rusty Blackbirds were present in & around the Loch, seen in the a.m. & again later in the day.

With at least 14 warblers + an Orange-crowned making 15, the CT makes it 16 species in the park Sunday, a lot for this late in fall even in a site like Central:

Nashville Warbler (1, Wildflower Meadow, seen in a.m. & p.m.)
Northern Parula (1, first-fall, near Belvedere Castle, a.m.)
Yellow Warbler (1, first-fall, s. end of park, near the Pond's w. side)
Magnolia Warbler (1, first-fall, Belvedere Castle area, early a.m.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1, first-fall female, n. woods, 109 St.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (8+ noted)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1, first-fall, Pinetum area)
Pine Warbler (1 adult female, s. end, "Cop Cot" area near 6th Ave.)
Palm Warbler (in several locations)
Blackpoll Warbler (1, Pinetum area)
Ovenbird (1, east of azalea pond in Ramble, 5:50 p.m.)
Northern Waterthrush (1, still at stream just. north of W. 77 St. entry)
Common Yellowthroat (at least several)
Wilson's Warbler (1, zoo grounds, 10 a.m. at w. edge, in plantings)
+ Connecticut Warbler (reported in the Ramble's north-eastern section*)
+ Orange-crowned Warbler (rept'd., east of Tanner's Spring nr. 82-83 St.)

= 16 (latter 2 warblers not seen by me)

*I was told by Eve Levine, the Connecticut was seen by at least 3 observers, and that later on others besides me who tried were unable to re-find the skulker. (It would be even more exceptionally late if it lingers any further here.) Also of note - in a.m. flight - were 10+ Eastern Bluebirds that went by in the hour after sunrise.

Tom Fiore

Ardith's report:

Central Park showed obvious evidence of migration today, with the previously mentioned highlights (Ea. Bluebird and CT Warbler), as well as an Orange-crowned Warbler that showed up around sunset at Sparrow Rock being the most noteworthy migrants. I noted 6 species of sparrows, scattered around the park, and there seemed to be more Ruddy Ducks on the Reservoir than yesterday. Another birder noted a Wilson's Warbler on the Great Hill, but I didn't find it. A whole day on and off in the Park between 110th and 77th streets yielded the following list:

> Canada Goose
> Mallard
> Gadwall
> Northern Shoveler
> Ruddy Duck
> Pied Billed Grebe (northwest reservoir segment)
> Double Crested Cormorant (1 lake)
> Cooper's Hawk (sparrow rock, PM)
> Red Tailed Hawk
> Am. Kestrel
> Ring billed Gull
> Herring Gull
> Great Black-backed Gull
> Rock Pigeon
> Mourning Dove
> Red Bellied Woodpecker
> Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
> Downy Woodpecker
> Hairy Woodpecker (Tupelo, N. End, 77th st.)
> Northern Flicker
> Ea. Phoebe (n. end)
> Blue Jay
> Am. Crow
> Winter Wren (5, ramble area)
> House Wren
> Golden-crowned Kinglet (N. End)
> Ruby crowned Kinglet
> *Eastern Bluebird* (though I didn't see the ones mentioned in the
> previous post, I saw one fly over the Great Hill, AM)
> Hermit Thrush
> Gray Cheeked Thrush (1, upper lobe)
> American Robin
> Grey Catbird
> European Starling
> Cedar Waxwing
> *Orange-crowned Warbler* (Sparrow Rock, bathing briefly in puddle)
> Yellow Rumped Warbler
> Palm Warbler (both western and eastern races)
> Eastern Towhee
> Chipping Sparrow
> Field Sparrow (sparrow rock, 1)
> Fox Sparrow (1, greene bench)
> Song Sparrow
> Swamp Sparrow (Wildflower meadow)
> White Throated Sparrow (oodles)
> White-crowned Sparrow (1 juv, shakespeare garden)
> Red Winged Blackbird
> Brown Headed Cowbird (with flyover blackbirds)
> Common Grackle
> American Goldfinch
> House Finch
> House Sparrow

Ardith adds:
For added interest, we also saw a Red-eyed Vireo in the Sparrow Rock/Ridge area.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Connecticut warbler alert

Connecticut Warbler -- 9/6/05
photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

Just in case anybody's reading this in mid-afternoon [It's 3:04pm] here's a chance to see a very special Central Park bird, and, at the same time, huge numbers of other birders undoubtedly looking for it. The alert went out on eBirds a couple of hours ago, sent in by Lloyd Spitalnik. Here's what he wrote:

Hi all, Eve Levine just called with a sighting of a Connecticut Warbler. It's located around the rocks which lie between Iphigene's Walk and the Tupelo Field Hopefully, it'll be staked out so when you arrive there'll be people around. If you enter the park on east 79th Street and walk up Cedar Hill, cross the drive and go towards the Maintenance Field. Pass the bathrooms and continue until you see the rocks. Good luck if you go, -- Lloyd

PS from Marie-- Also seen today, Bluebirds near Tanner Spring and a Northern Waterthrush near Triplets bridge.