Friday, December 24, 2010

It's still here and a PS

Varied Thrush in Central Park - 11/29/10
Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

The Varied Thrush, a rare bird for Central Park, seems to have settled in for the long haul. It was first observed in the park on 11/28/10. Here is the latest report on this exotic visitor, sent in by Tom Fiore:

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City - Thursday, 23 December 2010

The lingering VARIED THRUSH has continued in Central Park, even as it has also continued to show a bit of tendency to slight wandering, usually within 50-75 yards or so from it's best-known location at the Ramble's so-called maintenance field & shed (men's room & lady's room available) which is just south of the E. 79 St. Transverse Road thru the park and just west of the park's East Drive roadway - Thursday at 2:45 pm the thrush was with a rather large, 'loose' flock which at times contained a Red ("eastern") Fox Sparrow, 2 male E. Towhees, a pair of N. Cardinals, a few Blue Jays, at least one (and perhaps more earlier) American Robins, 3-5+ Black-capped Chickadees, 6+ Tufted Titmice and 50+ White-throated Sparrows in all directions. The Varied Thrush appeared at least for a short time right by the low fence next to the transverse road's upper slope, south side, about 25 feet east of the Ramble area's "Maintenance" building men's room. This is the area where the thrush has frequently been seen previously. However it also ranges around, & skulks, and perhaps even sits quietly at times thru the days since it's initial discovery weeks ago. If a flock which includes some of these birds is about, I believe there will be a good chance the thrush is at least nearby, or with that flock. I have more often seen it when I have also found one or both of those male towhees, but that may just be coincidence - anyhow, I like towhees so it's nice to find them around, too. The flock in that area this afternoon was mainly ranging all around the outer edges of the maintenance field, which is just south of the building that includes the restrooms on either side.

The additional areas where the Varied Thrush has been, in the past week and likely at times well before that, include as far north as Cleopatra's Needle (a bit east of the SE corner of the Great Lawn), and rather regularly to the north side of the 79 St. Transverse Rd. usually within sight of the Polish king statue (King Jagiello) which is found on the east end of Turtle Pond, and also the thrush has been east of the park roadway at Cedar Hill, which is a large sloping hill with lawn and actually does have some cedar and other conifer trees interspersed with a few low rock outcrops and a few deciduous trees, and is located up-slope from Fifth Ave. and just south of the East 79 St. (south side) park entrance - walk uphill... the thrush has actually gone to that hill rather regularly... and (I suspect) it may even roost over there. In addition the thrush has gone a short way into the Ramble at times but as far as I know it has not spent significant time far from the maintenance field area of the Ramble - but could be looked for at the nearest areas of fresh water where it possibly goes to drink now & then. In the past 10 days, there are very often few or no birders actively seeking this bird, but some folks do. It seems likely at least a modest number of folks will re-double their interest in it come 1/1/'11, the reason obvious to anyone who maintains a "year" bird-list...

PS: It's Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it and Happy Holidays to one and all.