Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today and Yesterday

Today the park was full of Hummers [and quite a few other birds]

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed - 9/11/10

Yesterday the park was chock-full of birds, as you can see from the following report sent by birder Jacob Drucker to eBirdsNYC:

Friday, September 10, 2010

... a rather productive morning today, birding the northern end of Central Park from 8-11 am. Even before entering the park, birds were prevalent with a bit of a morning flight visible from Broadway (3 Baltimore orioles, 12 Robins, 5 Cedar Waxwings and 8 un-IDd passerines were noted within 10 minutes, all moving west) We heard "zeeps" immediately upon park Entrance, and nearly immediately found a PHILADELPHIA VIREO foraging with one of many Red-eyeds. Continuing up the Great Hill, down through the N Woods towards the Loch, up to Wildflower Meadow and back a similar route, we encountered the following, highlighted by a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT near the Ravine and some flyover BOBOLINKS (good bird for Central Park, though most sightings are of flyovers). Overall, diversity was quite good and there were plenty of "birdy" pockets. Many warblers were shuffling around aerially, allowing several birds to go un-identified. Also of note, TENNESSEE and MOURNING WARBLERS reported at the north end of the Loch in some Jewelweed.

>Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos 20
>Great Egret - Ardea alba 1 Meer
> Osprey - Pandion haliaetus 1 flyover, headed south
> Cooper's Hawk - Accipiter cooperii 1 flyover
> Ring-billed Gull - Larus delawarensis 5
> Rock Pigeon - Columba livia 100
> Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura 40
> Chimney Swift - Chaetura pelagica 2
> Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Archilochus colubris 1
> Red-bellied Woodpecker - Melanerpes carolinus 1
> Downy Woodpecker - Picoides pubescens 2
> Northern Flicker - Colaptes auratus 5
> Eastern Wood-Pewee - Contopus virens 4
> Least Flycatcher - Empidonax minimus 2
> Empidonax sp. - Empidonax sp. 5 All willow/alder type. *Is there an ebird moderator out there who can add "Alder/Willow Flycatcher" to the CP Checklist?
> PHILADELPHIA VIREO - Vireo philadelphicus 1 Seen just after 8am, moving with other birds just NW of The Pool. Rather bright individual, with slate forehead, white eyebrow and lemmon yellow throat apparent. Foraging from high in London Planes to at eye level in shrubbery.
> Red-eyed Vireo - Vireo olivaceus 21
> Blue Jay - Cyanocitta cristata X
> Red-breasted Nuthatch - Sitta canadensis 1 Seen in morning flight from CP, moving south, low.
> Carolina Wren - Thryothorus ludovicianus 6
> House Wren - Troglodytes aedon 1
> Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Polioptila caerulea 1
> Veery - Catharus fuscescens 8
> Swainson's Thrush - Catharus ustulatus 15
> American Robin - Turdus migratorius 120
> Gray Catbird - Dumetella carolinensis X
> Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos 8
> European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris X
> Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum 30
> Northern Parula - Parula americana 1
> Magnolia Warbler - Dendroica magnolia 1
> Blackburnian Warbler- Dendroica fusca 1 female, NW of pool.
> Black-throated Blue Warbler - Dendroica caerulescens 2
> Prairie Warbler - Dendroica discolor 1 Male, S end of Loch.
> Black-and-white Warbler - Mniotilta varia 10
> American Redstart - Setophaga ruticilla 25
> Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla 3
> Northern Waterthrush - Seiurus noveboracensis 4
> Common Yellowthroat - Geothlypis trichas 8
> Canada Warbler - Wilsonia canadensis 2 Great Hill and Loch
> Wilson's Warbler- Wilsonia pusilla 1 female, S end of Loch
> YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT - Icteria virens 1 Foraging near canopy on W slope of the Ravine.
> Scarlet Tanager - Piranga olivacea 6
> Northern Cardinal - Cardinalis cardinalis X
> BOBOLINK - Dolichonyx oryzivorus 10 Flyovers-- 1 flock of 9 and 1 individual, all moving west.
> Common Grackle - Quiscalus quiscula 20
> Baltimore Oriole - Icterus galbula 15
> House Finch - Carpodacus mexicanus 1
> American Goldfinch - Spinus tristis 4
> House Sparrow - Passer domesticus 250

Seen by others:

Good birding.

Note from Marie:

Good birding indeed!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quicker than lightning...

A 4-part Picture Story by MURRAY HEAD
Starring:A a hungry Wilson's Warbler [and an unseen but incredibly observant photographer]

1. Perching

2. Eying

3. Flying

4. Bingo

Photographed yesterday in Central Park's Maintenance Meadow
[photo captions by Murray Head]

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Raccoon rescue

photo by Lloyd Spitalnik
taken on April 4, 2009

Jane E. Ross reported the following on eBirds today:

In addition to the usual sightings: pied-bill grebe (reservoir) female black-throated blue (Tanner Spring) Northern Flicker (Tanner) Swainson's Thrush (Tanner)
and a major adventure as a crew of park rangers worked from a cherry-picker to free a raccoon who had gotten his head stuck in a hole high in a tree behind the Met museum. The one hour + operation was ultimately successful.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mystery moth

Mystery moth observed in the Wildflower Meadow on 9/4/10
Photo by Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman, a birder who lives near the north part of Central Park, writes:

Hi Marie,

I don't know much about moths, so I'm a little worried that you're going to tell me that this one (see above) is the most common moth in the world. I came across it in the Wildflower Meadow this Saturday. As best I can remember, it was around 3/4" long. Are you familiar with it?


Because the Moth Tree was taken down earlier this year we haven't done a lot of moth identifying in Central Park; I was afraid I might have lost my moth-identifying sea-legs. Luckily Mike's mystery moth is a very distinctive one that we have seen on a number of occasions in the past, always in flower gardens. So I was able to provide a positive ID.

It's an ARCIGERA FLOWER MOTH (Schinia arcigera), I wrote Mike, also double-checking my ID with an expert friend in Maine. She agreed. I also reassured Mike that his lovely little find is far from being a ho-hum moth, though not rare.

The first time the Central Park Mothers [rhymes with authors] saw an Arcigera Flower Moth they were in the little flower garden [near the Boathouse] that is unofficially called Charles's Garden. The date was August 27, 1998, and Charles Kennedy, the namesake of the garden, was there on that occasion. We had just begun our mothing adventures [I write about them in Central Park in the Dark] and had set up a black light in the northeast corner of the garden. The Arcigera was the highpoint of that evening.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Show off CHAT

Yellow-breasted Chat - 1/25/08

At 8:32 this morning Irene Warshauer reported [on eBirds] the appearance of a rarely seen Yellow-breasted Chat in Central Park's Maintenance Meadow. As usual the word of a chat spread quickly. At 1 pm today the following report was posted on eBirds:

I went up to Central Park on my lunch break and, with three other birders, observed the previously reported Yellow-breasted Chat at the west side of the Maintenance Meadow at just after noon (brief but good looks). The other birders said it had been showing off and on since it was reported.

Good Birding,
Corey Finger

Monday, September 06, 2010

Good or not-so-good migration?

Black-capped Chickadee -- 10/3/05

Tom Fiore reports to on the general migration picture today:

Labor Day, 6 Sept., 2010

I would point out that in the NYC area there have been some bird reports suggesting relatively little migration in the past several days (while there are also simultaneous reports from NYC locations indicating fairly good migrant passage & stop-over). In fact, my understanding is that there has been tremendous southward migration lately and that a great deal of that has been nocturnal and of such duration that many birds have sailed past the NYC region to points south. This is supported at least somewhat by voluminous various reports from sites in southern New Jersey, Pennsylavania, Delaware, and elsewhere in the region just south of New York (and from personal bird-related messages from others in the field). Interesting are the numbers of Black-capped Chickadees migrating in some areas (including smallish numbers moving through at Central Park, NYC) & of course, the ongoing movements of Red-breasted Nuthatches, rather widely reported and observed recently.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Mystery ducks on Lake

Murray Head sent the two photos above and the following query yesterday:

Hi Marie, I espied this graceful pair of (?) gliding swan-like about The Lake. Interesting markings... perhaps he is wearing a yarmulke? Could you identify them? TIA, Murray 9/4/10

The first challenge: what does TIA mean? Thanks In Advance is my best guess, though I've never heard the acronym before.

Now on to the ducks. Well, they must be some kind of domestic duck, I figured, and headed for the Internet . It never fails. There, at a site for Kintaline Farm in Argyll, Scotland, I found a fairly close match: a magpie duck, they call it, a breed that seems to produce a lot of eggs and plump meat. But how did those Scottish ducks get to Central Park? That's the next mystery.

PS There is much variety among domestic ducks..