Thursday, November 11, 2010

So you think November is not a good month for birdwatching...


Tom Fiore reports 5 days ago:

Tuesday, 9
November 2010 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A total of more than 9 hours of observations from various points, primarily several in the park's north end with visits to all parts of the park from Fifth Ave. to Central Park West, and C.P. South (60th Street) to 110th Street. The early a.m. observations first from the pavillion by the Castle overlooking the Turtle Pond/Great Lawn vista (north views) and then from the Great Hill (less views but open to much sky and movement to the west) and also a few prominences around the edges of the park's largest fields - ie, the North Meadow, Sheep Meadow and more briefly, elsewhere. I also scanned all water-bodies & had lengthy walks in the north & central portions of wooded areas as well as to & from the north & south-most sections today.

There was a very good flight (for early November) this morning & at least a few lingerers into the mid-day, plus a modest number of diurnal migrants ongoing; among the many highlights:

Black Vulture (6, possibly an all-time high count for one sighting at one time in Central Park, to date)
Turkey Vulture (120+ - not a record-high flight observed here but an impressive one, esp, late in day)
Snow Goose (800+, including at least 8 "blue" form)
Atlantic Brant (500+)
Canada Goose (2,500+)
Bald Eagle (3 thru 3:30 p.m.)
Northern Harrier (4)
Red-shouldered Hawk (12)
Red-tailed Hawk (35+ migrants)
Wilson's Snipe (1, lake shore by the "cave")
Black-capped Chickadee (300+ ifly-bys in first hour)
Horned Lark (30+ fly-bys)
American Robin (1,800 fly-overs)
Eastern Bluebird (8 fly-bys)
Hermit Thrush (200+)
Cedar Waxwing (300+)
American Pipit (100+ fly-bys)
Myrtle Warbler (250+)
Palm Warbler (6)
Pine Warbler (1)
Ovenbird (2)
Common Yellowthroat (1)
American Tree Sparrow (2)
Chipping Sparrow (8)
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow (2, N. Meadow knoll, early a.m.)
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow (few)
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow (1)
Swamp Sparrow (12+)
White-throated Sparrow (3,000+)
White-crowned Sparrow (few)
Slate-colored Junco (5,000+)
Indigo Bunting (3)
Red-winged Blackbird (4,000+)
Eastern Meadowlark (2, Sheep Meadow before open to public)
Rusty Blackbird (3 fly-bys)
Common Grackle (5,000+)
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole (1 fem., feeder area in Ramble, into mid-day)
Purple Finch (30+)
COMMON REDPOLL (1, Wildflower Meadow, a.m. but not relocated later in the morning or in 2 attempts after noon and after 3 p.m. - also none of this species noted by me around the active feeding station in the Ramble of Central Park - although that station bears watching, as it was by multiple folks today...)
PINE SISKIN (60+ flybys, & at least 2 at feeders with goldfinches)
American Goldfinch (800+ fly-bys; 200+ feeding in many areas)

Also noted on the water-bodies of central park including the Meer, Pool, Lake, Pond, sailboat pond and reservoir:

Pied-billed Grebe (4)
Double-crested Cormorant (4)
Great Blue Heron (1)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (1)
Canada Goose
Mute Swan (2)
Wood Duck (multiple, at edges)
American Wigeon
American Black Duck (total, 28)
Mallard (400+)
Northern Shoveler (total, 120)
Northern Pintail (drake, Pond)
Green-winged Teal (several)
Ring-necked Duck (Lake, a.m.)
Lesser Scaup (2 drakes, Meer)
Bufflehead (multiples)
Hooded Merganser (total, 16)
Ruddy Duck (total, 224)

As well as these additional fly-bys:

Common Loon (30+)
Double-crested Cormorant (150+)
Great Blue Heron (3)
Great Egret (1, late!)
Wood Duck (early a.m.)
Greater Scaup (200+)
Red-breasted Merganser (several)

And these additional species:

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Ring-billed Gull (500+)
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern [Yellow-shafted] Flicker
Eastern Phoebe (several)
Blue-headed Vireo (1, a bit late!)
Blue Jay (many)
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Gray Catbird (1)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (2)
European Starling
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
House Sparrow

and one chilled Monarch butterfly in below-50 F. with north wind.

Good birding,

Tom Fiore,

PS from Marie: According to Jack Meyer, the Mergansers were still there yesterday.

PPS Just got a report of a Great Horned Owl. Off to the park!

A Bald Eagle at the Reservoir three and a half years ago

Bald Eagle [juvenile] on Reservoir after catching a Ring-billed Gull 2/24/07 -- Photo by BEN CACACE

In regard to Junko Suzuki's Bald Eagle sighting last week:

On February 24, 2007 Ben Cacace, a long-time Central Park birder and bird historian, posted a photo on his blog --

On 4/9/07 he posted an update:

I've spoken to a number of birders from Central Park who have birded there awhile and/or know the history of sightings in the park and the consensus is that this is the first confirmed sighting of a Bald Eagle landing in Central Park!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bald Eagle at the Reservoir

photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK - Rockland County, NY -- 2/21/2008

The following exciting news was posted on eBirdsNYC yesterday by regular Central Park birder Junko Suzuki. Though there have been many Bald Eagles seen flying over Central Park in the past, this may be the first to actually set foot -- I mean set talons --- in the park itself

Sorry for the late posting. There was an immature Bald Eagle seen at the Reservoir around 10:35AM, Sunday (11/7). After seeing many gulls flying up suddenly, I looked up the sky and saw a large dark raptor circling. Its body looked uniformly dark and the underwing markings (white pattern on underwing coverts) were very visible. To my surprise, this first year Bald Eagle came down lower and lower to the water with its talons down, and then tried to fish! As far as I could see, it did not succeed. After this one attempt of fishing, the young eagle slowly flew up to the sky and eventually moved out to south

Other birds (seen on 11/7/10) included:

Pied-billed Grebe (At least 2, possibly 3, Reservoir.)
Gadwall (8, Reservoir.)
Northern Shoveler (3, NW. corner of Reservoir.)
Bufflehead (5+, Reservoir.)
Hooded Merganser (3 males & 2 females, N. side of Reservoir.)
Ruddy Duck (80+, 3 groups between NW. corner and NE. corner of
American Coot (1, near south gate house.)
Black-capped Chickadee (Several, different places.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (1, at feeders, Evodia Field.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1, north edge of Reservoir.)
Hermit Thrush (8, Ramble, Locust Grove and W. of Reservoir.)
Pine Siskin (2, at feeders, Evodia Field.)

Junko Suzuki