Thursday, December 30, 2010

Did the Varied Thrush survive the blizzard?

Varied Thrush -- November 29, 2010

YES! Two days after the storm, our rare bird was sighted by TOM FIORE. He sent his report to eBirdsNYC:

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City - Tuesday, 28 December, 2010

That VARIED THRUSH continues in the area surrounding the eastern "Ramble" maintenance shed, however it is ranging from as far as Cleopatra's Needle (about 100+ yards north) to at least east and south to near the cat statue (the eastern-most point of the Ramble, along the park's East Drive, at about E. 77 St.) and west from the maintenance shed as far as 50+ feet. All that said, some sightings are continuing from the area just east of the shed (near the men's restroom) as well as by the edges of the field (south of the building) as has been so since the thrush's initial discovery and reports... also in the area are 2 male E. Towhees. At the Ramble's feeders, as many as 3 "red" Fox Sparrows are appearing as well as various other winter "regulars". The reservoir is still very open and has a variety of typical winter water-birds, including Northern Shovelers. At the south side of Sheep Meadow, a first-winter (non-red-headed) RED-HEADED WOODPECKER is lingering, just north of the 66 Street Transverse and mostly near the SE corner part of the path on the s. side of that meadow. A variety of other wintering birds may be seen in Central Park, with a lot of the ground-feeders easily seen in the snowy surroundings, just now. (That thrush, however can be skulking & is quite mobile - patience is helpful with it.)

The Varied Thrush was seen at about noon & also later.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post-blizzard birding

Belvedere Terrace steps-- Dec. 27, 2010 -
Photo by Craig Rutter--AP

Birder Larry Zirlin braved the snow yesterday and sent a report of what he saw to eBirds:

In Central Park today, the
paths and roads were cleaner than the streets of Brooklyn. Grackles abounded, shooing away all other birds from the feeders when they flocked in. A Brown Creeper, a couple of Fox Sparrows, and 2 sapsuckers made the trip into Manhattan worth the trouble. Day List: Number of species: 21 Ring-billed Gull 25 Rock Pigeon 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2 Downy Woodpecker 1 Feeders Blue Jay 5 Black-capped Chickadee 10 Tufted Titmouse 5 White-breasted Nuthatch 2 Brown Creeper 1 Feeder area American Robin 5 European Starling 10 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 Fox Sparrow 2 Feeders Song Sparrow 1 Feeders White-throated Sparrow 100 Dark-eyed Junco 3 Feeders Northern Cardinal 3 Red-winged Blackbird 1 Feeders Common Grackle 125 American Goldfinch 7 Feeders House Sparrow 20
Larry Zirlin

What about the Varied Thrush? Birder Jared Harary also made his way into post-blizzard Central Park yesterday in search of the thrush. He didn't find it. But he added another bird to Larry Z's list, the Eastern Towhee, bringing the total to 22. As he wrote in his report on eBirds: "... had good looks at two eastern towees among the house and white-throated sparrows at the usual varied thrush spot (just east of Maintenance meadow bathrooms).