Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hey Tom, what about us??

Wood Ducks photographed on 12/28 by MURRAY HEAD [two of a Wood Duck Quartet seen by Murray on The Pond at 59th Street]

Tom Fiore sent in the list below, of birds seen in Central Park on Thursday, December 29, 2011:

RUFOUS Hummingbird still around - at the flower plantings, especially in & around the shrubs with very small greenish flowers, by the entry to the American Museum of Natural History, in the small park bordered by West 81 Street and with Columbus Avenue & Central Park West on either side. This Rufous Hummingbird may be rather inconspicuous when feeding slowly among these shrubs, & also may be found perching quietly in or among these or other plants, including (in sun &/or milder temp's) on a tree's smaller branches or a shrub with no leaves. It could be best to allow up to one hour or more for a better chance of having a sighting, although the little hummer can sometimes be quite apparent when active. I would hazard a guess this bird may still be seen on the first day of 2012 and perhaps after that, too...

Red-headed Woodpecker continuing (young bird, lacking real red on head, although in photos, any young 'Red-headed' may begin to show this before brighter plumage develops in late winter) - in Central Park, near or within the north or northwest side of Hallet Sanctuary (fenced and no one allowed inside), regularly viewable from pedestrian paths on the outside by the fence, just above, or north of, the western-most edge of The Pond which is located in the southeast portion of Central, not far from Central Park South (also known as 60th Street, away from the park).
- - - - -
Thru (at least) Thursday, 29 December -

Lincoln's Sparrow, still in Bryant Park, mid-town Manhattan near 42 St. - this can sometimes take time to locate. It is a very unusual winter lingerer to this region, particularly the longer it is still to be found in the area (in the northeast of N. America, in general - but then, this has been a nearly-unique December for late-lingering birds of a wide variety of species. It is almost as though we are in a much more southern state, as judged just by the sheer variety and number of birds of late-lingering status, not only in NY state but all through New England states and in eastern Canada. This has been a very widely-noted phenomenon this fall and now, winter... but there are likely a variety of complex mechanisms of arrival and departure that (are and) have occurred with this situation & it would surely be fascinating to know from whence many of the various species came & also what their varied routes may have been before arriving...)

Indigo Bunting (brownish non-breeding plumage) in Central Park's north end, Wildflower Meadow & vicinity. While quite uncommon or nearly rare in winter, Indigos have overwintered occasionally in Central Park (including those that had feeders near their favored areas), & more so in the wider region. (A good idea to look closely at any such for the rarer possibility of Lazuli and even for any other, more remote, possibilities of bunting spp.) - this is an Indigo that's in Central now, however. The wildflower meadow is mid-park, at about "latitude" 103 St.

At least 4 species of warbler continuing (including 3 of the warbler spp. in midtown): [2] Yellow-breasted Chat[s], Common Yellowthroats, and Ovenbirds - plus Gray Catbirds, Eastern Towhee, Hermit Thrush, and other species all in Bryant Park in Manhattan (Fifth to Sixth Avenues, & 40th to 42nd Streets) - and elsewhere:

a lingering Orange-crowned Warbler that has been in & around the Lasker rink & the far NE edge of the Loch, as well as other parts of the N. end of Central Park for many weeks - assuming, as seems likely, the same individual, returning to various favored sites. (This is hardly a comprehensive list of warbler sightings of the island of Manhattan alone in the past week or more, and while some may have moved on, or vanished from the local scene, there is a possibility that a number of additional species, as well as more individuals, are extant even as the end of December is just about here - perhaps unprecedented in any records kept.)

There are some additional lingerers seen this week which may well still be around, including Baltimore Oriole (Central Park) and E. Phoebe (also Central Park), & some considered "half-hardy" which are reasonably likely to continue such as Brown Thrasher, & also more of the more-often found Gray Catbirds, Hermit Thrushes, & perhaps Ruby-crowned Kinglets, along with such very typical Manhattan winterers (in contemporary terms) as Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow & some others. As snow has freshly fallen again in some far-northern and higher-elevation parts of the northeast, it will be interesting to see if a very late and not-so-readily detected "push" of extremely late "migrants" moves south into the south-most sections of NY state.

Good birding - for the remainder of this and all of next year, 2012!

Tom Fiore,