Saturday, January 21, 2012

A phoebe but not THE phoebe

Eastern Phoebe in Central Park -- 10/08/09
photo by David Speiser --

This morning, during the first real snowfall for the year, birder Anders Peltomaa spotted an Eastern Phoebe at the Gill in the Ramble area. On eBirdsnyc he speculated that it was the same bird he saw hanging around the island on Turtle Pond earlier this winter and the same one that Phil Jeffrey found by the Castle on New Year's Day.

As long-time readers of this website know, every year starting in March I go a little nuts looking for the first phoebe of the Spring migration. The one reported by Anders today, however, is not the one. Clearly it has overwintered in the area, as phoebes occasionally do, [especially during milder winters]. Now that the season has taken a fiercer turn, let's hope this lovely harbinger of spring survives, Meanwhile, come March, I'll still be hunting for the first phoebe of the Spring migration.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jacob's List

Hermit Thrush - Central Park -- 10/7/08

A great young birder named JACOB DRUCKER took a stroll in Central Park yesterday [1/17/12] and amassed a list of 40 species of birds. What's great about this list is: 1. It includes all species, even house sparrows. 2. It gives an estimate of numbers-- i.e. how many individuals of each species he saw. [An X instead of a number must mean MANY]

He writes"

An hour or so spent in Central Park this morning produced the following. Highlights included BROWN THRASHER, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, and EASTERN TOWHEE.> Central Park-- Ramble Vicinity to Reservoir, New York, US-NY
Jan 17, 2012 8:40 AM - 10:10 AM

Protocol: Traveling 1.5 mile(s) 40 species

Canada Goose 80
Gadwall 14
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 120
Northern Shoveler 100
Bufflehead 12
Hooded Merganser 4
Ruddy Duck 30
Red-tailed Hawk 4
American Coot 4
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull (American) X
Great Black-backed Gull X
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove 63 All across W drive from sparrow rock.
Red-bellied Woodpecker 7
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Downy Woodpecker 6
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Blue Jay 25
American Crow 10
Tufted Titmouse 20
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Carolina Wren 1
Hermit Thrush 3 All at Strawberry Fields.
American Robin 100 Many, strawberry fields, several elsewhere
Gray Catbird 2 SF, Castle
Brown Thrasher 1 SF
European Starling X
Eastern Towhee 1 Male, Castle.
Fox Sparrow (Red) 2 Source of Gill
Song Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 200
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 12
Northern Cardinal 12
Common Grackle 200
Brown-headed Cowbird 2 With Grackle flock, W of Sparrow Rock
House Finch 30
American Goldfinch 16
House Sparrow X