Saturday, February 25, 2012

Windy day at the Reservoir

NYC Audubon Photography Club focusing on the sights at the Reservoir.

Sight 1. Hooded Merganser, hood adjusted to the windy day

Sight 2. His mate...seemed to like the wind in her hair.

Sight 3. The cooperative couple, occasionally waving to the crowd

Photos and captions by MURRAY HEAD

Friday, February 24, 2012

At 2:45 p.m today birdwatcher and writer Bob Paxton reported [via e-Birds] that the Rufous Hummingbird was present and accounted for at its usual location at the American Museum of Natural History.

The photo above, taken by DAVID SPEISER on December 15, 2011, visually explains the species' name.

PS Our other star bird, the Yellow-breasted

Chat, is still hanging out near the Gandhi statue

in Union Square Park today.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mea Culpa

Doesn't he look mad, the bird below? As well he might. I misidentified him as a lowly Starling yesterday. Apologies to all and thanks to so many of you who wrote in and tried not to make me feel too bad.

Common Grackle in Central Park -- 4/23/09
photo by Lloyd Spitalnik -

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hummingbird visits Central Park

Bathing Starling, Central Park, February 5, 2012
Photo courtesy of

Tom Fiore sends in a thorough [and Thoreauvian] report of yesterday's birds in Central Park, Union Square and Bryant Park

Saturday, 18 February, 2012

Manhattan sightings today included the lingering Rufous Hummingbird - this bird was again making a visit to the nearby area in Central Park, while coming back in to the flowering shrubs at the American Museum of Natural History's "Rose Center" / planetarium entrance, off West 81 Street, between Columbus Ave. & Central Park West. (The Central Park appearance was just south of Tanner's Spring near the Winterdale Arch which sits astride the "bridle" path (no longer really used by horses, but still cindered). The hummingbird was back to the museum entry as of mid-morning.

Also in Central Park, the lingering Red-headed Woodpecker (with a little more red showing each week) was on one of its favored trees, just northwest of the NW corner of Hallett Sanctuary, where I watched it fend off a bevy of European Starlings as well as a few less-agressive Blue Jays. The Red-headed was occasionally a bit vocal as it chased the starlings away, time after time - an often-seen situation from these 2 species at least in this city, when a Red-headed is lingering.

Other Central Park sightings: there were at least a few E. Towhees, as well as catbirds, and a couple of Brown Thrashers plus some Hermit Thrushes, "red" Fox Sparrows, Wood Ducks, & a variety of other over-wintering birds - many of the usual species have been in song, some for weeks already; American Robins in various locations included. An Eastern Phoebe also has lingered on, mainly wandering in the s. section of the Ramble, but has also been to Turtle Pond, where it had "first" been seen as a very late lingerer as winter came on (on the calendar that is...)

At Union Square Park, the Yellow-breasted Chat showed nicely around the southwest corner of the park (near 14th Street and Union Square West) with the statue of M.K. Gandhi in view - the chat moving about but generally within that smaller space. In the larger portion of Union Square park the lingering White-crowned Sparrow was seen. In Bryant Park, between 40th & 42nd Streets, and between Fifth & Sixth Ave's., a fairly extensive search lasting well over an hour found 3 Gray Catbirds, all nearest Sixth Ave. & all 3 seen briefly-simultaneously, but mainly a bit apart, and two together closer to 42nd, while a third seemed to like the 40th St. side a bit more during my perambulation there. No chat nor any warbler species was noted, nor any Lincoln's Sparrow, but an E. Towhee (male) in the area near the rink entry.