Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tom & Pat's Gullage and Duckage

Common Loon [breeding plumage] - wikipedia 

Tom Fiore sends in another thorough report of Central Park's pre-spring arrivals and Pat Pollock updates it

Thursday, 28 February, 2013 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A first-winter Black-headed Gull was again seen at the reservoir in Central Park, around 12:30 p.m., near the north end of the divider-dike that runs roughly from the southeast corner to the north/northwest side of the reservoir. I saw it on the dike and then flying up, along with many (100's of) other gulls of the usual 3 wintering spp., and then did not re-find the Black-headed as of about 1 pm; I was unable to see if it possibly settled again at or nearer the s. end of the dike, and I did not go back around then to check.

Duckage at the reservoir was a little more diverse than has been (although some, possibly all? of the ducks noted today may have been around the park in recent days/weeks [see below note]), but uncommon at any time in Central were 4 Green-winged Teal (2 hens and 2 drakes), seen at noon near the center; also present nearer the southeast section at the same hour were a hen Red-breasted Merganser, and a drake Ring-necked Duck.  Additionally, in ducks were at least 16 Wood Duck in the park, with 7 at the reservoir, 3 at the Meer, 5 on the Lake and 1 at the Pond, most of these drakes & several hens.  As have been present all winter, good numbers of N. Shovelers were distributed at the Lake & reservoir (mainly), Hooded Mergansers on at least 4 waterbodies as well as Buffleheads, Ruddy Duck on at least 3, Gadwalls at 4 locations, American Black Ducks and Mallards, along with a few hybrid combos of the latter 2 spp.  Of some other water birds continuing, Pied-billed Grebes (res.), American Coots (Meer & res. & Lake), & a few Double-crested Cormorants. I've not been able to spy the common loon that some others (aged "8 to 80") have reported recently at the reservoir; it having been noted as appearing with some or much breeding plumage coming along.

Elsewhere & earlier, a moderate flight of Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, and (very modest) movement of American Robins, some of these seen to head north onward out of Central, & some perhaps just wandering in the area. I thought I heard (only) an E. Bluebird, calls, and saw very briefly what may have been that bird, near the E. Drive & about 104 St., where there were a good concentration of fruit-eating (mainly robins) and seed-eating (juncos, sparrows) birds on the west side & grassy-rocky-mulchy-muddy spots at the south end of the extensive park composting / woodchip pile areas, nearby.

I looked only briefly in a few places where woodcock or potentially other birds of similar habit & habitat could be, finding none - this is very much the season they will be moving on. No check of the feeders, which presumably are being observed daily, and reported on when some bird[s] of note are about.  The number of birds vocalizing has been on the increase in the past 2 weeks or so & with some warmer sun this a.m. in the park, all the more - also a very modest number of floral harbingers of coming spring have been in bloom, such as witch-hazel, crocus, & a few others in various areas in Central.

[note: any, all, or none of above birds may or may not have been previously-recently reported by various means to listing services, internet groups, blogs, &/or multitudinous other electronically stored or served means, some with publicly accessible archives, partial or not, some available only to members (private) and also via smoke signal, telepathy, cross-species communications, and of course by word of mouth.]

Good birding,

Tom Fiore,

Pat's update:

Thursday, 2/28/13
Pat Pollock

Common Loon is present today on Reservoir east of dyke but under most of time - I saw it several times
Green-winged Teals 4, 2 M's, 2 F's - I was trying to report but Yahoo wldn't send it until Tom Fiore's report jumped in!
Ring-necked Duck (M) beautiful - Teals & Ring-neck near south pumphouse
Further out west side of dyke Red-breasted Merganser about midway
As for Black-headed Gull, I got to North end pumphouse area about 11:15 or so, stayed a long time, searched with others who came along:  Nadir & later Brian Padden,
never saw it, searched both sides of dyke and both ends of dyke without success.
Other waterfowl:
Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, pair of Gadwalls, 1 Ruddy Duck, American Coots, numerous Northern Shovelers, dc Cormorants