Thursday, April 11, 2013

Duckage and Birdage

A report on yesterday's sightings from Tom Fiore. our sharp-eyed correspondent:

Rusty Blackbird - Central Park - 12/03/07

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

At least 1 additional Rusty Blackbird was omitted from my report for 4/9, a bird on the Great Lawn, amongst robins, Palm Warblers, & juncos - a seemingly unlikely place for the shy species to forage, yet I've seen Rustys out on that particular lawn a half-dozen times in previous migrations, usually not staying out of typical habitat for very long.

Wednesday, 10 April, 2013

At least one Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was still around the Blockhouse this Wed. a.m., & the north end otherwise had a fair selection of many of the species previously reported this & the last few days, albeit in slimmer numbers generally, with a few exceptions - more E. Towhees, a few "new" Brown Thrashers, and just maybe more Ruby-crowned Kinglets, with small numbers of Golden-crowneds hanging in. At least three Rusty Blackbirds continued, with one seen at the Loch in early a.m.

A check of the lawns where so many migrants convened 24 hours earlier revealed far fewer today, but some Palm Warblers did continue on both Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn.  On arrival in the park at first light, pretty much my first sighting was of a brightly-plumaged Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler, the first I've noticed in full-dress uniform here this spring. I'm not aware whether a Louisiana Waterthrush was detected today: my brief tries for one were negative; more should be passing thru very soon. Chipping Sparrows seemed lower in numbers but were widely dispersed all around the park.  E. Phoebe numbers are down, with likely a fresh batch after the next storm-free night. Swallows, still not, or barely, seen in Central. All 5 regular spp. can be sought at the reservoir (mainly) in the coming weeks.

Duckage is down, as expected, with a few Ruddy Ducks & Buffleheads lingering on, as well as at least one female-looking Hooded Merganser, & for other waterbirds a notable increase in Double-crested Cormorants, both as fly-overs & at the reservoir, plus a few American Coot still hanging in there. The Laughing Gulls that showed up recently seem not be around in the reservoir's daily collection & that's sort of an early pattern in C.P. many years, with more possible as actual summer approaches.  The blossoming of many trees and other plants and now a good soaking rain will likely provide a feast of insect & arthropod life for a lot of birds yet to arrive. One nice plant not too bothered by insects is Bloodroot, seen in bloom in a number of areas in C.P. and likely now out in other parks.