Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pat's report on TODAY'S birds; Tom's on YESTERDAY's

Louisiana Waterthrush                                          
photo by DAVID SPEISER -

Saturday, 4/13/13
Pat Pollock
For those of you looking for Louisiana Waterthrush, I met a couple in the Loch who'd seen one today @ Tanner's Spring.  They also had a bright Pine Warbler @ the string of Pine trees south of the Conservatory Gardens.
Staying @ North End - @ Meer 3 Barn Swallows & Black-crowned Night Heron
@ Loch Brown Creepers, Eastern Towhee (m) singing
Swamp Sparrow
Great Egret @ west end of Pool
CedarWaxwing perched high in tree @ Pool
At Ramble area, feeders Pine Siskin among a huge flock of Chipping Sparrows
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds (m) east of Maintenance Bldgs on grassy slope
Upper Lobe American Kestral perched atop tree
Carolina Wren singing near Gill


Hooded merganser - female -- wikipedia photo

Friday, 12 April, 2013 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A slow & late stroll on such a chilled & wet day... many migrants managed to take off the previous night and my wanderings afoot after the rain was mostly past yielded scant results, with 3 Barn Swallows at the Meer new for me, and perhaps to Central in this year. A single E. Phoebe was the only of its kind I noticed, at the Conservatory Garden.

Of a things-in-threes theme, were 3 hen-looking Hooded Mergansers on the reservoir, and there were (still) a trio of Wood Ducks, 2 drakes & a hen, also there.Additional lingerers: a few Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and not-uncommonly summering Gadwalls. A Pied-billed Grebe was there & at least 3 American Coots (& 2 others lingering at the Meer)...with gulls almost nonexistent, other than a few Great Black-backed Gulls out in the wind. Around the park, scattered singles of Hermit Thrush, and spare flocks of Chipping Sparrows, Slate-colored Juncos, & roving American Goldfinches were seen, plus an E. Towhee or two...(yes, it's a lull period, while we await a favorable night for arrivals from "south" of this area...) 

good mid-April birding,

Tom Fiore,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tom takes a sparrow-y walk

              Blue-gay Gnatcatcher -- wikipedia

Tom Fiore's report, mainly of yesterday's migrants in the North Woods:

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

Thursday, 11 April, 2013

Incidental of migration & not-yet-migrated, N. Shovelers remain at the reservoir, along with other ducks mentioned in reports from the park on 4/10. An Osprey flew over early today.

Somewhat slower in the north end, with a number of migrant birds having moved on. A couple of Purple Finches were bubbling in song in the far north woods, perched up as the "5" minutes of sun just after sunrise shone through all the clouds. There were also a few American Goldfinch in the north, but that is not so new in comparison with the raspberry-finches.

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was again by the Blockhouse in early a.m., and the one species I found to have a modest increase were Field Sparrows, with a few small flocks mixing with Chipping Sparrows, Slate-colored Juncos, & a few other sparrows. I failed to locate even one warbler in walking around the north, although I'm sure a few were about. I know that at least the Palms and some Pines were seen by others in other areas.  A nice number of E. Towhees added to the sparrow-y feel to my walk, with "red" Fox, multiple Swamp, Song, & plenty of vocal White-throated Sparrows rounding out the rest of them.

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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

And today's winners are... [2nd post today] plus a PS

Pine Warbler  - Central Park - 4-23-09
 Photo by David Speiser --

JOE DICOSTANZO reports at 10:51 TODAY  [4/10/13] via ebirdsnyc:

A lovely, warm morning for my American Museum of Natural History bird walk group. We had a total of 41 species. Highlights included: 

Wood Duck (pair on Upper Lobe) 
Gadwall (male on Lake) 
Bufflehead (male on Lake) 
single Great Blue Heron and Great Egret (both flyovers) 
Barred owl (in usual spot, but no sign of Saw-whet) 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (maybe half a dozen) 
Eastern Phoebe 
Brown Creeper 
both Kinglets 
Hermit Thrush 
Brown Thrasher (by weather station) 
Pine Warbler (about six nw of Shakespeare Garden, including some extremely bright yellow males) 
Palm Warbler (various places) 
Eastern Towhee (by weather station and Tanner's Spring - singing) 
Chpping Sparrow (west of Great Lawn and at Sparrow Rock) 
Field Sparrow (west of Great Lawn) 
Rusty Blackbird (Upper Lobe) 

Joe DiCostanzo 

and a PS from JUNKO SUZUKI

One addition to Joe's list.: Blue-headed Vireo (2, W. of Shakespeare Garden, 8:30 AM & Pond near Gapstow Bridge, 12:30 PM.) 

And then there were FOUR

Yellow-rumped Warbler [male] -- Central Park -- 5/06/08
Photo by DAVID SPEISER -- http://www./

Today Tom Fiore sent in his thorough report of yesterday's Central Park birding:

Tuesday, 9 April, 2013 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

...and then there were 4 (warbler species, that is.) with the addition of rather drab-plumaged Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler to at least a couple of Louisiana Waterthrushes (2 were initially seen early by Paul Sweet's group, part of the AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) series of spring bird-walks in the Ramble areas. Others, including A. Vallely & I, saw one of these "Louie's" shortly afterward, as well as one of the Yellow-rumped Warblers. A modest number of Pine Warblers were about including at least 2 singing males in the Ramble, and by far the most numerous warbler today (as expected) were "yellow" Palm Warblers. For best numbers of the latter, it looked that the best 2 spots to watch at least before10 a.m. were all over the eastern third of Sheep Meadow, and the northern third of the Great Lawn, which respectively held ~35+ and 20+ Palms, with additionals of them easily totaling 25+ more & almost certainly more than 100 Palm Warbler in the park entire, which is not by any means a true fall-out but is a nice number as they make their big initial push.

 As for the scene on the eastern parts of Sheep Meadow, easily 500+ migrants were present on the grass (& a few in adjacent trees within the meadow), consisting of 350+ Slate-colored Juncos, 40+ Chipping Sparrows, the Palms, a few Pine Warblers, 20+ Golden-crowned Kinglets, a few Hermit Thrushes, a male E. Towhee, 50+ Song Sparrows, a smattering of White-throated Sparrow, and (at least) one lurking Savannah Sparrow that I briefly hoped was a vesper (but was not) at the SE highest ground of the meadow, near a few boulders. This eastern part of Sheep Meadow (and sometimes the NE edges) can be good, or more rarely great, for all sorts of birds on the grass, usually not far from the fence line & trees, in the time periods when the all-too-abundant 2-legged & 4-legged creatures are roaming & running all over every other square inch of available solid surface in Central. 

The same can apply to the Great Lawn, & today even some machinery in use on that lawn did not deter many birds from feeding at the parts away from that activity. Almost all of these birds were freshly-arrived = hungry! Another sign of very good migration arrival were up to 50 Yellow-shafted Flickers in the south section of the Ramble before 7 a.m., with at least 25 of them in a ten-yard long stretch of the Gill (tiny stream in the Ramble) at once, flushing out at a stray jogger's pass. There were additionally as many as 200 Y.-s. Flickers moving overhead from first light to sunrise, as seen from around the B. Castle area and accompanied by many hundreds if not 1,000+ American Robins in early a.m. flight.

I was among a very few birders in the Ramble at and just after sunrise that I noticed, and the small fall-out there was quite localized at least at first, with some spots almost devoid of migrants and others quite busy. It seemed most birdy near and southwest of the Gill, but that may have been a short-lived thing. My impression also was that the park's north end got much less in numbers of the a.m. movement, although I never got up to the farthest north areas.

good warm-weather birding,

Tom Fiore,

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Chipping Sparrow is here

This morning [4/9/13] Rebekah Creshkoff reported a new bird for the season: a Chipping Sparrow. It was at the Great Hill, on the slope above the Pool.

She also reported hearing a Ruby-crowned Kinglet song this morning 
and a waterthrush yesterday.
Louisiana Waterthrush - Central Park, 4/14/2008
photo by DAVID SPEISER -

Monday, April 08, 2013

Palm Warbler in Pinetum! and PS

Palm Warbler - Central Park - April 7, 2010

 Tom Fiore reports on yesterday's birds:

Sunday, 7 April, 2013 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

Some warbler activity "finally", albeit somewhat minimal...but at least two of the expected early arrivals, Louisiana Waterthrush all day long at the Loch (or Ravine as some prefer to call it) in the park's north end, & a couple (at least) of Pine Warbler with some initial sightings in & around the Pinetum areas near W. 85-86 St. south of the reservoir & transverse road thru the park.  Also noted were a modest (or great, depending on the most recent visitation to Central one may have had) increase of species having been around lately such as Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, E. Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, & a few of the also-wintering sparrow species plus Field Sparrow.  In Central, the Brown Thrasher and a few E. Towhees are still those that overwintered there. A few Hermit Thrush (& just a tad more notably a few Gray Catbirds) also wintered in Central, but some Hermit Thrush may well be newly-arrived and of course many more very soon will be.  One additional sign of spring in Central Park: far, far more birders out & about in the park, & some including yours truly wandering the woods & glades to late in the day... with a temperature at least above 50F.!

Black-capped Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse numbers remain as they've been all thru the winter, fairly high... some of each regularly seen out in street trees as well as the city parks.

Good & warmer birding,

Tom Fiore,

Ethan Goodman sent in a report to ebirdsnyc at 9:30 this morning: 

Looks like the southerly winds have brought a wave in. Very birdy this
morning in my brief walk, especially w/sparrows. Notables, in general descending order of frequency:

Song Sparrow (everywhere, 30+ feeding on Maintenance Meadow alone)
N. Flicker (very numerous)
Swamp Sparrow (many in vicinity of Azalea Pond)
Hermit Thrush
Golden-crowned kinglet (6+)
Ruby-crowned kinglet (Azalea Pond & Pinetum)
Winter Wren (Azalea Pond)
Eastern Phoebe (2 @ Pinetum)
Palm Warbler (2 @ Pinetum)
Field Sparrow (grass btwn Shakespeare Garden and Castle)
Hairy Woodpecker (grass btwn Shakespeare Garden and Castle)
YB Sapsucker (Belvedere Castle)
Brown Creeper (Pinetum)

PS from Marie - Note the date of the photograph - April 7, 2010.  The Pine Warbler is a very predictable migrant, obviously.

PPS - The highlighting is mine, not Tom's or Ethan's. Just wanted to emphasize that Pine Warbler.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Great Egret, continued

photo by Cathy Weiner -- Great Egret at Central Park Reservoir - 4/4/13

An e-mail letter from a new birdwatcher, Cathy Weiner, arrived on Friday [4/5/13] . She wrote:
Hi Marie, 

I am new to bird watching and was happy to come across your blog. I check it often and wrote at the end of March that the Great Egret was back at the duck pond. ...
I noticed the comment on the egret yesterday and when I was up at the reservoir, I was surprised to see it there. I am attaching  [a photo I took] yesterday at the reservoir. 
As I mentioned I am new to bird watching and photography so please excuse the photos - but I thought you would like to see them as proof.

Cathy Weiner

Her photo is above. Here's what I replied:

No need to apologize for your photography.  It's beautiful! I will definitely post your Reservoir shot. 
That will be of great interest to people following this story. Many thanks.