Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterdays stars

                                         Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 

                                           Brown Thrasher

                                                Chipping Sparrow

                                         Common Loon

Photos by BARRIE RAIK, taken yesterday [April 18] during the 8-11am walk of the [not so early] Early Birders .
Barrie writes:
 A few photos from this morning attached - Ellen and I saw the loon on the reservoir (far away) on our way home. We saw the sparrows and the brown thrasher at the north end of the park before we met up with the group.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In Honor of Starr

Note from Marie: I don't usually include fund-raising appeals on this website, but as an old "friend of Starr" I'm making an exception for this one.

Birdathon in Remembrance of Starr Saphir, to Benefit American Bird Conservancy’s Cerulean Warbler Fund

Dear Potential Sponsor,

On February 5th of this year, the New York City birding community lost Starr Saphir, who was a friend, teacher, mentor, and inspiration to many.  In honor and remembrance of Starr, her life, her indefatigable spirit, and her unsurpassed love of birds and birding Lenore Swenson, Donna Evans and Sandra Paci will participate in this year’s International Migratory Bird Day Birdathon on Saturday, May 11th as the team “Friends of Starr Saphir.”

Pledges raised will go, as per Starr’s wishes, to the American Bird Conservancy’s Cerulean Warbler Fund.  Everyone who has met Starr knows that the Cerulean was her favorite bird of all and was the reason why she was almost never seen without her signature blue headscarf and blue rain jacket.  ABC’s current efforts focus on establishing a conservation corridor between three private reserves on the Cerulean’s wintering grounds in Colombia and on reforesting land in the heart of the bird’s breeding territory in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Since the theme of this year’s IMBD is “Life Cycles of Migratory Birds” supporting this cause is a perfect fit.

On May 11th, Lenore, Donna and I will be out from dawn to dusk trying to see as many species of birds as possible.  It is our desire to make a meaningful contribution to the Cerulean Warbler Fund in Starr’s honor and we hope that you can help.  Pledges can be based on the number of species seen or a fixed amount.  Contributions are fully tax deductible.  If you wish to make a per species pledge, please let us know and we will contact you after the Birdathon to report our total number of species.

Checks should be made out to: “American Bird Conservancy” with “Cerulean Warbler Fund” and “Friends of Starr Saphir” in the memo section and mailed to:

American Bird Conservancy
P.O. Box 249
4249 Loudoun Ave.
The Plains, VA 20198-2237

I would greatly appreciate it if you could inform me of the amount of any pledges sent so that we can keep track of all contributions raised for this effort.


Sandra Paci
For Team: “Friends of Starr Saphir”
Cell: 1-347-834-5881

Today's [WEDNESDAY] reports

Fox Sparrow - photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK - Central PArk - 3/15/2006

Ethan Goodman writes  [via ebirdsnyc] at 10:10 this morning::

Decent numbers in a quick walk from upper lobe through ramble, to castle and up to Pinetum, but not a whole lot of diversity. Palm Warblers are now showing in numbers approaching if not exceeding RC Kinglets. Lots of Flickers and Hermit Thrushes everywhere. More Swamp and Chipping Sparrows and a bit fewer Song Sparrows (but still lots). White-throated Sparrows showing nice color now.

Other notables:

Yellow-rumped Warbler (3 @ Upper Lobe and scattered elsewhere)
Blue-headed Vireo (upper lobe in willow)
Field Sparrow (pinetum)
Eastern Towhee (male and female @ pinetum)
Pine Warbler (finally! @ pinetum)
Winter Wren (upper lobe, pinetum)

David Barrett  [ ] writes  [via ebirdsnyc] at 10:29 this morning:

Highlight of the morning was finding a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL on the Lake, east of Hernshead near the opposite shore, at 8:45 a.m. The last eBird record of this species in Central Park was four years ago.

I also had RUSTY BLACKBIRD at the Gill and on Azalea Pond. Chris Cooper pointed out a flyover GREEN HERON. 

Chris Cooper writes  [via ebirdsnyc]at 11:21 this morning:

Adding to Ethan's and David's lists for the Ramble area today:

PURPLE FINCH (4 feeding high in trees of Azalea pond, 8:30 AM; then flew W towards Mugger's Woods)
BG Gnatcatcher (1--S of Humming Tombstone)
Fox Sparrow (2--the Gill, Mugger's Woods)
Brown Thrasher (1--Mugger's Woods)
Brown Creeper

A greater variety of birds in much greater numbers; a vast improvement over yesterday. Thanks to David for the teals, which were smashing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

TODAY'S birds - [2nd post of the day]

Black-and-white Warbler - David Speiser -

Monday, 4/15/13
Pat Pollock writes:

Common Loon is still on Reservoir, closer to Eastside and a little more south but still way out - a scope wd help to see how complete the breeding plumage is

 Black & White Warbler along Gill (seen by Bob's group and many others)
2 Black-crowned Night Herons perched in willow end of Point
Fox Sparrow @ Gill
Many Swamp Sparrows
Many Hermit Thrushes
Many Ruby-crowned Kinglets
Winter Wren Gill
Eastern Towhees - Muggers Walk & Gill
Chipping Sparrows many throughout park

Tom's weekend report

Eastern Meadowlark - Central Park - photo by Barrie Raik

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

Saturday & Sunday, 13 & 14 April, 2013

There was migration both Friday & Sat. nights, with wider diversity & higher numbers overall as of Sat, night for Sunday's results.  A very modest vulture & raptor flight was observed overhead on Sunday in addition to the birds seen in the park.  The peak hours seemed to be late morning & early afternoon but there may have been some late flight. A fair NW wind is part of the typical pattern that can bring migrant hawks thru this city both spring & fall.    For me, the first 90+ minutes of daylight Sun. before the dogs were let loose was superb in the n. end, as many birds stayed out on lawns. Later on such species as Palm Warblers, Hermit Thrush, Chipping & other Sparrows, & juncos were mainly put up to trees by the 4-leggeds & the folks letting them run.  Some of the notable species, a couple of them new in Central this year, are highlighted in bold. Some are simply a bit more notable. (It was not the first Brant sighting of the year in Central, for example but they're uncommonly seen there, even though annual in Manhattan's salt-brackish waters.)   Easily 50+ birders were in the park, likely double or triple that all throughout, & even or especially so on Sunday.  A full list is below for all that I & multiple others saw; there well may have been some additional species.

Loon (species, either Common or Red-throated) - several high flyovers
Common Loon - several flyovers
Pied-billed Grebe - reservoir
Double-crested Cormorant - multiple flyovers & fair numbers in the park.
Great Blue Heron - 2 flyovers
Great Egret - several, in park & also a few flyovers
Black-crowned Night-Heron - multiple

Turkey Vulture - 8 flyovers, Sunday
Canada Goose
Brant (group of 6 calling flyovers on Saturday, likely a local movement)
Mute Swan - 1 continuing at Meer
Wood Duck - 5
Gadwall - 12
Northern Shoveler - 50+, mostly on reservoir
Bufflehead - 8, reservoir & the Pool
Hooded Merganser - 3, reservoir
Ruddy Duck - few lingering
Osprey - 2, Sunday flyovers
Northern Harrier - Sunday
Sharp-shinned Hawk - several sightings
Cooper's Hawk - multiple sightings
Broad-winged Hawk - 14 flyovers, fair showing for spring in Central, all Sun.
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin - 1 hunting, Sunday
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot - 3 at reservoir, 2 on Meer
Spotted Sandpiper - reservoir, Sunday (early for Central Park & NY; in April 2005 one was seen 5 days earlier at C.P.)
Laughing Gull - reservoir, mid-day both days
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull 
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher - both days, north end, etc.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (n. end pair)
Yellow-shafted Flicker - fairly common Sun.
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo - several seen singing in n. end Sunday
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow - multiple flyovers
Northern Rough-winged Swallow- several at Meer, Pool, & reservoir
Barn Swallow - multiple, Meer, reservoir, & elsewhere, & flyovers
Black-capped Chickadee - few, relative to winter numbers
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1, near Meer
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper - multiple
Carolina Wren
House Wren - singing, several locations
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet - getting 'scarcer'
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - many, some singing
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - several on Sunday
Hermit Thrush - increased again to 100's on Sunday
American Robin
Gray Catbird - wintered
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher - at least 3, several or all likely new this spring
European Starling
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler - multiple
Pine Warbler - at least 6 males around Meer Sunday, & others
Palm Warbler - reinvigorated Sunday: 40+ around north end
Louisiana Waterthrush - several locations
Eastern Towhee - multiple
American Tree Sparrow -1, Sunday, getting a bit late for here
Chipping Sparrow - fairly widespread, esp. Sunday
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow - 8+ by Sunday
Fox Sparrow - several lingering on Sun.
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow - multiple
White-throated Sparrow - many singing & in breeding finery
Dark-eyed Junco - 100's, all around n. end, especially Sun.
Northern Cardinal 
Red-winged Blackbird 
Eastern Meadowlark - 1, modestly late, N. Meadow, Sunday
Rusty Blackbird - several
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird - several
Purple Finch - several, Sat.-Sun.
House Finch
Pine Siskin - several Sunday, in n. woods, also at Loch later
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow 

Good birding,

Tom Fiore