Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tom reports on Day-after-Thanksgiving Birds

     Eastern Bluebird -- Central Park -- April 2, 200   Photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK

One thing to give thanks for: Tom Fiore's Central Park reports. Here's the latest:

Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City / Friday, 29 November, 2013

Nothing rare, but a very birdy a.m. and part of p.m.; a nice variety of ducks, and some birds passing through & overhead. Six Eastern Bluebirds, 4 in the Ramble around 8 a.m. going thru the Azalea Pond area as well as the Pin Oak "swampy" area, and at least 2, almost certainly different ones, at the Great Hill's s. edges much later on; the latter also with a very high number of American Robins on the ground & in general, besides the 700+ that overflew the park's west side in the first 1/2-hour of the day.  Also flying over were good-sized flocks of Common Grackles, & perhaps a few other icterid spp. (& also some smaller, very high & distant birds)... And there were a good numbers of birds: goldfinches and blackbirds primarily, in Sweet Gum trees in the Ramble in particular, in early a.m.  There was an Ovenbird meandering around beneath the feeders; seemed like a bird that may know its way around that patch now. Of the orioles, these 2 were differently-plumaged from one seen the day before and perhaps by others in days preceding; there may well have been 3 of them; obviously any oriole, & any bird that is somewhat seasonally-unexpected, ought be scrutinized in case of a much-less-likely vagrant species showing, yet Baltimore Oriole is actually almost regular in the region into Nov., & some straggle into Dec., or later. I was impressed by how many Mourning Dove are about just now; it felt like more than I'm recalling being in the park most late autumns. Modest numbers of towhee are nice to see as well: our usual species! Not all that regular in Central, an American Tree Sparrow was a small plus.

It felt like even more may have been around, or may yet be. One place I meant to check but didn't was at the park next to AMNH, the American Museum of Natural History. Also, a look in the zoo grounds is a good idea this time of year, at least for those with free entry by membership or other privileges to gain entry to the grounds. I thought the Ramble was especially productive in the morning. It may also be worth having a close look anywhere that sapsuckers are lingering, as a variety of other birds just might be lingering with them.

Pied-billed Grebe (several, Reservoir)
Double-crested Cormorant (Res.)
Great Blue Heron (Pond, south side)
Turkey Vulture (2 flyover, p.m.)
Canada Goose
Wood Duck (10+, mainly Pool)
American Black Duck (several)
Northern Shoveler (numerous)
Green-winged Teal (Reservoir)
Ring-necked Duck (Reservoir)
Hooded Merganser (12+ Reservoir)
Common Merganser (Reservoir)
Ruddy Duck (few)
Bald Eagle (non-adult, flyover, p.m.)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (feeders, a.m.)
Cooper's Hawk (N. Meadow area)
Red-tailed Hawk (multiple)
American Kestrel (several)
American Coot (Reservoir)
Ring-billed Gull (many)
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
"feral" Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove (hundreds!)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (n. end)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (few)
Blue Jay (many)
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee (2)
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper (several)
Carolina Wren (multiple)
Winter Wren (Ramble)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Ramble)
Eastern Bluebird (6, Ramble & Great Hill)
Hermit Thrush (several)
American Robin (1,000+, many were flyovers)
Gray Catbird (2)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (3)
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (very few noticed)
Ovenbird (under feeders, Ramble)
Eastern Towhee (5, in 4 separate areas)
American Tree Sparrow (Maintenance Field, Ramble)
Eastern/Red Fox Sparrow (multiple locations)
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow (several)
White-throated Sparrow (500+++)
Dark-eyed Junco (many)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird (modest numbers)
Common Grackle (2,500+ flyovers plus more in park)
Brown-headed Cowbird (several)
Baltimore Oriole (1 non-ad./Great Hill; 1 ad. male/feeders)
Purple Finch (2, Ramble Sweet Gum trees)
House Finch
American Goldfinch (many)
House Sparrow

Tom Fiore,Manhattan

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 2013 Christmas Count - 12/15/13

Below: a Great Horned Owl seen on December 30, 2005, during that year's CHRISTMAS COUNT

DAVID SPEISER sends in an annual reminder:

Please join us for the 114th Christmas Bird Count in Central Park on 15 December 2013.

As usual, we will meet at the South Pump House of the Reservoir at 8 am (enter at 5th and 85th St).

The tally will be at 12:30 in the Arsenal.

Please rsvp to  or leave a message at 212-691-7483 ext. 414.