Saturday, March 01, 2014

PINE WARBLER still here -- also, arrival dates from other years

Pine Warbler -- Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik - Central Park - 4/8/09

Today Matthew Ligas posted the following on ebirdsNYC:

This morning Anders and I saw the Pine Warbler at the feeders - presumably the same one reported by Tom Fiore and others last week. It was only seen briefly and favored the southeast corner, near the tree with the peanut butter spread. Also at the feeders: American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole. 

Pine Warbler pictures:

Herre are some first arrival dates of the Pine Warbler from other years. [Please note that these are from my own personal notes and do not represent any officially accepted dates]:

1990 -- March 24
1994 -- March 24
1995 -- March 27
1997 -- March 18
1998 -- March 27
1999 -- March 17
2000 --,February 16
2001--  March 29 
2002 -- March 16
2003 -- March 9
2004 -- March 3
2011 -- March 18
2014 - February 9

Friday, February 28, 2014

More about squirrels from Murray

The great squirrel writer MURRAY HEAD-- [he's not a squirrel who writes ; he's  a writer who wrote a children's book about squirrels*], just sent in a response to yesterday's squirrel post [ a post about a squirrel, not by one]:  

Dear Marie,

You requested  the story behind the picture you posted. Here it is:

Last Wednesday afternoon as I was passing West of the Sailboat Pond, I noticed this busy young squirrel gathering leaves and acrobatically ascending his tree. The mission was to make a nice leafy nest in a hole that is his home.

I caught his eye, and he pointed a paw toward his stomach and I knew that some
lunch would be appreciated.

After his lunch break, (he got 3 peanuts)

 He came over and gave me a little smile; words were not necessary.

He quickly returned to his task... I glanced back to see him enter the place that would serve him well for the coming cold wintery days.

P.S. That most extraordinary video you linked [in your post yesterday] is a masterpiece that pays proper tribute to squirrels everywhere. Central Park is home to many of the best.


*  "Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop" -- published by Holiday House [Parachute Publishing LLC] in 2012

Brrr it's cold..

But some Central Park denizen can afford fur coats...

photo by Murray Head-- Central Park -- [date to come]

Note: I don't often post videos on this page [and don't encourage readers to send them] but here's one that I know you'll enjoy…

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Pine Warbler -- Central Park April 2, 2008
Photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK - http://www.

Always a lot of excitement about the first warbler of the year sighted in Central Park, Tom's is actually the second reported sighting.  On February 9 Angus Wilson reported a Pine Warbler seen near the King Jagiello monument  at the East end of The Lake.

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A surprise this mid-day - for the late-winter date (& have not seen any recent report of such), a PINE WARBLER, seen well and at very close range, at the "oven" area next to the Lake (a bit west of The Point) in the Ramble of Central Park (Manhattan, N.Y. City).  This at about 12:45 p.m. & in company with many other birds, a great number of them White-throated Sparrows, as well as a miscellany of other typical park resident & wintering birds.  The warbler appeared most like a female to my eye, and any further sightings would be of great interest, as well as any reports of this (or any warbler) over the past month & more. This is extremely early for an arriving Pine Warbler, & yet I am unaware of reports of one having been seen here this winter. A likely area to check in addition to the site it was seen in would be the not-far-off feeding station a bit to the north in the Ramble.  When viewed, the Pine Warbler was actively feeding, and spent a bit of time on lingering snow, picking at what presumably was miniscule insect life there, as well as feeding from small branches & twigs. 

At the feeders, a brilliant adult male Baltimore Oriole as well as far less colorful female (or non-breeding male) Baltimore Oriole were seen, just moments before the warbler sighting. At least a modest number of birds had been moving in this &/or recent milder days, as there are now more American Robins about than in the days before the weekend, and also some Common Grackle movement on this & previous 2 mornings was detected. In addition at least 25 American Crows were passing by the park this midday. 

The path around the reservoir is now about 90% or more snow & ice free, while the reservoir's surface is still much more than 90% covered in ice. I scanned there for a short time seeking any uncommon gulls, or other birds but did not find any of special note. A number of Wood Ducks continue, this morning: 5 at the reservoir, as well as others scattered from the Lake and the Pond (s. end of the park). I also flushed (without intent) an American Woodcock at the n. woods earlier this morning. There may well be a few more of them in favored sites.

Good birding,

Tom Fiore