Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Bone-chilling Afternoon

             Fox Sparrow in Central Park -- photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK - 3/7/09

"We few, we happy few…", is how King Henry V began his speech to the English army in  Shakespeare's play. But when our brave reporter Pat Pollock quoted the King to describe her visit to The Ramble today, she obviously couldn't use the word "happy". It was too cold. Here's her report of Central Park's bird life on a day when the temperature went down to the low 20's:

2/26/15, Thursday

Pat Pollock:

We few, we very few showed up on this bone-chilling afternoon and very few birds also showed up:

Redpoll & Brown Thrasher
2 Fox Sparrows
beautiful Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (m)
Downy Woodpecker (m)
Lots of Grackles
perched Red-tailed Hawk
lots of Goldfinches
beautiful (m) House Finch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tom's Central Park Report

Male Common Redpoll - photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK 4-2-11

Monday, 23 February, 2015

At Central Park (Manhattan, N.Y. City) a single male Common Redpoll continues to visit the feeders in the Ramble, this a.m. seen as I walked up at 7:15 a.m., while some other mornings I have not seen it until a while later in the a.m. but always making at least one appearance before 9, this past week. An assortment of other more-regular species included a Carolina Wren, a wintering Chipping Sparrow (very fluffed out & sitting still in a small shrub next to the feeder array, but then joining all the other hungry birds to feed), American Tree Sparrow (down by the lakeshore, where there was also a great deal of small bird activity), several Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (including at Strawberry Fields, & the Pinetum area, as well as by the Ramble's feeders);  down at The Pond in the park's SE corner, a drake Wood Duck continues among the many Mallards & a few Americam Black Ducks, plus a single American Coot; a female Wood Duck remains at the reservoir's miniscule path of open water (at the south end) & also along the icy bank there, among relatively scant Mallards & Canada Geese, plus a couple of Coot. At least 1 more Coot plus a very few Northern Shovelers were in the barely-open patch of water at the west side of the Lake, a bit south of the Ladies Pavillion / Hernshead.

At least today, and perhaps all this chilly week ahead, many paths, & even sections of the main Park Drives, are extremely icy-slippery in spots, and extreme caution will be needed to maintain balance & prevent a fall. I saw at least a dozen other people, many of them young & athletic, nearly do so, and I (no longer young or athletic ;-) nearly slipped any number of times. There are crews out trying to put sand, & scrape where possible but the work is very, very difficult, and the icy patches are sure to continue until there is a much longer-lasting warm-up.

Good birding,

Tom Fiore