Saturday, April 02, 2016


Downy Woodpecker - photo by BARRIE RAIK

Tom Fiore's report:

Friday, 1st of April, 2016
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

Among migrant birds in evidence thru the mid-afternoon, here were some seen in Central Park by a number of us:

Great Egret (again at Turtle Pond, & also some fly-overs seen from the n. end of the park)

Belted Kingfisher (around the n. end)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; Yellow-shafted Flicker (multiple, & the latter especially esp. numerous in some areas)

Eastern Phoebe (not a lot);  N. Rough-winged Swallow (2 over Meer, seen in p.m. hours, not noted earlier a.m.)

Golden-crowned & Ruby-crowned Kinglets (with the latter species having increased just overnight)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (6+, with over half seen in the n. end, var. locations- modest yet clear overnight increase)

Hermit Thrush (thinly distributed in park so far);  Brown Thrasher (several); Gray Catbird (at the Ramble, not a "new" spring migrant; this one wintered in park)

Palm Warbler (2, n. woods near Blockhouse);  Pine Warbler (in a few locations, as seen in recent days),  Yellow-rumped Warbler (1, drab plumage, Great Hill)

E. Towhee (modest but multiple numbers);  Field, Chipping (15+ thru all the park), Swamp, Song, & White-throated (hundreds) Sparrows.  Dark-eyed Junco (in flocks of up to 20 or so in a few locations)

Purple Finch (2 briefly at feeders in Ramble, also heard in a few spots); American Goldfinch (uncommon but in multiple locations away from the feeder-flocks).

loads of grackles in many locations, some with behavior like a Rusty BB, but not the characteristic call or song, which is diagnostic if heard (a real song, that is).

Reservoir today contained at least the following:  Pied-billed Grebe,  Double-crested Cormorant (12+),  Canada Goose,  Gadwall,  American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler (many),  Bufflehead (14+),  Hooded Merganser,   Ruddy Duck (30+),  American Coot (3),  Ring-billed Gull,  Herring Gull,  Great Black-backed Gull.

and generally, other typical-common-visitor & resident species.  Other stuff:  E. Chipmunks (n. end), butterflies (in warmer p.m.) included Cabbage White, E. Comma, Mourning Cloak, & Red Admiral.  Very good variety of insect life now appearing (and good for all the arriving birds), and literally far more blooms out in just 24 hours.

Thanks to the dozen or more other birders I saw, spoke with, & birded a bit with. The best story was about the man who'd seen more than 2/3 of the world's birds.... I'll need to hear more on that, from his friend.

Good April birding (& no fooling),

Tom Fiore

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


 Tom Fiore writes: Here is a photo of the first-of-year BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER for Central Park. Junko Suzuki, a long-time birder, took it on Sunday, 3/27, Though this is not the earliest-ever sighting of the speciea for Central Park, it is a bit early to have one appear at all in March.  It was found by Tom Perlman, and then seen by a number of observers later that day.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher -- Central Park -- Sunday, 3/27/16

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bluebird of Happiness?

Eastern Bluebird --photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Tom Fiore reports:

Friday & Saturday, 25 & 26 March, 2016

A male Eastern Bluebird was found late Friday (3/25) on the Great Hill, by Tom Perlman; presumably that same individual was present most of today in the area, but had moved to a bit to the east, near the Blockhouse.  At 5:30 p.m. on a stroll in that n. area of the park, I encountered a photographer (a visitor from Russia, not a birder) who was clearly focused on a bird in a nearby tree and on glancing up, there was Sialis sialis, the E. Bluebird.

I asked the photog. if he 'knew' the bird, & he replied it reminded him a little of one he has seen at home, but "less blue"...   my sighting & his was a bit south of the Blockhouse, & the bird moved somewhat farther south in a small patch of woods as we watched. I think this was a first-of-year for the park but can't be sure.  In other birds, more generally there were Golden-crowned Kinglets in various locations, and at least several Pine Warblers.

E. Bluebird may be annual in Central but varies from rare to very uncommon; most don't seem to linger long there.

good birding,

Tom Fiore

PS from Marie: Happy Easter!