Thursday, April 07, 2016

Tom's report today [4/7/16]

Louisiana Waterthrush - photo by David Speiser 4/13/13
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A Louisiana Waterthrush was still in the area of The Pond & Hallett Sanctuary within the park's southeastern sector. At about 7:15 a.m. the waterthrush was seen singing (an abbreviated bit of song) & moving near the n.e. part of the sanctuary, a bit south of the stone-arch bridge (which is over the northeastern-most arm of the Pond).  It was working the edges of the water, not far from where the most phragmites remain.  Also noted at the Pond & immediate vicinity - multiple Hermit Thrush - an influx of that species last night, as there were over 50 seen in the park this morning (from C.P. South to 110 St. in the north end), and at least one of them was also singing softly, 'under' the louder song of a Brown Thrasher which is lately lingering still at the Hallett Sanctuary's w. edges...

Other species in the park today include a modest additional influx of sparrows & kin, with a few E. Towhees in spots that they'd not been until today, & a couple of females joining the males, as well as a slight uptick in Field, Chipping, & Song Sparrows, & ongoing hundreds of White-throated, plus what seemed a small jump in Swamp Sparrow no's. as well as ongoing Dark-eyed Junco.   A breeding-plumaged Rusty Blackbird continues it's shy but regular routes at the Gill-Azalea Pond, & lake edge in the Ramble... where there were a few newly-arrived migrants.... (more later, once the quiet returns...)  Oh, and a good signal of migration having occurred, the numbers of Yellow-shafted Flicker crashing & banging thru the woods & some of the open areas all around the place...  plus a bit of additional E. Phoebe waggery.

Reservoir of C.P., still most of the same as last few days, & gull no's. perhaps picking up & thus worth another look for potential uncommon spp., as gulls are still lingering as well as moving just now & can be into next month... & the Meer, not a whole lot as of mid-morning, but worth checking anytime.

The n. end did not receive as much scrutiny from me this a.m. but a variety of the early-arrival migrants were thinly distributed and some spp. were singing a little, as was also noted elsewhere, in the damp but much milder air of this morning - it almost seems to be April.

good birding & quiet observing...

Tom Fiore

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Tom Fiore's report for Tues. 4/5/16

Louisiana Waterthrush - at the Loch
Photo by DAVID SPEISER- Central Park - 4/13/13

Tuesday, 5 April, 2016 -
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

Louisiana Waterthrush was found & photographed Tuesday in Central Park, around mid-day.  A very actively-feeding new arrival, the warbler was in a good place for quiet & peaceful feeding, undisturbed by any human activities (including any unnecessary over-playing of audio at birds already in full view).      This may've been a first-of-year waterthrush in the park, even though a modest flight of the species already occurred some days prior, including into some sites well north of the N.Y. City area.
At the same area & time as the waterthrush sighting were a (red) Fox Sparrow, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, an E. Phoebe, and several Hermit Thrush, as well as much more common migrants or wintered-over visitors.  One of the multiple Red-tailed Hawks of the park's perimeter areas also made a visit to the area.  Obviously more waterthrushes & all the other typical April-arrivals are hoped-for when the weather allows.

Earlier Tuesday, some Great Egrets were flying over the n. end of the park in the typical east & west flight-trajectory as seen in that part of the park from this month to end of summer.  The n. end also featured a goodly batch of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers as it has for a few days now, & other migrants which have been noted in recent days, all in small or modest numbers.  Belted Kingfisher has continued to be seen in the last week esp. from the park's north end, but also elsewhere at times.   Palm Warbler was again present at least in the n. end (with many more due in, any day.)  Tree Swallows started to reappear IN the park (besides high fly-overs which are typical in early spring) and a few N. Rough-winged Swallows have been occasional at most recently, the Meer.  A report surfaced of a Barn Swallow from the Meer as well, which is quite possible now.

At the reservoir, it seemed that some, perhaps many, ducks & some of the other birds had moved, or even departed, although Pied-billed Grebe was one that remained.  N. Shovelers were also still there but in reduced numbers to a week or more ago. One Hooded Merganser has been lingering & Buffleheads also are, as well as fewer & fewer Ruddy Ducks, of which some are in near-full breeding attire in recent days. One male Wood Duck also has been in the same general area as previously-recently.

On a pass thru the Ramble, I helped to clean up bits of wire & other debris from the fencing that's being removed from a winter-work-site in the central Ramble - while the contractors did a lunch-break - so as to keep tourists & other visitors from tripping & getting hurt in what's become yet another section of the park that is busy as can be with visitors of all sorts.  There was water from recent rain in the area of the Ramble often called the "swamp" in the s.w. portion of the Ramble; a number of plants are now planted growing there appropriate to wetter conditions... with luck, it may be a good place to look for some species with swamp-ish affinities in the migration period.  Near there, at the Azalea Pond, a breeding-plumaged Rusty Blackbird was skulking about with a more typical-of-species wariness.

Work is also going to occur in the north end of the park, with the hope that it may act as a deterrent to some visitors there who don't know better and (unintentionally) may damage & undermine sensitive habitat & cause more erosion. The upcoming north end work will be especially in the Ravine ("Loch")  area.  All those big & bright signs reminding park users where off-leash dogs are not permitted (at any time) just might need enforcing, if new plantings are to do well.  And also since one would think a major park in a major city could enforce the most basic of its regulations. And on the subject of behavior of park-goers & birders & esp. tour-leaders in parks -

A gentle reminder to all including myself of the core principles in basic birding ethics (applies anywhere in the world, even as formulated & expressed by the American Birding Association, revised versions) - see in particular Article 1, all aspects determining how one may act most ethically while observing birds.  In addition, please see Article 4, items a. through g. - and with attention to 4.b. - with respect to observed unethical behavior by anyone actively leading a group or walk: attempt to document, and make that documentation available to local & regional birding clubs, societies, organizations, and in the case of repeat-offender situations, to the authorities for the land or park in which the activity is observed, as well as to enforcement, including if & as necessary, report to law-officers, if that should seem the only recourse with a multi-repeat & un-repentant "serial" offender. A clear first recourse is politely asking that obvious-observed-unethical activity be terminated, and that it not be repeated.
PRINCIPALS OF BIRDING ETHICS FROM THE AMERICAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION -   (yes, the reminder's necessary, at least for someā€¦)

Tom Fiore

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The birds of yesterday...

Palm Warbler -- photo by DAVID SPEISER


[April 2, 2016]\ This afternoon, Central Park had a good amount of migrants. Among the usual stuff and already arrived migrants, I saw 2 Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers (Gill source and the Point), a Chipping Sparrow at the feeders, 2 aggressive Ruby-Crowned Kinglets at Turtle Pond, and a pair of Palm Warblers. Also, today was a flicker day, and I must've seen at least 15 to 20 of them when I was there. It seems only a matter of time before Louisana Waterthrushes and other migrants arrive.

Species List:

2 Palm Warblers (Yellow)
3+ Pine Warblers (Pinetum, including a female)
2 Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers
3 Golden-Crowned Kinglets (2 at Point, 1 at Pinetum)
2 Ruby-Crowned Kinglets
2 Hermit Thrushes
2 Eastern Phoebes (Mugger's Woods
1 Chipping Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
3 Dark-Eyed Juncos
1 Fox Sparrow
Northern Flickers (many)
8 Double-Crested Cormorants
6 Buffleheads
50+ Northern Shovelers
Posted by: Jordan Spindel <>