Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May 24 - Central Park

May 24 was my last AMNH Thursday morning Central Park walk of the season. Below is the list of 47 species we recorded on this last walk. The cumulative total of species recorded on Thursday mornings for the spring can be found here.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Magnolia Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

May 23 - Central Park

I am very late getting this post up. May 23 was my final Wednesday morning Central Park walk of the season. From 9:00 to 11:00 am we recorded 43 species, listed below. Species recorded on the 7:00 to 8:45 scouting walk on not on the regular walk are listed following this list. One highlight of the walk were the blooming yellow lady's slipper. A cumulative total for the species recorded on the spring Wednesday walks can be found here.


Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
Fish Crow
Barn Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Swainson's Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Canada Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Ten species were recorded on the scouting walk: Canada Goose, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-headed Vireo, Fish Crow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-and-white Warbler and a late White-throated Sparrow.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 19 - Alder Flycatcher - new species for my apartment list

A gray, rainy, foggy, misty day, but it produced the first new bird for my apartment bird list in 3.5 years - an Alder Flycatcher. The bird was down in the low vegetation in Muscota Marsh and I first saw and heard it from the deck overlooking the marsh. Since it was actively flying around the marsh I quickly went up to the apartment to see if I could get it from the apartment window. I did not hear it calling from upstairs, but Ann and I watched it flying around the low vegetation. It is species number 115 from the apartment.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 18 - Inwood Hill Park

What a difference in a few days. This was my quietest morning in Inwood of all my trips over the last week and a half or so. Only 38 species with eight warblers. There really weren't any highlights among the birds so I will just give the list.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

May 17 - Central Park

Three intrepid participants were not deterred by the rainy forecast and joined me for my Thursday AMNH bird walk in Central Park. I wish I could say that the weather forecast proved to be totally wrong and that we enjoyed a lovely spring morning in the park. Though the weather did not turn out to be as bad as the forecast, we did start out in light rain, but it soon let off and most of the walk was done in overcast, threatening skies with occasional spitting rain. We found 37 species, including ten warblers. However, the highlight of the morning was the continuing presence of yesterday's Bicknell's Thrush, once again seen and heard in the vicinity of the feeders in the Ramble. The full list is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
Veery (2)
Gray-cheeked Thrush (1)
Bicknell's Thrush (1)
Swainson's Thrush (2)
Wood Thrush (1)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird (4)
Northern Waterthrush (2)
Black-and-white Warbler (2)
Common Yellowthroat (5)
American Redstart (2)
Northern Parula (3)
Magnolia Warbler (4)
Yellow Warbler (4)
Blackpoll Warbler (1)
Wilson's Warbler (2, a relatively cooperative male was on the Point)
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow (2, lingerers)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

At lunchtime I went back into the park at West 93rd Street and headed over to the Reservoir to look for a Cliff Swallow that was being reported there. Not only did I find the Cliff Swallow (new for my New York County list), but I also spotted a lone Bank Swallow (also new for my county list) with the group of swallows over the north end of the Reservoir. The bridle path south was alive with warblers and other birds. Indeed, on this lunchtime walk I found 47 species including fourteen warblers. Of the 47 species, 21 were species i had not found on my morning walk. They are listed here: Turkey Vulture (1, flyover), Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper (1, edge of the reservoir), Ring-billed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Chimney Swift, Eastern Wood-Pewee (1), Least Flycatcher (1), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (1), Tree Swallow (6), Bank Swallow (1), Barn Swallow (8), Cliff Swallow (1), Cedar Waxwing (5), Tennessee Warbler (1), Bay-breasted Warbler (9), Blackburnian Warbler (1), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), Black-throated Blue Warbler (3), Yellow-rumped Warbler (2), and Brown-headed Cowbird.

May 15 - Inwood Hill Park

Yes, the Tuesday, May 15 date is correct for this post, even though I am not posting it until Saturday, May 19. I haven't had a chance before this so I am doing some catching up. It was a birdy morning in Inwood. In a few hours I recorded 52 species with eighteen warblers. The north end of the path overlooking the Hudson north from the overlook meadow (which isn't much of a meadow anymore), was the best spot. Amazingly, the commonest warbler seemed to be Bay-breasted Warbler - there were at least eight and probably more. A couple of lovely Blackburnian Warblers added to the show. The full list of 52 species is below.

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher (1, calling)
Great Crested Flycatcher (at least 3 heard calling)
Great Crested Flycatcher - 05/15/2018 - Inwood Hill Park
Eastern Kingbird (3)
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (1, over the bay north of the soccer fields)
Barn Swallow (1, over the bay north of the soccer fields)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren (2, probably a pair)
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Ovenbird (1, singing)
Worm-eating Warbler (1, singing)
Black-and-white Warbler (5)
Tennessee Warbler (2, singing)
Nashville Warbler (1)
Common Yellowthroat (1)
American Redstart (1)
Cape May Warbler (1, female)
Northern Parula (2)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Bay-breasted Warbler (8, males and females)
Bay-breasted Warbler (male) - 05/15/2018 - Inwood Hill Park
Blackburnian Warbler (2)
Blackburnian Warbler - 05/15/2018 - Inwood Hill Park
Yellow Warbler (1)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1)
Blackpoll Warbler (8)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (5)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager (1)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Baltimore Oriole (5)
House Sparrow

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 16 - Central Park

A gray, overcast morning with occasional raindrops, turning into a regular light rain toward the end of my 9:00 to 11:00 AMNH bird walk in Central Park. Despite the weather we found forty species with a dozen warblers. The highlight of the morning, however, was not a warbler, but a Bicknell's Thrush. The bird was in the Evodia Field near the bird feeders. We had seen the bird on the ground and I had identified it as a Gray-cheeked type; though we did note the bird displayed warmer tonesd on the back and especially the tail. Dave Barrett then appeared and told us they had had both Gray-cheeked and Bicknell's thrushes there and that the Bicknell's had responded to playback. He played a Bicknell's recording and the bird responded with a Bicknell's song. We watched it feeding on the ground and moving back and forth across the east path of the Evodia Field. At one point we spotted a second thrush which was a clear Gray-cheeked Thrush. It was noticeably grayer than the Bicknell's, especially around the face and lacked the warm tones of the Bicknell's. The Bicknell's Thrush was a life bird for many in the group. In total we noted forty species on the walk (list below). Many in the group joined me for an earlier scouting trip through the Ramble at 7:00 am. That walk also tallied forty species, though the list was not identical. The earlier list included ten species not seen on the regular walk. Those ten species are listed separately below the main list.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Veery
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Bicknell's Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

[From the earlier walk: Double-crested Cormorant, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Least Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Cape May Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Canada Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow.]

May 13 -Inwood Hill Park

Just a short post since I am several days behind. I went into Inwood in the morning before the afternoon rains. Found 51 species including eleven warblers. The one unusual bird was the continuing Red-throated Loon (winter plumage) in the bay north of the soccer fields. I may add to this post later when I have time. In the afternoon Ann and I headed up to Wurtsboro for the first day of the annual Great Gull Island Birdathon tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

May 11 - Inwood Hill Park

I started what turned out to be Kirtland's Warbler Friday birding in Inwood Hill Park. Having just done a long post on that exciting bird, I am just going to be very brief about the morning in the park. I ran into Diane Schenker as I headed into the park in the morning. Later we encountered Danny Karlson and the three of us birded together for a while, briefly joined by another birder, Ben,  whose full name I don't know. I found 51 species in the park, the best being a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that Diane and I heard as we headed back down the Clove Road. The full list is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Egret
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

May 11 - WOW! Kirtland's Warbler!!!!

Quite a day! I certainly would never have predicted the day's ending in the morning. I birded Inwood Hill Park for a few hours in the morning, but I will return to that later. First I am going to skip ahead to the incredible end of the day. After birding Inwood I went down to the office. I heard reports from Central Park that there were lots of warblers being seen, but did not get a chance to go into the park at lunchtime. At the end of the day I took the subway home. I happened to look out my apartment window and spotted the winter plumaged Red-throated Loon in the small bay off Muscota Marsh. This bird has been present for over a month now, though I don't see it every day. A few minutes after 6:00 pm while I started my dinner my cell phone rang and the caller ID said it was Dale Dancis. I thought she was calling about an unusual plumaged House Finch she had encountered in Central Park earlier in the day that we had spoken about earlier. Instead, I was stunned when she said that a Kirtland's Warbler had been found in Central Park and was still being seen! The bird was on the park drive between West 90th and 91st Streets. If I got there as quick as I could, I should still be able to see the bird before it got dark. Finding it would be no problem. All I had to do was look for the mob of birders and photographers already there. I called a car service and asked Ann to tell them where I wanted to go while I threw my binoculars in my backpack - I didn't even take my camera. Ann later told me I also just left my food on its plate and she cleaned up. Ann had been fighting a migraine all day and did not feel up to the chase. While on the Henry Hudson southbound I got another message from Dale asking where was I? After getting off the highway, I called Dale from the taxi and told her I was only blocks away. The driver was surprised that I wanted to be left off on the park side of the street. I hurried into the park at the West 90th Street entrance and immediately saw the mob of birders, photographers, and curious members of the public wondering what all the excitement was about. Getting up to the crowd people pointed to where the bird had been last seen. Suddenly there was a surge of people towards the reservoir as the bird moved lightly east and downhill. I joined the move and quickly caught sight of the bird. The only reason it wasn't a life bird was that last August, when Ann and her friend Georgia and I went west to see the total solar eclipse we had gone via Michigan just so I could try to see Kirtland's Warbler in the only known nesting range for the endangered species. After two days of looking I had gotten a quick look at a juvenile. (Ann and Georgia had made the trip two years earlier at a more appropriate time in June.) Now I had nice long looks at this individual. I stayed until it got too dark to see the bird. Enjoying the bird and chatting with the many birding friends and acquaintances who kept arriving in search of this spectacular visitor. The birders were also kept busy explaining to mystified members of the public what was going on with this mob of people staring up into a tree with binoculars and cameras. One of the birders I encountered at the bird was Diane Schenker, who I had birded Inwood Hill Park with in the morning. Since we lived only a few blocks from each other in Inwood, we split a taxi home to Inwood. Below are some poor pictures I got of the bird the next day when I went back down to the park on a wet Saturday with Ann who had recovered from her migraine.




Finally, here is a shot of some of the Kirtland's watchers on Friday evening taken with my cell phone.

It was due to what had seemed bad luck that Ann and I were in town to see the Kirtland's Warbler. This weekend is the scheduled date for my annual Great Gull Island Birdathon. For about twenty years now we have done the Birdathon each May with our photographer friend Sean Sime. Normally, we go up to Wurtsboro in Sullivan County on Friday afternoon and spend the night there before Sean and I go out for owls and other nightbirds. This year, however, Sean had a photo shoot Friday evening si he could not do the Birdathon with us. Since Ann and I were going to be doing the Birdathon alone, we had a little more flexibility in our schedule and give a rainy forecast for the weekend we decided not to go up to Wurtsboro until Sunday. So, without the bad luck of Sean not being able to do the Birdathon with us, we would have been out of town and been unable to see the Kirtland's. I spoke to Sean on Friday evening after his shoot while he was driving home. On Saturday morning he was able to drive in from Brooklyn with his daughter and they got to see the Kirtland's. So what first seemed like bad luck turned out to be great for all of us!