Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8 - Lunar eclipse, then quiet Central Park

I got up sometime after 5 am and checked the view from the living room window in my apartment to see if the storms during the night had passed. It had stopped raining and there were broken clouds. Through the moving clouds I could see the partially eclipsed moon. As I got ready to go down to Central Park for my Wednesday morning AMNH bird walk I periodically checked the progress of the eclipse - also waking Ann for a view. By the time of my last view the moon was nearly fully in earth's shadow, and it was sinking behind the ridge in Inwood Hill Park.

A little before 7 am I met my walk group at Central Park. The birding was very, very slow! Perhaps the birds had all stayed up to watch the eclipse and were now napping to catch up on their sleep. We did see a number of raccoons - one by the Oak Bridge at the Upper Lobe, three north of the Bow Bridge and one elsewhere in the Ramble. The most interesting sighting was a young Red-tailed Hawk at the Azalea Pond which at one point was wading around in the shallows. We worked very hard to break 30 species. The full list follows.

Canada Goose
Red-tailed Hawk (3, two over Maintenance Meadow and one at Azalea Pond)
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (a few high over the Lake)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1, Oak Bridge)
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Ovenbird (2 - 3)
Common Yellowthroat (Oak Bridge)
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager (1, Maintenance Meadow)
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Sparrow

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