A thank-you to those among New York’s many 'first-responders', and a lot of other good people as well, who are voluntarily making time to go to the Caribbean islands so terribly affected by the latest mega-storm, & the preceding one as well… And, for the many more who are sending what they can on, to those in need. On Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory), and in so many other places, that help is dearly needed, and deeply appreciated. Additionally to any who may be helping in any way they can with the people of Mexico who are dealing with a major earthquake’s aftermath in the heart of that nation. We in NY share a lot in that so many here have deep connection with these regions and nations, and of course as a part of our nation with Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands. All of these affected places and peoples are close to us, with so many citizens right here having direct ties to the Caribbean and central-American region. The small island of Dominica which received the full fury of storm “Maria” is also among the devastated, & that island is among those with fully endemic species (found nowhere else on planet Earth - as is also true of many, if not most, Caribbean islands of any size.) Unique birds are among these endemic species. We still don’t know what course “Maria”, a very powerful storm, could end up on as it eventually moves north; we in NY were very fortunate in not taking a direct hit at high strength from still-active (but downgraded storm) “Jose”. It is a time to revitalize all of the efforts to contain human-influenced climate-change. It will be this generation, above all, who make choices that determine the life of planet Earth's foreseeable future. . . . . .
Central Park, & other parks in shorter visits, in Manhattan, N.Y. City Tuesday, Wednesday and (esp.) Thursday, 19 - 20 - 21 September, 2017 Potentially* first-of-season-in-Central (or Manhattan) species by Thursday were: Pied-billed Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco. (*However, the appellation First Of Season, or FOS, FOY for Year, etc. in a hyper-birded place such as Central Park, or even all Manhattan, is a bit ‘precious', as there will often, if not almost-always, be an observation that pre-datesnthe one[s] being promoted as a “1st-of.” In the case of genuinely rare species, which, guess what, are - genuinely rare! - there may be a better chance to delineate a true first-of (the day, the hour, the second, or maybe, of a season or a year); thus it also is understood that most “FOS” really refer to that obs. or reporter’s or group’s 1st-of-anything, which is of note for them, & possibly, for a wider audience as well. A Virginia Rail was found Thursday (9/21) in Bryant Park (midtown Manhattan south of 42nd Street), and in uncertain condition, was taken directly to the Wild Bird Fund, Manhattan for a rehab./check, brought there by the executive director of NY City Audubon (NYCAS), hopefully a bird which can be released into a much safer space, for a wetlands-requiring rail. The rail was photographed & e-Birded in a report as well. Staff at Bryant Park were on-the-ball also, with the initial discovery at the edge of this extremely busy & packed-with human activities urban park. (Missing from the last report on Central Park migrants was that of White-crowned Sparrow, seen Monday Sept. 18th, at the north end of the park; in addition there were multiple White-throated Sparrows in more than a few locations in the park by then; and thru the next 3 days, White-throated Sparrows became more evident, in multiple areas of the park.) Tues., 9/19 - the numbers were better than they at first seemed would be, esp. for warbler variety. In areas that included modest patches of activity in the north end, the far SE end, and esp. the west side in the upper 60’s - 70’s, and all of the 80’s streets, to at least W. 86th street’s “latitude” (Central is a long rectangle, with the long axis roughly south / north, and very roughly divided in two portions by the large reservoir body of water that nearly takes up all its width, in the central part of the park, even if centered a bit more to the park’s north than the south end) - there were good numbers & rather good variety for the date, of warblers & of some other kinds of migrants. It also was good in part relative to expectations, since my own expectations were pretty low as the day dawned, for Central Park & for fresh migration there. Some of the birds were assuredly ones that had been there, but some seemed freshly-arrived, indicated by both behavior in the early morning, & by ratios of adults, sexes, & make-up of species-variety & numbers. A slightly late Worm-eating Warbler was present at the Gill, in the Ramble quite late in the day. At least 17 additional species of warblers were still to be found, & some again in fair numbers: N. Parula, American Redstart, Ovenbird, & Common Yellowthroat. Also in moderate no’s. were Pine & Palm Warblers (the latter of both “yellow” & “western” forms) as well as Black-throated Blue Warbler. Wed., 9/20 - At least 2 Connecticut Warblers made appearances in the park, from reports, one at the northwest sector of the park, the other in the southeastern. Specifically, on the Great Hill, & in the Hallett Sanctuary, respectively. Each was presumed a young (first-year) bird, & possibly, each also female. Overall, it seemed that fewer of almost all migrants were to be found in Central on Wed., however there was still moderate diversity & rather small numbers of individuals, for most migrant species. Thursday, 9/21 - An entirely new arrival & set of migrants for this overnight, after winds returned to more gentle speed, and became more northerly, rather than with an easterly component. A fairly strong morning flight was evident; in a number of species & species-groups such as: Chimney Swift, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings, & various warblers, possibly led by Palm (mainly of the “yellow”/“eastern” form), as well as Pine, Yellow-rumped (modest no’s., of the Myrtle form, of course), Northern Parula, Black-throated Green, and Common Yellowthroat; Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, & above all, members of the sparrow tribe: Eastern Towhee, & at least 9 additional, with obvious fresh no’s. of White-throated Sparrow, & also: Chipping, Field, Savannah, Song (mainly just local-breeders of the latter), Swamp, White-crowned, a report of Clay-colored at Falconer Hill area, & White-crowned, plus Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco, the latter in the mulltiple (though not too many, yet); additionally, Baltimore Oriole as well as (a few) Bobolink in flight, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird, & rounding off the passerines, a Purple Finch, with modest no’s. of American Goldfinch. I made a quick run ‘downtown’ for a look around City Hall Park, lower Manhattan, & a couple of adjacent sites, but found them very quiet for migrants this Thursday noon; also, a stop at busy Bryant Park, at 42nd Street & mid-Manhattan was fairly slow, bird-wise, although a few sparrows, including at least one Lincoln’s, & several White-throated, were there in addition to a bare minimum of a couple Common Yellowthroats, & an Ovenbird. These were rapid visits, though, & I was back into Central Park’s s. end & other areas, less than 90 minutes after having left the downtown parts of Manhattan island. the bird list below is mainly from just Thursday! (it may also be noted, this is not at all ‘exceptional’, it is a fairly standard arrival of expected migrants, after a night conducive again to migration, locally. Very few of the species found, or numbers of, are unusual in the slightest. That is, a normal migration on or about just this date. It was a bigger push than for the last few weeks drop-in, at Central Park; also a fair number of these birds may stay a while, & be supplemented in the next several days by additional migration, on very favorable conditions.) Total of 10 hours in Central, plus 1 in down- & mid-town areas of Manhattan by me. Many other observers also all around Central & as is typical, esp. in The Ramble & its vicinity. [N.B.. the warbler diversity was still quite good into and esp. on Thursday - 25 species of warblers were seen in the 3-day period (9/19-20-21), with only Mourning being in question, or simply not seen by me at all, but reported w/details. Tues., Wed. & (esp.) Thursday, Sept. 19, 20, 21st (mainly Central Pk.) Common Loon (single fly-overs noted on Wed. & Thurs., by 7:30 a.m.) Pied-billed Grebe (reservoir, Thursday 9/21, in n. sector) Double-crested Cormorant (daily, esp. evident at reservoir) Great Blue Heron (2 fly-overs, Thursday, n. end) Great Egret (several fly-overs, n. end, & 1 ongoing at The Pool, daily) Black-crowned Night-Heron (early mornings at reservoir, & lake) Canada Goose Wood Duck (2 drakes, 1 hen) Gadwall (multiple locations) American Black Duck (few) Mallard Northern Shoveler (few at Meer & Reservoir, daily) Green-winged Teal (female or young male, reservoir, Thurs.) Ruddy Duck (single forlorn & not-great-looking, Meer, Thurs.) Osprey (few, daily) Sharp-shinned Hawk (few, including 1 or more hunting in park) Red-tailed Hawk (city-resident locals) American Kestrel (mainly locals likely seen, though now a peak in migrators) Merlin (several sightings, incl. one hunting in park’s s. sections) Peregrine Falcon (city-resident local seen) Solitary Sandpiper (Tues. 9/19, reservoir) Spotted Sandpiper (Tues, Wed., reservoir - looked for & not seen on Thurs.) Laughing Gull (few, daily at reservoir; at least 3 adults w/hoods present Thurs., reservoir dike) Ring-billed Gull (many, daily at esp. reservoir) [American] Herring Gull (common, esp. at reservoir) Great Black-backed Gull (common mainly at reservoir) ['feral'] Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Yellow-billed Cuckoo (to Thursday, in north woods, a.m.) Chimney Swift (modest flight of 40++, Thursday) Ruby-throated Hummingbird (daily, multiple locations, & a few seen migrating Thursday) Red-bellied Woodpecker Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (8+ seen in 1/2 hour of first-light, Thursday; & some others also) Downy Woodpecker (residents) Yellow-shafted Flicker (150+++, Thursday morning flight, this likely a severe UNDERcount) Eastern Wood-Pewee (few, but present into Thursday) Empidonax [genus] Flycatcher (one I thought to be a Least, not vocal when seen, Hallett S.) Eastern Phoebe (fair arrival of more, 15+++ in a.m. Thursday, ongoing as well in small no’s.) Great Crested Flycatcher (several to Thursday, N. end & Ramble areas) Eastern Kingbird (1, early Thursday, in southwest-bound flight, modestly late now) Blue-headed Vireo (small numbers early, then not seen in rest of day in areas I was looking - Thurs.) Yellow-throated Vireo (n. end, to Thursday) Warbling Vireo (few, but more than 5, thru Thursday) Philadelphia Vireo (1, w. side of Great Hill, Thursday, early) Red-eyed Vireo (multiple, 40++ on Thursday morning) Blue Jay (daily, fairly common) American Crow (daily) Barn Swallow (few, fly-overs) Tufted Titmouse (few) White-breasted Nuthatch (daily) Carolina Wren (several locations) House Wren (25++, on Thursday) Winter Wren (few, into Thursday) Golden-crowned Kinglet (at least 3 in n. end, others also reported, all Thursday) Ruby-crowned Kinglet (50+, Thursday) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1, north woods, Thursday) Veery (1 definitively on Thursday, getting a bit late) Gray-cheeked Thrush (several of this type, and my assumption is, this species) Bicknell's Thrush (potentially also in the mix w/some of the gray-cheeked types now coming through) Swainson's Thrush (150+++, a good flight of these, found in every area in Central Park, esp. obvious where many fruits available) Hermit Thrush (at least 1 definitively, and maybe a few others suspected but not seen thoroughly enough nor heard calling) Wood Thrush (at least 5, north woods to s. end, on Thursday) American Robin (common) Gray Catbird (200+++, a nice fresh arrival flight for Thursday) Northern Mockingbird (widespread) Brown Thrasher (15+, a few in most areas of the park Thursday, with up to 3 or 4 at a time in some morning locations; also, one at City Hall Park, lower Manhattan, 11:30 a.m. Thursday) European Starling Cedar Waxwing (200+, many in modest or small flocks in a.m., & some still moving to early afternoon, headed or at least drifting south in the park) Blue-winged Warbler (1, late-ish, north woods, Thursday; also a few reports of others in other areas in Central) Tennessee Warbler (few, several locations, to Thursday) Nashville Warbler (several locations Thursday) Northern Parula (40+++, although already numerous, a definite additional push thru Thursday) Yellow Warbler (2, n. end around the Meer, & The Pool, Thursday) Chestnut-sided Warbler (multiple, to Thursday, but not very many) Magnolia Warbler (25+, Thursday, including a small no. in early & very low flight, at north end) Cape May Warbler (3, plus a couple of add’l. reports, Thursday) Black-throated Blue Warbler (30+++, a good fresh arrival on Thursday, incl. multiple adult males) Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (possibly up to 30+ in flight & on the move, early-early Thursday, & a few later in n. end; not found later still in s. half of park - ?) Black-throated Green Warbler (10+, incl. several adult males, Thursday) Pine Warbler (6+ in nearly as many locations, incl. in Hallett Sanctuary) Palm Warbler (60+++, including some in early movement, but still many dozens to late afternoon, many areas in park, most evident in the northern third Thurs.) Bay-breasted Warbler (several, daily but more evident on Thursday, in at least 3 locations then) Blackpoll Warbler (relatively few, but 5+ to Thursday) Black-and-white Warbler (daily, but then 15+++ on Thursday) American Redstart (now more scarce, but still 12+ Thursday, & poss. a few in early flight as well) Worm-eating Warbler (1, a tad late, but not at all unprecedented now, in n. woods south of the Blockhouse, 8 a.m. Thursday) Ovenbird (20+++ Thursday, also seen in City Hall Park and in Bryant Park in lower & midtown Manhattan- also on Thursday) Northern Waterthrush (8++, with more than several also in flight, early Thursday at n. end; & mult. locations later in the day) Connecticut Warbler (2 reported on Wed., 9/20, 1 of them in Hallett Sanctuary w/phone-photos shown to me, 1st-fall female) Mourning Warbler (a few reports in scattered locations but I did not come up with in past 3 days, getting moderately late now) Common Yellowthroat (60+++, but that may be too low, it seemed more widespread than even the many Palms on Thursday) Hooded Warbler (several to at least Wed. & a few word-of-mouth reports for Thurs.) Wilson's Warbler (2, n. end, to Thursday) Canada Warbler (1, Hallett Sanctuary, Thursday) Scarlet Tanager (15+++ Thursday, sometimes several in 1 location at once) Eastern Towhee (still few, mostly males so far) Chipping Sparrow (25++, as of Thursday) Field Sparrow (Thursday) Savannah Sparrow (cont. into Thursday) Song Sparrow (still just breeding-locals around Central) Lincoln's Sparrow (10++, a good fresh arrival, many loc’s. in Central, & also in Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan noon-hour, Thursday) Swamp Sparrow (15+ as of Thursday) White-throated Sparrow (100+++, by Thursday, w/some in nearly all corners of Central Park, also a few in City Hall Park, & Bryant Park) White-crowned Sparrow (8+ by Thursday, esp. in north end areas, & mostly first-fall, but 1 or 2 adults also; also seen previously in n. end) Dark-eyed Junco (small no’s. in n. end, & reported elsewhere, also in small no’s. - it is not early for a few in this area) Northern Cardinal (common resident) Rose-breasted Grosbeak (40+, incl. a few adult males with rather bright plumage, but most not at all; in all parts of the park by Thursday) Indigo Bunting (3 noted in n. end of park Thursday, not seen by me later in south 2/3 of the park) Bobolink (multiple in early flight, Thursday, n. end, now getting a bit late) Red-winged Blackbird (very modest no. on the move, at first light, also some scattered loc. later, Thursday) Common Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird (small movement, early, and a few later in various areas Thursday) Baltimore Oriole (12+ by Thursday, also present in small no’s. on earlier days, a few seen in early movement as well on Thurs.) House Finch American Goldfinch (slight increase on Thursday, but have been present thru this week) House Sparrow (pestiferous & too-ubiquitous in Central & almost everywhere, in N.Y.C.) Thanks to those birding ethically, quietly, and with genuine respect to the good of the migrant[s] -& all other- birds, & all wildlife, Tom Fiore manhattan -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --