Friday, 2nd March 2018 
Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

At least 2 Eastern Phoebes made appearances in Central despite the heavy storm 
winds & rain-sleet-snow, on Friday.  One at the north end, above The Pool, 
another in the Ramble, both seeming pretty forlorn in the wind.  

Evidence of some additional movement were the influx of [Red] Fox Sparrows, 
some of these in odd scattered spots and a sure indicator that some had just or 
very recently arrived - if staying on longer, they’ll tend to move into 
more-wooded areas. At least ten were seen, and of those, just 2 were in the 
Ramble. It also seemed that slightly more Song Sparrows were in (besides those 
which wintered). Otherwise, more American Robins in a few flocks of 30-50+, but 
scattered throughout, perhaps a doubling of them but not the big push by any 
means. And Red-winged Blackbirds & Common Grackles, but these have been around 
for a while.  I did not come upon any woodcock in Central, but there certainly 
may be some as it’s prime time for their migrations.  

Waterfowl mostly about the same, with possibly some departure. Wood Ducks in a 
few of the same spots - Pond, Lake, Reservoir, & occ. the Meer, a drake N. 
Pintail at The Pond and that occ. moves to another water-body, fewer 
Buffleheads and Hooded Mergansers, still good no’s. of N. Shovelers (most at 
the Lake & on Turtle Pond lately), & modest no’s. of Ruddy Ducks, rounded out 
with a few American Black Ducks, Gadwall, & motley Mallards & lowered no’s. of 
Canada Geese. Great Blue Herons (2) had been somewhat regular at the 
reservoir’s dike, but many times also visited the Meer, & have roosted 
elsewhere, too in the past week. while Double-crested Cormorants have continued 
to visit. American Coots also continue at the reservoir, with one staying on at 
the Pond.  The last sighting of Iceland Gull at the reservoir was reported to 
this list; there were few gulls, and of the usual 3 species (Ring-billed, 
American Herring, & Great Black-backed) at the reservoir on Friday.

A first-year plumaged Red-shouldered Hawk was near the E. Drive of the park at 
72nd St. on Friday, possibly a bird that’s been lingering, although the species 
may also be on the move. More frequent & thru all of winter have been Cooper’s 
Hawk, and until recently, also Peregrine sightings in the park. The 
Red-shouldered, Cooper’s, and typical Red-tailed Hawks were the only raptors I 
encountered Friday on a park-wide walk, in bad & even rather dangerous weather. 
 I did not go down to Bryant Park (n.w.) in midtown Manhattan where a couple of 
American Woodcock were being seen.  

In the past week or so have been some ongoing, overwintered birds, including 
singles of Gray Catbird, Hermit Thrush, & a few Golden-crowned Kinglets. There 
are such signs of the end of winter in ther park’s plants as greening-up of 
Willows, red flower-buds on some maples, lots of leaf & flower buds starting to 
bulge on other trees & some shrubs, & Cornus mas, the yellow-flowered small 
non-native tree sometimes called “Cornelian cherry” (which is not a cherry) now 
showing bright colors on some, and many other small signs; there’ve been as 
many as 6 types of ornamental flowers in bloom, some sparsely, others such as 
small white “snowdrops” in many areas. 

safe birding post-storm,

Tom Fiore

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