Just a note that a few western-region migrants were recorded this Sunday in 
eastern Massachusets - Say’s Phoebe, Black-throated Gray Warbler, & Lark 
Bunting (each in separate locations).

Manhattan (& all N.Y. County), N.Y. City

Sat., 9/29 -
Strong migration the preceding night, allowing many birds to move on - and many 
new arrivals to come in.  However, one nice bird stayed around, the LARK 
SPARROW that had been discovered on Thursday, 9/27. It was again seen at the 
area just south of the Meer, offically called “Nutter’s Battery”, an historical 
name.  A good flight of Purple Finch took place, and at least 2 Pine Siskins 
showed rather briefly at the southern tip of Manhattan’s Battery Park. Purple 
Finch are also appearing in modest numbers at Central Park, & a few were in 
Riverside Park as well, in the northern section near W. 112 St.; a very good 
flight of Purple Finch was also reported city & region-wide this day. Most Pine 
Siskin reports are still from farther north, so far.

A Connecticut Warbler was found, apparently just the 2nd to be photographed in 
Central Park so far this fall, in the Ramble, near a small wooden rustic 
shelter known as the Summerhouse.  There was also a single report of 
Yellow-breasted Chat, w/good descriptive notes, from the area w. of Tanner’s 
Spring, this near W. 82 St. & Central Park West.

At Battery Park in lower Manhattan, there was a modest a.m. flight seen, which 
included at least 65 Blue Jays, 16 Yellow-shafted Flickers, & 160+ Common 
Grackles. There were also Red-eyed Vireos and other small birds passing thru & 
amongst the treetops, this activity all continuing to at least 8:15 a.m. - & 
almost all of the movement observed from east to west, or southeast to 
northwest. That meant that some birds were moving “up” along the edges of the 
Hudson river entrance, & along the plantings & trees of the greenspaces 
northwest & north of the Battery.  American Robins were also in the area, but 
their early movements appeared, rather than random, associated with getting 
from available fruits to other trees & shrubs with potentially ripe fruit. In 
looking at the warblers, a number of which stayed in Battery Park during the 
time I was there, it seemed that Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] were the species that 
moved along most, and were - like many of the other migrants - coming from what 
seemed to be the south end of the East river, or at least, from the east, then 
as they passed around the skyscrapers at the southern end of Manhattan, making 
a turn to the NW, thus bringing them past the Battery & potentially to and 
along the greenway that lines the Hudson river (or farther).  After looking in 
the Battery, I did venture part-way into the greenway, & did find some of these 
same species: Yellow-shafted Flickers, Red-eyed Vireos, Myrtle Warblers, many 
Blue Jays, and some other migrants. (One that I thought a possible migrant, a 
Red-bellied Woodpecker, this also poss. a resident there but I think not.)  A 
Great Egret was still in this area, now having moved to a point in Battery Park 
City park, a bit north of prior site.

A Worm-eating Warbler continued what’s becoming an extended stay at Washington 
Square Park in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood. Other lower & mid 
Manhattan smaller parks had some migrants, but seemingly not all that many or 
in notable diversity.

In Central Park, still quite nice diversity, although as expected, most warbler 
species larger no's are dropping off, as sparrows start to come in. Besides the 
highlight noted above for Central, other warblers there included: Blackburnian 
(at least 2), Nashville, N. Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, 
Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle], Black-throated Green, Pine, Palm 
(most common species now), Blackpoll (multiple, but not that many), 
Black-and-white & Wilson’s Warbler[s], American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern 
Waterthrush, & Common Yellowthroat - thus still at least 20 warbler spp. on 
Manhattan island for the day, with the 2 individual spp. highlighted above.  6 
Ruddy Ducks arrived on the reservoir. Other species around the park included 
Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Turkey 
Vulture (modest no. of fly-overs), Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American 
Black Duck, Osprey (a few flyo-vers), Bald Eagle (several fly-overs), Northern 
Harrier, Sharp-shinned & Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, 
[American] Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, American 
Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Black-billed & Yellow-billed Cuckoos (more 
than one of each), Chimney Swift (modest no’s.), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (at 
least several feeding), Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (still modest no’s.), Downy & Hairy Woodpecker[s], 
Yellow-shafted Flicker (many scattered thru park), Eastern Wood-Pewee 
(relatively few), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (2), Least Flycatcher (several), 
Empidonax [genus] Flycatchers (several unid. to species), Eastern Phoebe (still 
modest no’s.), Great Crested Flycatcher (at least 2, slightly late), 
Blue-headed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo (multiple), Blue Jay (in numbers, also 
throughout Manhattan), American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee (2), Tufted 
Titmouse (few), Red-breasted Nuthatch (7 or 8), White-breasted Nuthatch 
(multiple), Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned 
Kinglet (several), Gray-cheeked/Bicknell's Thrush (several or more of these, 
none vocalized), Swainson's Thrush multiple), Wood Thrush (few), American 
Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing (low 
numbers), Scarlet Tanager (at least several), Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow 
(still very modest no’s.), Savannah Sparrow (3), Song Sparrow, Lincoln's 
Sparrow (still cant no’s.), Swamp Sparrow (few), White-throated Sparrow (still 
low no’s.), Dark-eyed Junco (1 in s. end of park), Northern Cardinal, 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (fewer), Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, 
Brown-headed Cowbird (at least several), Baltimore Oriole (several), and likely 
a few additional species, among them a surprise Barred Owl which was first 
found very early in the morning.

Sun., 9/30 -
A similar night preceding  of light n. wind, shifting out of the n.e. a bit.   
On Governor’s Island, which is politically part of New York County but stands 
about 1/2 mile or so from the southern tip of Manhattan, in eastern NY harbor, 
a Connecticut Warbler was found by A. Barry, who had an impressive list of many 
other birds for the morning, with 50 additional species noted, & among other 
warblers a now-late Canada, & strong showing of Blackpoll (13), the latter 
corresponding well to other reports in the region; the report also included 
many Flickers (60), and Eastern Phoebes (36) both as noted elsewhere in numbers 
on Sunday. Both Kinglet species, & Brown Creepers were also in Ms. Barry’s 
report to eBird.

Central Park - A good variety, some uncommon species but perhaps none rare for 
the season, with Philadelphia Vireo and Marsh Wren among these; some 
change-over was noted and probably a slight diminution in overall diversity 
from just the day before. As to warblers, still in some variety, but 
increasingly dominated by just a few species, Palm above all, with 
Yellow-rumped in early a.m. movement, as is typical.

I took in Central for a while and then, seeing a rather strong movement of 
Flickers on (esp.) the west side of the park (although many, as well as some 
other species were flying in from east to west), I carried on to nearby areas, 
firstly along Morningside Park’s upper edge on Morningside Drive, with good 
views of sky looking to the east, and somewhat to south & north; then to a few 
parks just north, & while still somewhat early, to Riverbank State Park which 
juts into the Hudson River less than 2 miles north of the NW corner of Central 
Park. In this little circuit, I took in a strong flight of Y.-s. Flickers, as 
well as Blue Jays, and also numbers of Common Grackle, American Robins, and, 
while not that often seen in diurnal flight in Manhattan, what appeared to be 
just that for E. Phoebe - with a few seen actually dropping quickly from open 
blue sky, and nervously seeking quick perches, including, briefly, two that 
came onto a railing at the w. edge of Riverbank S.P. where it is barely filled 
with plantings; those 2 birds soon made it to a stand of trees. Additionally, 
there was at least a light movement of finch spp. with some easily ID’d as 
American Goldfinch (about 18) and a similar number of Purple Finches, those in 
2 small groups, flying by the latter park, low, & giving distintive calls. It 
seemed that generally, thrush sightings were not that numerous & of those I 
found, I came up with some Swainson’s and 1 Gray-cheeked type.  I later 
returned to Central Park, as well as a later look in a few midtown parks & 
ended the bird-y day in Riverside Park. All the parks I visited had some 
migrants & all at had at least some E. Phoebe[s] this day.  One other small 
additional note, at Morningside Park in the morning, as the Flicker movement 
was at high strength, I saw & heard a Hairy Woodpecker, also moving along; a 
Red-bellied Woodpecker also got caught up with the flickers, but soon came in 
looping flight back to near where it had jumped into the fray. My impression of 
this, the Hairy may have also been moving along, while the Red-bellied there 
may not have; hard to say for sure, though. Watching morning-flight migrations 
at Manhattan island can be interesting, &/but also a bit different to watching 
such from a barrier-beach location.
- -
A belated note, to this list, and from a restricted-access location in any 
case, 2 Red Phalaropes were photographed by observer S. Camillieri on 9/25 at 
Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers, Westchester Co. - for those not familiar, this 
is NOT on Long Island Sound; these were almost certainly plopped into that 
reservoir in a strong rainstorm that day. They’ve not been reported there 
again; this record is in eBird, as is the Sabine’s Gull photographed that same 
day by J. Weeks, at Dorchester Park in Broome Co.- that gull also apparently 
not seen again there or in nearby sites checked. These the same day as the 
fantastic sighting of a N. Fulmar from land, at the Riis park beach on the 
Rockaway peninsula of Queens Co., as well as lots of other birds of interest 
reported from (& some on) land, off Long Island’s Atlantic barrier beaches.

An interesting note on the Great Black Hawk which many will be aware had 
visited coastal Maine in early August; this has been determined through 
analysis of feather patterns to be the same individual as was found in south 
Texas back in April this year.  

 —  —  — 
“Knowing what must be done does away with fear” - Rosa Parks [1913-2005], 
American civil-rights activist

good birding,

Tom Fiore


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