Among many, many migrants found in the big wave and at least moderate (some 
areas, more than moderate) ‘fall-out’, was a very rare vagrant from the 
southwestern / west Mexico region, a  PAINTED Redstart, which was seen Sunday, 
10/14 on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts… a 2nd state record for MA, if 
approved by that state’s avian records commitee. Some photos & a long narrative 
of later observers (not the finder, who was M. Sylvia) are in this checklist:  
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49201832  & a report from the finder is 
archived here: 
http://digest.sialia.com/?rm=message;id=1463682

And, yet another Black-throated Gray Warbler in the east, this (found on 10/13) 
also photographed, with many observers, at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and 
following 2 others very recently photo’d in the region.  Some nice photos of 
this latest B.-t. Gray were included in a checklist by one of the observers: 
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49170624   There are also reports of a 
Western Tanager in coastal Maine, and Yellow-headed Blackbird in New Hampshire 
both Oct. 15th.

-  -  -  -  -
New York County, including Manhattan -

Saturday, 10/13 - A Great Egret was again seen at Inwood Hill Park area’s 
Muscota Marsh, on W. 215 St. in Manhattan.  The main event migration-wise, in 
Manhattan, seemed to be the push of newly-arrived songbird migrants, with some 
species seen widely through all of the borough, & for those who seek & report 
such, a lot of migrant-diversity, & fairly high numbers, in even the smallest 
of parks, mid-sized parks, & in some cases, just in street trees or shrubs. 

At least a few birders had first-ever walks in Central Park on this rather 
intense migration day of at least modest fall-out; some may have wondered, is 
it always this bird-filled here? No, it is not always quite that way, but under 
the circumstances presented, it can be. The fall-out conditions were noted in 
varying extent along the coastal and near-coastal regions of at least parts of 
3 states (NY, NJ, & CT), where rains came in soon before or, in some areas, 
soon after day-break, with a lot of migrants having been on the move anyhow 
over Friday night.

In N.Y. County, at least 20 American warbler species were found on Saturday, 
with at least 17 of those also seen in Central Park. Those twenty were: 
Tennessee, Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Magnolia, Cape May, 
Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle], Black-throated Green, Pine, 
Prairie (reported at least from Governor’s Island), Palm, Bay-breasted 
(photographed at Washington Square Park, 3 observers), Blackpoll, 
Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common 
Yellowthroat, and Wilson's Warbler.

Tufted Titmice have been showing increases, & this seems to have been so even 
as summer was ending; Black-capped Chickadee is not as numerous just yet, and 
it will be interesting to see if they start to appear more as the autumn 
continues along. Blue Jays have been moving in ongoing high numbers, and are 
turning up in a lot of odd small spaces, as well as being seen as fly-overs 
even in unexpected locations, along with more usual flight-paths for 
diurnally-moving species.  This is all from just a Manhattan perspective, & a 
lot may be happening differently in other parts even of N.Y. City.  The autumn 
is still “young”, even if migration as always starts on or around the first 
days of calendar summer (in general, as some shorebirds start to return, & less 
watched, but some songbirds also do: think for example of Louiisiana 
Waterthrush…)

Sunday, 10/14 - I wondered if some of the fall-out of the day prior could still 
be seen in any of the smaller parks & greenspaces in mid & lower Manhattan, & 
spent well over half the day visiting a number of them, including: Battery 
Park, City Hall Park, Trinity Church (near Wall St.) cemetery, Union Square 
Park, Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park, Stuyvesant 
Square Park, Stuyvesant-town greenspace, & Tompkins Square Park.  The answer 
for lingering migrant numbers in these was, yes: all these sites had migrants, 
and by my prior experience, a lot more variety & numbers of some species than 
any average would be, even at this mid-Oct. period. By visiting a lot of sites 
all in one part of 1 day, this was driven-home; very high numbers in particular 
were noted for Kinglet species, a preponderance being Ruby-crowned, overall, 
but in a few sites, many Golden-crowned as well.  And again the fact that 
nearly every site had at least one, & more had two or three of Black-and-white 
Warbler, underscored that an unusual number of those came through, more so in 
this latest push from Friday night / Sat. morning’s fall-out.  Also a bit 
notable, 8 of the above sites had at least 1 Winter Wren, and that is not at 
all typical of these smaller parks or greenspaces, even if this is the ‘right' 
time of year. Further, at least notable to me were that in 6 of the above 
locations, Blue-headed Vireo was seen, & in the multiple in at least 3 sites.  
(and by contrast, while species such as Gray Catbird, and White-throated 
Sparrow, as well as Common Yellowthroat were seen in numbers I might expect for 
these locations at this date, the numbers of the latter 3 migrant spp. were not 
out of line with a more normal, routine set of sightings on a mid-Oct. day. 
Thus did some of the other aforementioned (less-often seen in such numbers in 
the smaller parks) migrants stand out that much more, to me. And I am aware of 
a fair number of reports from other points in Manhattan (alone) where some 
migrants were noted again Sunday, as on Sat., in high numbers - at smaller 
sites. (I could site the report of a Brown Creeper at Seward Park for Sunday, 
as another example, but there, I’m not sure, only hazarding a guess, that that 
latter species is rather rarely seen by anyone at that particular site, even on 
days when the species is clearly moving through in good numbers.)  

At Central Park, a Wilson’s Snipe appeared on & later next to the Great Lawn, & 
was seen & photo’d by M.B. Kooper as shown in her checklist: 
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49187781 as well as by many others earlier & 
later on.  The first big arrival of certain waterfowl species was noted in (& 
over) Manhattan by multiple observers, from various points; [Atlantic] Brant 
were seen in skeins estimated to total 250+ from n. Manhattan in the a.m.; 
others saw & photo’d some later farther south; I saw a modest number on a lawn 
very early near Battery Park, & a few fly-bys (this was not first day of 
arrival at all, just a much larger push); Ruddy Duck, also having already 
arrived but Sunday saw far more push in, with at least 30 in Central Park’s 
reservoir late in the day. A walk led by Lenore Swenson for the Linnean Society 
of New York, a biannual memorial bird-walk honoring of the legacy of NY’s 
beloved Starr Saphir, tallied nearly 60 species, with especially high numbers 
of Kinglets recorded for the north end of Central, & particularly for 
Golden-crowned Kinglet. This corresponded with some high numbers of both 
Kinglet spp. in many locations, as seen in many reports & my own wanderings; 
the numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglet also were very high in sightings reported 
at Governor’s Island, off the south tip of Manhattan & politicaly a part of 
N.Y. County as is Manhattan island.  Among the many warbler sightings on the 
Linnaean Society’s walk was a Bay-breasted Warbler, also at the park’s n. end. 
At least 15 Warbler species were found in Manhattan for Sunday & all of them 
were also seen in Central Park, with a multitude of observers. 

On Governor’s Island, a Veery was reported for a walk done there, appearing in 
multiple eBird checklists, although with minimal notes; this is getting quite 
late for the species, yet others were being still reported in a modest number 
of locations equally or farther north this month - however, at least in enBird 
records with photo documentation for Veery in Oct., there are barely more than 
a handful in all of the northeast; a couple of these from NYS, & one for this 
year in Suffolk County, NY photo’d. by B. Bull on Oct. 2nd (& also photo’d at 
same location & by same obs. on Oct. 1, 2017); one photo’d. in Buffalo, NY on 
dates of Oct. 8, 9, & 10th, 2016 by S. Seidman - but with that individual bird 
missing its tail, as shown in photos plus the accompanying field notes; there 
are a bare handful of even later records in Oct. that include convincing photos 
(a few indistinct photos may or may not show Veery, but possibly other Catharus 
species of later-moving kinds) - any Veery seen by this late ought be given 
some notation & if possible, a few photos or video. (Many Veery have, as is 
expected, already been found prior to now in central America & northern S. 
America, in places where they winter).

Monday, 10/15 - Rain showers occurred before daybreak, & were also still 
passing by N.Y. City after that, with a so-called warm front also arriving, on 
WSW winds. There was migration the prior night, as seen in the make-up of some 
species and their numbers Sunday to Monday, but perhaps not a lot of migration 
in comparison again with the strong movement of the weekend. And again, some of 
these migrants could be struggling a bit, locally, to gain much distance in 
local rain (& wind-shift) events.

Gabriel Willow’s Bryant Park report for the morning included a sad reality, a 
Blackburnian Warbler, expired on the ground there; this is a rather late date 
for that species, although a very few had been reported in NYC & nearby in just 
the past week or so. Also seen by G.W. in Bryant Park were 3 American 
Redstarts, & these also a little on the later side, though not nearly to the 
extent of a mid-Oct. Blackburnian in NY.  Unfortunately the realities are that 
for migrants moving through an urban area (and other areas where there can be 
impediments to their migrations from humanly-built causes) these passages in 
spring & fall are always at-risk, and not all these individuals will make it. 

At Central Park, no very obvious changes from the day before; there were 25 
Ruddy Ducks in a raft on the reservoir at 7:10 a.m.; more duckage is just 
starting to flow from the north, and in these spurts of rain or any storms, 
it’s worth checking to see if any unexpected birds plop down, whether 
waterfowl, or other kinds.  With that somewhat in mind, I also went for a 
fairly quick visit to Randall’s Island off the east side of Manhattan. I saw 
nothing at all really out-of-ordinary for this date, but there were very high 
numbers (150++) of American Goldfinch in several discrete feeding flocks, as 
well as at least a few Purple Finches with them. Also in several sites, there 
were a total of at least ten White-crowned Sparrows, as well as many more of 
Savannah, the latter not such new arrivals, however. I also had a look thru the 
240 or so Canada Geese on Randall’s - no other geese sp. found, even if one 
individual at first looked a bit small & ‘duskier’, it was on closer inspection 
just a smallish Canada, well within the size & plumage diversity within the 
“canadensis”.

I also made a fairly short stop at Carl Schurz Park, on the East River & near 
E. 86 Street, where I had not been in a while. I found such migrants there, in 
just 25 minutes, as N. Parula, Blackpoll (3), Black-throated Green (1), Palm 
(2), & Yellow-rumped (5+) Warblers, Hermit Thrush (2), Ruby-crowned (4 or more) 
& Golden-crowned (8 or more) Kinglets, Sparrows: mainly White-throated but also 
3 of Swamp and 1 White-crowned (1st-year) Sparrow, as well as a female E. 
Towhee, and a few Slate-colored Juncos, plus 6 or more Yellow-bellied 
Sapsuckers & 3 or more Yellow-shafted Flickers.  This smallish park had, in the 
past, hosted some rarities, & could well do so again, with enough perusal. 
While they last, the multiple flower-plantings out near a promenade can have 
migrants, although on a sunnier day, birds might be less-inclined to be as 
exposed as the drizzly visit I enjoyed on Mon. mid-morning.

Back in Central for some while, the variety was still to be found, if one had 
the time & energy to get to various parts of the park - but surely some of and 
probably many of the weekend’s individuals had moved on. I was still able to 
come up with a dozen warbler spp. (and taking a few reports in, there were 15 
species of warblers found in just Central alone on this damp day) - & a number 
of these were feeding either in low shrubs & vegetation, occasionally on the 
‘deck’, or out on lawn spaces when not too disturbed by any dogs or humans, and 
with the drizzles, there was less disturbance than the usual.  First birds to 
greet me as I re-entered the park were 3 Magnolia Warblers, all near the Meer & 
north end woods. At the compost area’s weedy patches, at least 5 White-crowned 
Sparrows and easily could have been more; that species has made a very good 
showing all over Manhattan & vicinity in the last several days; also in the 
compost area were Field, Swamp, Savannah, Song (many) & Chipping, with again 
White-throated about in many patches of shrubs, weeds, flower-plantings, & 
woods. One sparrow species I did not happen into all day was Lincoln’s, 
although some certainly may be lingering still. I also noticed fewer Gray 
Catbirds today in total, although did see some in most places I birded thru.  
It also looked as if many thrushes may have moved on, with Hermit, as 
now-expected, getting to be the dominant species, although I had 2 Swainson’s 
Thrush later on in the day, in the mid-park area. In the Ramble, I checked out 
the feeders that were set up recently again, but saw no uncommon species in my 
late visit there (& some of the feeders were near-empty, so someone’s been at 
them).  

Sat., Sun., Monday, Oct. 13-14-15, 2018 -

Double-crested Cormorant (multiple fly-overs, & some in Central Park)
Great Blue Heron (several lingering)
Great Egret (still at Muscota Marsh / Inwood)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (several continue; also at Randall’s Island)
Turkey Vulture (some fly-overs, weekend only)
Canada Goose (multiple fly-overs; a minimum of 240 at Randall’s Island Monday)
[Atlantic] Brant (numbers of flyovers, including some reports of 200+ as 
fly-overs)
Wood Duck (drake continues at The Pond, at least 2 there on Sat.)
Gadwall (modest numbers continue at Central Park)
American Black Duck (several)
Mallard (typical large numbers)
Northern Shoveler (10+, including Meer & Turtle Pond)
Ruddy Duck (flock of at least 25, & exact count of 25 on CP reservoir eastern 
side, on Monday; at least 5 at the Meer also Sat. eve.)
Osprey (mostly over the weekend)
Bald Eagle (several sightings, from various locations on Sat.)
Northern Harrier (Saturday at Fort Tryon Park)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (multiple on the weekend)
Cooper's Hawk (at least several over weekend)
Broad-winged Hawk (several reports from the weekend, now getting a bit late, 
although stragglers can appear even later)
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail (1 was photographed on an East Side off-street area, Saturday 
early morning)
Wilson's Snipe (Sunday, Central Park, scores of observers)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove (quite numerous in many areas)
American Kestrel (regular in and near Central Park, as well as in various 
neighborhoods)
Merlin (thru Monday, in Central Park)
Peregrine Falcon (regulars in various locations, and fly-overs also noted 
often, poss. some migrants too, in watches for raptor movement)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (to at least Sunday, with more than several in various 
parks on Saturday)
Chimney Swift (ongoing, but mainly lowered numbers in most reports; up to 40+ 
on Monday at 2 locations; higher no’s. from the weekend)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (still being seen in several parks)
Belted Kingfisher (several continue; including at least 2 at Randall’s Island)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (regular, & perhaps some increase over the last week)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (many including numbers in a lot of smaller parks thru 
the weekend, & ongoing in larger parks)
Downy Woodpecker (typical numbers)
Hairy Woodpecker (scant, but present)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (ongoing movements, including very modest no’s. arriving 
on Monday, in multiple parks & areas)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (last reports seem to be from Sunday… and are getting a bit 
late now)
Eastern Phoebe (many in a lot of smaller parks on the weekend but fewer by 
Sunday, & far fewer by Monday as seen in Central Park)
Blue-headed Vireo (multiple in some smaller parks on Sat. & Sun. - far fewer by 
Monday, but still present in Central Park)
Red-eyed Vireo (few being reported or found, none seen by me on Monday; a few 
on Sunday, with not that many on Saturday)
Blue Jay (common, & many hundreds in flight on both weekend days, as well as 
still some diurnal movement Monday)
American Crow (more seem to have arrived in recent days and some also likely 
moving)
Fish Crow (a few reports; I’ve not seen or heard any lately)
Common Raven (several reports, possibly some moving lately)
Tree Swallow (small numbers on Saturday)
Barn Swallow (one report from Sunday, but without any details; now quite late 
for both Manhattan & in general in SE NY)
Black-capped Chickadee (small numbers compared with the following sp. but may 
have increased modestly this past week)
Tufted Titmouse (numbers have built, with likely 100+ thru all of Manhattan on 
weekend)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (numbers ongoing with more on flight days; not as many as 
1 month ago in Manhattan parks)
White-breasted Nuthatch (increases on some flight days, but not as many in 
Manhattan as the preceding species this fall - so far)
Brown Creeper (modest numbers, & seen in a number of small parks & even a few 
on street trees, esp. on Saturday; also some lingering)
Carolina Wren (modest numbers)
House Wren (fewer being reported since Sat., & scarce then as well)
Winter Wren (common & in many small parks & greenspaces over the weekend; & 
some lingering)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (very strong push through the weekend, multiple reports 
of more than 40; seen in many, many small greenspaces, parks, & a few reports 
from street trees)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (as above, also nearly ubiquitous on the weekend, with 
very high numbers in many locations; many also lingering but still fewer by 
Monday)
Veery (1 was reported from Governor’s Island by a number of experienced obs. on 
Sunday, a very late date, but not quite unprecedented. - A LOT of this species 
are now in C. & S. America)
Gray-cheeked Thrush (few to at least Sunday)
Swainson's Thrush (very few through Monday)
Hermit Thrush (a good push of this species on the weekend, with many seen in 
small parks & greenspaces, as an example, one which I photographed hopping the 
old gravestones at Trinity Church cemetery, near Wall St. on Sunday; also found 
in modest numbers in all parks now)
Wood Thrush (a couple of reports at least to Sat., this is not as scarce as is 
Veery for late fall)
Gray Catbird (ongoing, but reduced numbers compared with the week prior)
Northern Mockingbird (some singing recently)
Brown Thrasher (far fewer by Monday, but still at least a few in Central Park)
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (rather few seen or reported)
Scarlet Tanager (very few reports by Monday; I photographed a male at Battery 
Park Sun. & some others were seen for the weekend)
Eastern Towhee (fairly common on the weekend, some reports of 10+ in one site; 
some also in smaller parks & greenspaces through at least Sunday)
Chipping Sparrow (modest numbers, slightly reduced after Saturday)
Field Sparrow (small numbers thru the weekend)
Savannah Sparrow (most are from the islands that are off Manhattan, but 
politically part of the same county, “New York County”.
Song Sparrow (many in many locations; seen in some smaller parks as well, and a 
few heard singing occasionally)
Lincoln's Sparrow (few, some reports continued thru Monday, but fewer than a 
week or more prior)
Swamp Sparrow (increased, multiple in many larger parks, & a few in some 
smaller parks also)
White-throated Sparrow (common to ubiquitous, a good push on the weekend, with 
multiples in many smaller parks, & hundreds in some larger parks)
White-crowned Sparrow (very good push arriving by Sat. and perhaps more on 
Sunday; with some locations having double-digit no’s.- some lingering)
Slate-colored Junco (multiple, but biggest arrival not yet; seen in some small 
parks & greenspaces)
Northern Cardinal (regular residents)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1 or 2 reports to Sat., getting late…)
Indigo Bunting (fewer, but several over the weekend, & getting slightly late - 
this species has [rarely] wintered, or found on a local C.B.C. in N.Y. City)
- 
Tennessee Warbler (scarce, and any seen from now on ought to be scrutinized, as 
the more-expected lookalike would begin to be Orange-crowned…)
Nashville Warbler (several to at least Sun.)
Northern Parula (multiple, some continued to Monday)
Yellow Warbler (to at least Sat., fairly late)
Magnolia Warbler (at least several through Mon. & more in various parks on the 
weekend)
Cape May Warbler (1, Central Park Monday, with at least several on the weekend; 
reduced from a week prior)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (multiple in a lot more locations than is 
“typical”, some reported from Manhattan streets, & in many small parks; I 
photo’d 3 in 3 such small parks on Sunday; also continuiong in some larger 
parks to Monday, incl. Central Park)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (also multiple with many sightings in small 
parks as well as modest no’s. and higher no’s. for Sat., then reduced somewhat)
Black-throated Green Warbler (at least several on the weekend in various parks, 
1 at Carl Schurz Park on Monday; also in Central Park, north end woods)
Blackburnian Warbler (1 as noted above, found expired on the ground at Bryant 
Park by G. Willow, Monday - quite “late”.)
Pine Warbler (modest numbers, & a few in smaller parks on the weekend, 1 at 
Carl Schurz Park on Mon.)
Prairie (1, reported from Governor’s Island on Sat., slightly late)
Palm Warbler (fairly common, thru the weekend, some in small parks & many 
greenspaces; lingering into Monday but fewer by then)
Bay-breasted Warbler (a few were noted thru the weekend with some details; this 
and a few other spruce-budworm specialists were seen in greater numbers the 
last several years, possibly in part thanks to good outbreaks of the spruce 
budworm in boreal-breeding areas for these warblers, which include 
Bay-breasted, Cape May, & Tennessee and perhaps other species, which consume 
vast numbers of the spruce budworm larve.)
Blackpoll Warbler (still moving through Monday, and good numbers in many 
locations on the weekend)
Black-and-white Warbler (this species has been more numerous than expected into 
the first half of this month; modest fallout as many were seen in smaller 
parks, greenspaces, & a few at least also in street trees recently; not as many 
by far as of Monday…)
American Redstart (few now, but still several in Manhattan, formerly rather 
rare after late Oct. & still may be…)
Ovenbird (far fewer this weekend but some; not a component much in the fallouts 
observed in many smaller parks and greenspaces on the weekend; some may have 
lingered for longer in some odd locations, which is a typical habit with this 
species in Manhattan in late fall, even rarely into Dec.)
Northern Waterthrush (several from the weekend, a few reports from Mon.)
Common Yellowthroat (modest numbers, but far fewer than one week prior)
Wilson's Warbler (one, Central Park on Monday, & a few reports from the weekend)
-
Red-winged Blackbird (still few; a few moving on Monday)
Common Grackle (modest no’s. and no large flights yet…)
Brown-headed Cowbird (few)
Purple Finch (in numbers on Sat. & also at least a few thru Mon. in several 
parks)
House Finch (fairly common in scattered areas)
Pine Siskin (a few reports but lacking details; this species is on an irruption 
course, so more may show up as autumn continues)
American Goldfinch (more moving through Monday, this species is having a large 
flight, and more would be likely anyhow as autumn continues)
House Sparrow (ubiquitous & very over-numerous)

-   -   -   -   -
"I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation 
as is cooperation with good."
― Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

good birding,

Tom Fiore
manhattan




















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