In the era of 280-character rare bird alerts (and, yes, I do rely on those), I really value this place's continued survival. Not only for the heads-up on birds outside NYC (such as the Western Kingbird and Upland Sandpiper in my new town), but for such things as the radar migration discussions, Alan Drogin's former Bryant Park reports (which inspired me to do urban-greenspace surveys of my own) and current forays in Hudson Yards, and above all Tom Fiore's extraordinary macro views of migration and the life of NYC's birds. To me, it's about more than specific sightings, especially in this day and age.
In that spirit, I've been spending a lot of time watching the ebb and flow in Croton on Hudson (we moved here in May), especially down in Croton Landing, a pretty remarkable mix of created habitats (freshwater ponds, riverside beaches, a mini cattail marsh, fields with tall trees, and of course the river). This month (both on the Landing and in the town) has seen so many signs of in-progress and impending migration, things I never really noticed before but that seem representative of the process outside the five boroughs. After a midsummer silence, several species have seemed to return to territory and are singing (if sometimes weakly and sporadically) at the Landing, including Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. Red-tailed Hawks have been endlessly vocal--complaining young on their own? The Killdeer who nest around the Croton train tracks have been flighty and vocal as well. Among mammals, the landing's woodchucks are getting themselves fat. In town, there's a large population of vultures that spends all winter here. After a summer where I saw mostly Turkey, the flocks seem larger--real kettles--and include many Black Vultures as well. Also, twice in the past two weeks, my neighborhood has been inundated with Grackles (February-size numbers), gleaning every bit of food they can find before moving on. Plus a noticeable rise in warblers coming through, though only the expected species. It's still in the high 80s nearly every day...but change is in the air. Hope you don't mind this non-rarity report from "up north." --Joe Wallace -- 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://email@example.com/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/ --