As Awkwafina announced on the 7 line PA for one week in January, “Hudson Yards, 
last stop, hope you like weird architecture,”  indeed.  Although milder than 
usual - the winter wind barreling down from The Vessel across the concrete 
concourse surrounded by on-going construction makes for an exciting commute to 
and from work.

After a drop in temperature in early November, we had a Winter Wren, 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco, Fox Sparrow, and Carolina Wren pass 
through.  By mid-November, an Eastern Phoebe, Hermit Thrush, Common 
Yellowthroat, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and American Woodcock.

A Wood Thrush also appeared - first hiding in the turning leaves of a tree by 
the playground.  By early December, with the leaves gone, it had acclimated to 
the commuters and was hopping on the ground near the 34th Street subway with 
the sparrows.  A pair of Ovenbirds did the same - first weaving among the 
hedges of the lawn behind the subway canopy, eventually chicken-walking the 
occupied benches along the pathways like the wintering Yellowthroat at Bryant 
Park. 

Unfortunately, none made it to the Christmas Bird Count.  However, the Grey 
Catbirds stayed - up to 5 at a time. I had to continually override eBird’s 
insistence that more than one was rare.  Perhaps it had to do with the isolated 
islands of over-landscaped gardens between the streets allowing them to stake 
out territory - although they were always visiting each other as if coming over 
to sup on runaway human lunches.

At Bryant Park, when the concession stands folded and a major winter storm blew 
through, the winter hearties would usually all depart - but this winter has 
been mild and they’re sticking around.  At least two Grey Catbirds, one or two 
Swamp Sparrows near the public restrooms, and one of three Easter Towhees - a 
female, a male, and a dark chocolate variant I believe is also a male - make my 
weekly bird count.  I sense they recognize me as much as I recognize them.

Also every week, above it all, around the Bolt Bus depot, a female American 
Kestrel watches over this sorry winter crew, scaring the living daylights out 
of the ubiquitous pigeons and starlings.

We both wait for spring arrivals.

Happy Winter Birding,
Alan Drogin



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