Manhattan / New York County, N.Y. City 2/17:

A couple of nice finds on Monday / Presidents’ Day 2/17 included a duo of 
Canvasbacks, photo’d. in the morning at the Hudson River piers area near but 
mainly north of “Clinton Cove Park” up to near 57th St. & north, & last noticed 
to the north. Another few places to keep an eye for that species along the 
Hudson river off Manhattan are further piers up to the north, & all the way n. 
of W. 125 St., as well as other sites both n. & s. of there. The 2 Canvasback 
when first seen were also near an American Coot, an uncommon but semi-regular 
species along the Hudson river off parts of Manhattan.

Vesper Sparrow, a species not normally expected as a wintering bird for N.Y. 
County until this winter, was seen & photo’d. yet again Monday on Randall’s 
Island, off east of Manhattan in the East River estuary area; the sparrow again 
at the NE edge of Randall’s.

A (rare for Manhattan) Boat-tailed Grackle was again found & photographed, near 
the tennis courts, mid-Central Park (just north of the reservoir) with many 
Common Grackles, with which it typically has been associating in a lengthy 
stay. That flock can be mobile, occ. seen in other areas of the same park, & 
irregularly including the Boat-tailed in or near its midst - & which 1 bird may 
take a bit of patience to find.  If in the vicinity of the tennis courts, it’s 
a very short walk onward to the w. side of N. Meadow ballfields near W. 97th 
St., where a Red-headed Woodpecker is continuing its’ months-long winter stay 
(& is getting colorful in the uppermost breast-chin part of its ‘hood’)

It’s also worth a note that, again a number of Red-winged Blackbirds were seen 
in various locations, a small sign of inching towards a new season.  And, 
though these next both represent overwintering birds of their species, a very 
small no. of both Ruby-crowned & Golden-crowned Kinglets have been seen in N.Y. 
County, including in Central Park in recent days. Same of Chipping Sparrows, 
which again represent still overwintered birds & not new arrivals.  Indicative 
of some sort of ‘movement', at least, a Black Vulture, far more regular in 
recent times than even 5 or ten years ago in NYC, was seen & photo’d. moving 
across Central Park Monday, now an increasingly-possible species to watch for 
generally in any part of northeast N. America.

Amer. Woodcock were sought in various locations, but seem not to have been 
found in or around Manhattan on Monday; this species has begun to show on 
breeding terrirories in many parts of the wider region, & including some within 
N.Y. City.
A non-avian-but-winged creature, a Red Bat, was noted again in the afternoon’s 
milder sun (to around 50F.) in Central Park’s n. end; this bat species is known 
in the region as an occasional winter-waker-upper, and had been seen previously 
on milder days here this (& other) seasons when just mild enough; sometimes 
found in flight, and also often just ‘hanging around’, ‘battily'.

Thanks to keen observers of some of these & other birds & nature of N.Y. City,
& good birding,

Tom Fiore

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