Manhattan, N.Y. City - Saturday, 14 March -

It’s been a while since one of New York County’s Long-tailed Ducks visited 
Central Park, and thanks to M.B. Kooper for her a.m. report in eBird, the 
female LONG-TAILED DUCK at the Central Park reservoir has been viewed by many 
who’ve come out. Also there at the reservoir are a variety of more-usual, 
long-lingering species, including Pied-billed Grebe, Hooded Mergansers, and 
many other waterfowl and also gulls, D.-c. Cormorants, etc. - it’s a site 
always worth a look, any day of the year…! (Try the north side of the reservoir 
for the Long-tailed Duck, which could be sleeping with head tucked-in.)

A solo Red-headed Woodpecker, same bird present since sometime in October, and 
widely-seen by many since last Nov., has continued, and continued to brighten, 
now often appearing to have much of its red ‘hood’ on, although it’s still 
molting further into full bright-adult plumage. It’s alongside the east side 
(usually) of the West Drive park roadway, & not far west of the S.-W. portion 
of the North Meadow ballfields, with closest park entry at W. 97th St. off 
Central Park West. On sunny days, it’s often seen readily, a bit less so in 
rainy-cloudy days, but is regular in the location described. 

There are ongoing American Woodcock in Manhattan, and some of the more-readily 
seen are those in Bryant Park (midtown Manhattan) as has often been so, in 
recent years’ migrations. This winter, some of that species were there so late, 
then again so ‘early’ in mild periods mid-winter, that it could appear some did 
overwinter there. I can’t be sure, but suspect there were departures & then 
fresh arrivals, and looks at some photos can help to determine that in addition 
to obvious increases in Feb. on certain days. The woodcock are also appearing 
in multiple other, less-often-birded places, & on some occasions in 
very-heavily-birded places such as the Central Park Ramble area & so forth. 

Also ongoing, but diminished in numbers since Thursday were a few E. Phoebes, 
Pine Warbler (at least one, in St. Nicholas Park in Harlem/upper Manhattan), & 
ongoing species such as Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird (absolutely zero of the 
latter are new or recent arrivals, each Gray Catbird in Manhattan is an 
overwintered bird, that’s all of them being seen now), Yellow-shafted Flicker, 
Brown Creeper, both Kinglet species, Winter Wren (still very few, which 
overwintered here), [Red] Fox Sparrow, & other typically-wintering sparrows, 
Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, & also some small increases for Blue 
Jay, Tufted Titmouse, very small increases in Black-capped Chickadee no’s., as 
well as Yellow-bellied Sapsucker… all relative in some part to where observers 
may be primarily birding (this paragraph's comments are for all of Manhattan, 
not just 1 park or section.); other species being seen lately &/or today 
include Field Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows (the latter overwintered in the 
multiple here & in many locations in the northeast), and yet others (both 
wintering & some just barely beginning to move through).

Saturday 3/14 featured some Vultures of both species (although maybe not that 
many) & at least several Bald Eagle sightings from various points, including 
flying over Central Park. Also seen again have been Common Raven, & Fish Crow, 
in several locations in Manhattan - all these from multiple observers, in 
various locations, at diiferent times.

(Just) off Manhattan but still in N.Y. County, a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 
persists at Randall’s Island, an overwintered individual. We’ve had multiple 
Great Egret sightings now from the N.Y. City region and points south, so that’s 
a species to be looking out for, along with various other usual / potential 
March arrivals.

We’ve had butterflies so far in Manhattan including Cabbage White, Red Admiral, 
Eastern Comma, and Mourning Cloak (all photographed) in Central Park & 
elsewhere, many of these in immaculate condition. There may have been a few 
additional species in the recent push of mild air into the city. Lots of other 
invertebrate life was also awakening, along with E. Chipmunks & other mammals 
being more-active now.  Lots of flowers in multiple locations are out and more 
are in bud…  Magnolia & Cherry Trees are among some of the showier bloomers 
just now, as well as the Cornus mas, or so-called “cornelian cherry’ which are 
really a type of yellow-flowered dogwood, a small tree that is very common in 
some N.Y. City parks, including Central Park. A lot more could be reported-on, 
but perhaps in the coming week.

Good 'social-distancing' and birding to all - and thanks to all who keep birds' 
best interests at heart,

Tom Fiore


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