Perhaps of interest esp. to birders from N.Y. City eastwards (& near-coastally), a Prothonotary Warbler was photographed on Nantucket island (part of Massachusetts) on 4/15, & on 4/16 Blue Grosbeak was also photo’d. on that island. As had been noted previously, a modest spring-overshoot of at least some of the ‘usual suspects’ had occurred in the recent weather of earlier this week. Some of those kinds of migrants may yet turn up in the area, including N.Y. state. A few, such as Indigo Bunting, have already showed in N.Y. City & elsewhere and this is still much ahead of the typical date-range of that species. And of course, it won’t be all too long for some as expected-date arrivals as well, for some NYS regions.
— Manhattan / N.Y. County, N.Y. City, from Sunday April 12 thru Thursday, April 16 - A now-brilliantly plumaged RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, continuing its long long stay in Central Park was still present Thursday 4/16, and I saw this bird move slightly farther north at one point, to the vicinity or ‘latitude’ of W. 99-100th Streets, while still in its’ favored ‘lane’ of trees that are just east of a cindered wide bridle path, and slightly west of the edge of the fenced N. Meadow ballfields. For the most part though this woodpecker seems to favor areas on the southern 2/3 of that stretch, starting from nearer to “latitude” W. 97th. (the closest park entry is W. 97th & Central Park West). To be even more specific, standing somewhere just a bit east or north of a set of stone steps that face to the north, parallel with & adjacent the cindered bridle path is a good area to try for this bird; there is space enough to be social-distanced, & still allow for a dozen or more people in that area. (And I have not seen that many people observing or seeking this bird at one time in many months.) Easter Sunday, 4/12 - Long-tailed Duck again appeared on the Central Park reservoir, still a very-unexpected species (within Manhattan) away from the rivers & waters surrounding Manhattan island. This day featured at least 6 warbler species present on one day, which were: Northern Parula, Black-and-white, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle], Palm, Pine & Louisiana Waterthrush. There was a modest re-invigoration of a number of species, which included (but not limited to) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, E. Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, & Palm Warbler. There also was a light (as observed) early movement of various passerines & some other species, such as Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, Tree Swallow (& likely at least 1 or 2 additional hirundine spp.), Blue Jay, American Robin, & Red-winged Blackbird. At least several Bald Eagle sightings came from various observers at different times & locations in N.Y. County this day. Savannah Sparrow was widely seen in multiple location around N.Y. County this day. To be a little more specific, Savannah Sparrow was reported from at least 8 completely separate locations - with total for Manhattan island of at least 20 of the species - from parks &/or green-spaces on Manhattan island on the Sunday. In Central Park, there were a minimum of 6 of this species- with just one individual receiving the bulk of birder’s attention at many time of the day. (Incidentally, sightings in Central Park for the latter species were not first-of-year, that came on January 28th. These also were not first-of-spring for Manhattan as the species was noted a number of times since that date, this year. And there have been a few further/earlier sightings in the county.) … Meantime, it’s become tougher to find the recently near-common [Red] Fox Sparrows, as more have moved on. Monday, 4/13 - A large foul-weather system with rain, some t-storms, & some extreme winds came in, beginning around midnight in the NYC area, & continuing to intensify with some wind gusts locally to over 75 m.p.h. especially closer to the sea & near larger open waters. The worst of the winds moved in as of the afternoon, while some of the rains were intermittently strong over Manhattan. Interesting sightings for the day included a report of 4 photographed (J. DiCostanzo) Greater Yellowlegs at Inwood Hill Park, & 2 BONAPARTE'S Gulls by the East River, seen by a keen observer at mid-day. On the Central Park reservoir before noon, I saw one Lesser Black-backed Gull, among at least 180 other gulls all of which appeared to be of the most usual 4 species, with at least 2 Laughing Gulls present and the rest consisting of at least 50 Great Black-backed, 70+ [American] Herring, & over 50 Ring-billed Gulls, both on the mostly-submerged central dike, & some, esp. Ring-bills, holding fast to the water as it came to wind-whipped-whitecap stage (at which point I left the reservoir shore). I also did not notice a Long-tailed Duck (which had been present all day there on Sunday). There were at least 2 American Coots hanging-in, one at the reservoir, & a 2nd long-lingering at The Pond. (n.b., incidentally I had slight hopes something more unusual just might’ve come along in the storm, into Manhattan - however, it may well have, & birding in Central Park was perhaps the less-likely site in which to search. The 1 L.B.-b. Gull there was not new for the year, not wholly unexpected by any means as that species is known to show, at certain sites, in numbers in such events as this weather brought, a ‘southeastern’ storm with wind out of that general direction, becoming more southerly & very late, westerly thru the day in N.Y. County. Further note, I spent a total of 105 minutes at the reservoir, circling it twice & scanning for 20+ min’s. from 2 locations; gulls were still arriving late a.m., at least some departing by early p.m.; most gulls do not stay all day at that site but move in & out & change in no’s. & composition daily, a pattern seen for many decades.) Despite rain & modest earlier winds, the Ramble & various other areas in Central were, firstly, near-devoid of people, & secondly, fairly bird-y. 4 Warbler spp. were in & around the Ramble, with 1 Black-and-white very possibly same as seen in the Ramble on Sunday; also present was a Blue-headed Vireo near the park’s weather station. The others were Pines, Palms & Yellow-rumpeds [Myrtle] in a few places, esp. on the Point & at the s. path along Turtle Pond. Very low no’s. of Hermit Thrush were seen, but Kinglets were in great numbers, most being Ruby-crowned, as well as a few B.-g. Gnatcatchers. The sound & sight of White-throated Sparrows singing all thru the morning & from most points within Central was impossible to miss. Noticably fewer (but still present) were Chipping Sparrow or Slate-colored Junco, & E. Towhee may have been a bit more scarce this day as well. Tuesday, 4/14 - The weather that cleared away for the most part locally on Mon. eve. did not allow for a great deal of influx, at least not in Manhattan, while it seemed to have done so for exodus, with some migrants having moved on. A Common Loon in bright spring plumage showed on the Central Park reservoir, one of a number of fly-overs but which singly chose to stop in for a while - an annual sight there. Some of the same species were however in much of same locations as had been in the day or days just prior. Perhaps much more interestingly, a fairly good diurnal flight was seen, with a variety of species on the move through the day - among the interesting species were at least 4 Chimney Swifts, part of a modest no. of these that are starting to turn up in the region, these over the west side of Manhattan in mid-morning, but not noted in same area later. Other fly-bys or fly-overs included a very small no. of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and B.-h. Cowbirds going low & north, at first-light from the n.w. corner of Central Park. Later, what seemed a very light flight of raptors, with a couple of Red-shouldered Hawks & N. Harrier a highlight, as well as Bald Eagle, Ospreys, Sharp-shinned Hawks, & American Kestrel (some likely migrants) & Merlin. At least 5 warbler spp. were again seen: N. Parula also continuing for at least a 4th day, & Louisiana Waterthrush, Palm, Pine, & Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers all ongoing. Blue-headed Vireos were seen in a few Manhattan locations, & had by this date been seen more-widely in the region, incl. some points far north of N.Y. City, which is early for this species. Wednesday, 4/15 - A clearing day, after some rains pushed through the region overnight, & seeming not to have allowed for a lot of migration… but certainly some species which had been around were still, while at least some may have departed on what opportunities they found to move on. A lot of waterbirds have moved on, which seemed to include the 1-day Loon from Central Park’s reservoir, gone this day. Also starting to clear out have been a lot of N. Shoverlers, although a concerted effort could see up to 2 dozen - down from well over 200 not very long ago. It also seemed that a lot (not all) of the swallows that had come through moved on. There were some sightings of Bald Eagles, Ospreys, & various other raptors as well as both Vulture species. Thursday, 4/16 - A perhaps-modest arrival, with more of some species again (subtle to see the daily change, since all are species that had been around already) such as Yellow-shafted Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Towhee, various sparrows, including Field, Chipping, Savannah, Swamp, & even more White-throated, and at least somewhat more Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers. There was also a light flight of Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, & Common Grackle, & probably Brown-headed Cowbird too - the latter showing in some areas where not noted before. Of areas I visited from the s. end of Central Park to the north, the Loch was the single birdiet area for species & overall no’s. of some birds. Just there, including the slopes on both sides (& east-west) were Black-and-white, Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle) Warblers (the latter in modest no’s. in the trees & some lower) & Louisiana Waterthrush, plus many Ruby-crowned Kinglets, no’s. of Hermit Thrush, & assorted sparrows, even at least briefly a Savannah Sparrow coming in to bathe; Field & Chipping Sparrows in the multiple scattered around the n. end. At least one Snowy Egret went over the n. end of Central Park on the usual east-west / west-east flyway there, as well as a small no. of Great Egrets using same path. Flights of raptors & vultures seemed small to me, but then I did not make a lot of effort in the increasing gusty winds; there were at least some Turkey Vultures, Ospreys, and assorted others on the move, along with a fair number of Double-crested Cormorants. At one regional hawk-watch not too far from N.Y. City, nearly 100 Broad-winged Hawks were seen on the day. More of those are assuredly coming. For Manhattan, few [Red] Fox Sparrows were still around, but will be harder & harder to find in the next week or two; the species is typically all gone from N.Y. City before May, much the same of Juncos. Other birders were out in multiple areas & various parks, finding a good variety of species. One interesting recent report but which ought to be confirmed or further documented was of a *potential* Wood Thrush at Inwood Hill Park; a possibility this early in April, but should become likelier by later in this month. An uncommon bird for the county was found later on this day in Manhattan, but for best social & spatial distancing reasons, it will be noted in a report perhaps next week; further it is likely to have been a release of a ‘rehab'. Please use common-sense - and follow city & state orders & other regulations regarding pandemic Covid-19 safety at all times. Sightings from N.Y. County, April 12th thru 16th: Canada Goose (common, some are nesting) [Atlantic] Brant (very common thru the period) Wood Duck (ongoing to 4/16 in Central Park, at the Meer) Gadwall (uncommon, a year-round bird now in N.Y. City) American Black Duck (uncommon but some in various locations) Mallard (common) Northern Shoveler (very reduced no’s. still in Central Park thru 4/16) Bufflehead (still in no’s.) Red-breasted Merganser (very few, harbor area to at least 4/13) Ruddy Duck (reduced no’s.) Red-throated Loon (thru 4/16, East River & poss. elsewhere) Common Loon (one in Central Park but just for 1 day; others scattered on rivers & harbor) Double-crested Cormorant (increasing) Great Blue Heron (multiple, including some fly-overs) Great Egret (still in only modest no’s.) Snowy Egret (scarce so far) Black-crowned Night-Heron (still relatively few for the date) Black Vulture (some sightings, mostly from n. Manhattan) Turkey Vulture (multiple fly-overs) Osprey (multiple fly-overs) Bald Eagle (multiple, incl. one occasionally perching at Riverside Park/north) Northern Harrier (few sightings, fly-overs) Sharp-shinned Hawk (modest no’s.) Cooper's Hawk (low no’s.) Red-shouldered Hawk (few, fly-bys) Broad-winged Hawk (few, fly-overs) Red-tailed Hawk (common nesting resident; some later migrants still possible) American Coot (not noted by me as of 4/16) Killdeer (regular in one N.Y. County location; likely present at some others too) Greater Yellowlegs (4 photographed at Inwood Hill Park on 4/13, noted above) American Woodcock (several sightings for Manhattan) Laughing Gull (very modest no’s. esp. at rivers & NY harbor area) Bonaparte's Gull (2, from E. River, on 4/13 as noted above) Ring-billed Gull (common) [American] Herring Gull (common) Lesser Black-backed Gull (non-adult, Central Park reservoir, 4/13 as noted above) Great Black-backed Gull (fairly common) ['feral'] Rock Pigeon (ubiquitous) Mourning Dove (common) American Kestrel (many are nesting now in N.Y. City; also some migrants passing) Merlin (several reports) Peregrine Falcon (almost all sightings in Manhattan now are of city-resident individuals or pairs) Great Horned Owl (ongoing) Eastern Screech-Owl (ongoing) Chimney Swift (4 passing over the w. side of Manhattan on 4/14; a few others reported elsewhere; also reports of small no’s. increased from the region) Belted Kingfisher (at least several, thru 4/16) Red-headed Woodpecker (ongoing, bright breeding plumage, Central Park nr. W. 97-98 Streets, just east of the park’s West Drive roadway; often active) Red-bellied Woodpecker (fairly common) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (a very slight uptick again, by 4/16) Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker (scarce) Yellow-shafted Flicker (increased a bit by 4/16) Eastern Phoebe (many moved on, but still a few as of 4/16) Blue-headed Vireo (multiple, but not many, as of 4/16; seen in multiple Manhattan parks) Blue Jay (fairly common) Common Raven (multiple locations) American Crow (fairly common) Fish Crow (uncommon but multiple sightings; a few nesting) Tree Swallow (only small no’s. but should increase) Northern Rough-winged Swallow (prob. most-common of 3 swallow spp. seen this week) Barn Swallow (modest no’s. and should increase soon) Black-capped Chickadee (very scarce) Tufted Titmouse (scarce) White-breasted Nuthatch (small no’s. noted) Brown Creeper (multiple, but not many; thru 4/16) Carolina Wren (widespread & uncommon) Winter Wren (very few thru 4/16) Golden-crowned Kinglet (few still around thru 4/16) Ruby-crowned Kinglet (nearly common this week) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (multiple, & increased no’s.) Hermit Thrush (moderate to good no’s., a few singing a bit at earliest / latest hours of day) American Robin (nearly ubiquitous) Gray Catbird (scarce, but at least some that overwintered are still in a few locations) Northern Mockingbird (very apparent, some singing even at night as is rather normal) Brown Thrasher (very small no’s. & even a few in locations where they had wintered) European Starling (ubiquitous & pestiferous as they interfere with many native birds) Eastern Towhee (modest no’s.) Chipping Sparrow (fairly modest no’s.) Field Sparrow (small no’s. but increased very slightly) Savannah Sparrow (multiple locations) [Red] Fox Sparrow (fewer & fewer) Song Sparrow (regular breeding-resident; & still likely some passage migrants) Swamp Sparrow (very slight increase) White-throated Sparrow (very common, & many singing from multiple locations) Slate-colored Junco (like Fox Sparrow, greatly diminshed no’s. Red-winged Blackbird (fairly common) Rusty Blackbird (several) Common Grackle (near-common) Brown-headed Cowbird (increased no’s.) - Northern Parula (at least 4-day stay, thru 4/14 which is still early for the species in N.Y. City) Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (multiple, modest increase this week) Pine Warbler (continuing in modest to low no’s.) Palm Warbler (continuing in modest numbers) Black-and-white Warbler (several, 1 seen on 4/16 at Central Park’s n. end) Louisiana Waterthrush (continuing in small no’s., at least several in Central Park thru 4/16) - Northern Cardinal (common resident breeder) Purple Finch (several sightings from various areas; familiarity with the song is helpful to locate) House Finch (fairly common) American Goldfinch (modest no’s. in various areas) House Sparrow (ubiquitous & pestiferous with a lot harming native nesting birds in many areas) 1 additonal sp.- & report for another time. Some wild mammals seen in Manhattan this week included Eastern Red Bats, Raccoons, Eastern Chipmunks, & others. Some butterfly sightings included Question-mark (photographed), E. Comma, Mourning Cloak, & Cabbage White. A number of other insect species, in many families, were also seen. Trees & shrubs which have come into bloom this week include American Redbud, Amelanchier (Shadbush), Flowering Dogwood (a few), Hawthorn, Viburnum, (native) Azalea, and at least several others with ongoing ornamental cherry, apple, pear, & others as well as ongoing Cornus mas trees. More & more flowers of many kinds also are in bloom, even some early roses in a few places. Tree leaf-out has slowed a bit, thanks to cooler nights and some cooling wind, but there are many trees that have begun the process. -- Thanks to all the many who help us through these difficult times, above all the health-care workers of the world. And thanks to all who are doing their part to be of help by practicing safe & sensible precautions as advised by responsible health & public-safety experts. We are all in this fight against a worldwide epidemic. Good & safe birding, Tom Fiore Manhattan -- 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/ --