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 
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 
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 
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 
Northern Mockingbird (very apparent, some singing even at night as is rather 
Brown Thrasher (very small no’s. & even a few in locations where they had 
European Starling (ubiquitous & pestiferous as they interfere with many native 
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 

Good & safe birding,

Tom Fiore


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