A note to N.Y. City folks, on Tuesday 4/28 in (about) the noon-hour, there is a 
scheduled & announced fly-over for at least 3 or 4 boroughs (counties) of that 
city, by the U.S.A.F. ‘Thunderbirds' and the U.S.N. ‘Blue Angels’ aircraft, in 
honor of all who have been working in this time of viral pandemic.

New arrivals in this 3-day period included RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, WARBLING 
ORIOLE, as well as a few species new for the spring season within Central Park. 
(And there may have been yet some others!)

A fair amount of migration starting Friday night and increasing greatly 
Saturday night brought further new migrants and reinforced numbers of many 
species which had first arrived earlier. A brightly-plumaged singing male BLUE 
GROSBEAK found Monday morning (4/27) in Ft. Tryon Park’s Heather Garden 
(multiple obs., photo’d.) was a good sign of the potential for yet further 
discoveries all-around, both birds which may have made it thru rather inclement 
weather or ‘contrary’ winds, and also some that may have come thru over a 
period of some days, and are just being discovered by birders.   Thanks to 
M.Waldron for an early report on the Blue Grosbeak (in which he states, “not 
the finder”); I’m not certain but believe we have L.Rozowicz to thank for the 
find, so thank you Linda. Anyone going, and not familiar with this area of that 
park should be prepared to allow patience, and social-distancing protocols, as 
some pathways are quite narrow there - but not all. At the least in respect to 
local, neighborhood residents who use that park a lot, please use a face-mask 
or scarf out of respect to elders, and really to all park-goers.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was contiuning on, in the same area in Central Park 
where it had been for 6 full months. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW continued its 
multi-day stay at one location in Central Park, at least through Monday 4/27, 
withstanding the more-than-occasional romps in its favored feeding zone by 
unleashed dogs, & more-tolerant of watchful & considerate birders coming to see 
this special visitor. 

Saturday, 4/25 - which was WORLD PENGUIN DAY. (if you are able to, help clean 
up a beach or any waterway or wetland. Somewhere, a penguin will thank you.)  

The overall migration which was quite good mostly over-flew &/or bypassed 
Manhattan, but some birds dropped in, and at the same time, a number of species 
already present did stay put at least for the time-being. However, in the 
complexities of migration, some birds certainly took advantage of good 
conditions for departure, and did just that on Friday night. Among those 
departures were many sparrows.  Also clearly having moved in numbers were 
Ring-billed Gull, which were significantly fewer in general around Manhattan, 
especially of fully-adult Ring-bills.

Greater Yellowlegs were well-noted (2 at Inwood Hill Park; N.O’Reilly), Orchard 
Oriole & Baltimore Oriole were both seen (separately), as were a few 
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Warbling Vireo was a new arrival for the year. In 
warblers: Nashville (1, Central Park north woods), Ovenbird (at least several, 
multiple parks), Northern Waterthrush (at least several), Louisiana Waterthrush 
(multiple parks; minimum of 5 in Central Park), Black-and-white (in at least 8 
locations thru Manhattan), Yellow (at least several), Northern Parula (at least 
several), Pine (low numbers), Palm (relatively low numbers but at least 12 thru 
Manhattan), Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] (relatively low no’s. but at least 20 thru 
Manhattan), Black-throated Green (at least 2 in Central Park), & Common 
Yellowthroat (at least 10 thru Manhattan, multiple greenspaces and parks); 
that’s an even dozen warbler spp., even if all in low or just-singleton number.

There were several (at least) of Indigo Bunting in Manhattan, with more than 1 
in Central Park, although just one garnered the lion’s share of attention, & 
for a time had a competing domestic fowl, a black-plumaged pet chicken on the 
loose, as visual ‘competiion’, for some ‘north-end’ observers- harkening-back 
to days when chickens, usually roosters, were regularly-seen in the parks, & 
esp. in parts of parks not far from vendors of live chickens...

Sunday, 4/26 -  Very strong migration / movement over Saturday night; with rain 
moving in locally from the south by early morning, and a wind fetching out of 
the east, keeping temperatures quite low all day long.  This weather actually 
may contribute (at this time of year, late April into first part of May, esp.) 
to the concentration at some locations of swallows & swifts.  In any event, 
more Chimney Swifts were seen bucking the winds and moving over parts of 
Manhattan, sometimes lost in the rather low cloud deck, sometimes easier to 
see. And of swalllows, all five of our most regular species (for Manhattan) 
showed in Central Park, with highlights of several Cliff, and at least one Bank 
Swallow, at the C.P. reservoir, and the Meer, respectively. There also were 
some of each of the more regularly-seen species: Tree, Barn, and N. 
Rough-winged Swallows.   A new arrival also, Ruby-throated Hummingbird which 
buzzed right through at the edge of the reservoir perhaps showing some interest 
in the brilliant displays of cherry blossoms now at the west & east sides of 
that water-body.   Wood Thrush also turned up, reported by J.Wooten 
(first-of-spring in Central Park, albeit not 1st of the year there, nor the 1st 
Manhattan sighting of spring which was an early-bird at Inwood Hill Park; this 
4/26 sighting is really about on-time for a first-arrival in this county.) A 
single Killdeer at a location on the w. side waterfront was notable for the 
late date; if seen again that area ought to be checked for the slight 
possibility of a nesting pair. On Manhattan island, modern-day nesting by 
Killdeer have not been at all common, although have occurred more than many 
birders may realize.

Monday, 4/27 - Large low-pressure weather system remained in the region; winds 
locally shifted from E. to N/NW, and not very many birds seemed to be on the 
move Sunday night, at least over land; however it is possible that movement was 
taking place, at least on small scale (for the late-April date) &/or relatively 
local ‘hopscotch’ movement. 

Early Monday a.m. flight in the northern edges of Central Park featured at 
least 1 male Baltimore Oriole alighting near 110th Street, & at least 20 
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers moving about, with some sticking near & at the 
Meer, where a very small island held a modest selection of expected migrants, 
including B.-g. Gnatcatcher, B.-h. Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, & a few common 
spp. of sparrows, plus some of those Myrtle Warblers. Interestingly also, some 
of those warblers were seen coming into the park from outside and from an 
east-to-northeast direction, possibly indicating some light flight that was 
still ‘correcting’ at least for a decent-sized green-space, or, perhaps simply 
following on a path of rather earlier-moving migrants. 

A Blue Grosbeak was a highlight for northern Manhattan, the first of the year 
in N.Y. County, & a brightly-colored vocal male at that. The Central Park 
Grasshopper Sparrow continued on in same location it has been around for some 5 
days. Also ongoing was the long-staying Central Park Red-headed Woodpecker. 
There is / are still Virgina Rail[s] lingering at the Loch in Central, all of 
those being birds rehabbed & released there, by local licensed rehab/bird 
clinic Wild Bird Fund.

Although the day seemed ‘quiet’ for warblers generally, there were at least 8 
species of American warblers present in Manhattan, not as many as some other 
recent days, and slightly ‘low’ for the date, but not for the weather. 

Birds seen over the 3 days of 25th thru 27th April included:

Canada Goose
[Atlantic] Brant (in reduced no’s.)
Mute Swan (a singleton, seen on the East River)
Wood Duck (1 drake was lingering, Central Park)
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler (near scarce now)
Ruddy Duck (scarce now)
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon (relatively few noted)
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret (increased)
Snowy Egret (increase in no’s., many are fly-bys)
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron (a modest increase)
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk (few)
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail (rehabbed & later released into the Loch in Central Park)
American Coot (1 was still at The Pool in Central Park)
Killdeer (late for a migrant; reported/photo’d, Chelsea waterside park)
Greater Yellowlegs (Inwood Hill Park)
Spotted Sandpiper (one, Central Park, 4/26)
American Woodcock (mid-town)
Laughing Gull (various locations)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Great Horned Owl
E. Screech-Owl (resident on Manhattan)
Chimney Swift (30++ in Manhattan by 4/27; including 15++ over C.P. reservoir at 
one time)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (one male, 4/26; moving past Central Park reservoir’s 
northeast edge)
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker (ongoing bird, more than 6 months stay in Central Park)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (still in the multiple, including in many smaller 
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (uncommon)
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Eastern Phoebe (rather few, but still in the multiple)
Blue-headed Vireo (still passing through)
Warbling Vireo (still in place at least to 4/26; likely some have arrived at 
breeding sites in Manhattan)
Common Raven (not that many reports, but at least several)
Blue Jay (rather common)
American Crow (regular)
Fish Crow (some are nesting on Manhattan)
Tree Swallow (ongoing)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (fairly common now)
Bank Swallow (one, flying with & amongst the 3 more-expected & common swallow 
species at Central Park’s Meer, 4/26)
Barn Swallow (many - increased greatly as of 4/27)
Cliff Swallow (minimum of 3, Central Park reservoir, first seen on 4/26 & 
continuing to 4/27)
Black-capped Chickadee (scarce)
Tufted Titmouse (rather scarce)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper (scarce by now)
Carolina Wren
House Wren (some already on nest-territories in Manhattan)
Winter Wren (very slight uptick again)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (at least 1 to 4/25 in Central Park)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (still rather common, but dropped off in numbers)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (multiple, including some in small green-spaces)
Hermit Thrush (still fairly common but fewer now than in previous week)
Wood Thrush (at least one in Central Park: J.Wooten)
American Robin (ubiquitous)
Gray Catbird (still uncommon to scarce, & most if not all may still be 
locally-wintered birds)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (fair no’s., inclusing some continuing in odd areas where a few 
had wintered)
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (first in a while, but still very scarce as is expected at this 
stage in spring here)
Eastern Towhee (many, still proliferant; in parks large & small, and a number 
of odd places as well; both sexes represented)
Grasshopper Sparrow (big attraction in Central Park, since found 4/23, and 
still in same area into 4/27, quite uncommon in spring here)
Chipping Sparrow (still many, but reduced numbers by 4/27)
Field Sparrow (as above; a very good spring for this species at least in 
Savannah Sparrow (few lingering, but many of last week moved on)
[Red] Fox Sparrow (definite sightings to 4/25; any reports from now will 
ideally be of photo-documented individuals, although has been seen to May some 
Song Sparrow (still rather numerous)
Swamp Sparrow (still numerous but numbers dropped by 4/27)
White-throated Sparrow (still very common, but the thousands of prior weeks 
have dropped off for all of Manhattan)
Slate-colored Junco (modest no’s. continued to 4/27)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (at least several in Central Park; no large arrivals 
yet, although presumably any day now)
Blue Grosbeak (bright male, not quite in full-splendorous blue, Fort Tryon 
Park, found 4/27, multiple observers and photos)
Indigo Bunting (at least several)
Nashville Warbler (1 male seen singing, Central Park - north woods, 4/25)
Northern Parula (few, some in several parks by now - but still very scarce)
Yellow Warbler (trickling in so far, with some reports from a few locations for 
4/27 and also on earlier days)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (modest to sparse no’s., for a species that 
should be commonplace in passage rather soon; very light flights at least a few 
times so far this month)
Black-throated Green Warbler (several, Central Park, singing rather weakly for 
the most part on chilly mornings)
Pine Warbler (still passing thru, with more & more females, & also drabber 
1st-year birds seen)
Palm Warbler (multiple, but not all that many, in this 3-day period)
Black-and-white Warbler (still quite sparse... for the date, by now)
Ovenbird (multiple, in multiple locations, including some not in parks, but not 
very many so far)
Northern Waterthrush (multiple, but still in low numbers so far, for what will 
be a very common passage migrant)
Louisiana Waterthrush (good no’s. and reduced as of 4/27)
Common Yellowthroat (multiple, almost all males, various locations including 
some in odd places, smaller parks, etc.)
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird (several, esp. noted from Central Park, including some seen 
singing; most in breeding plumage now)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird (fair no’s. noted & some also observed in migration)
Orchard Oriole (1st-year male, seen singing & calling, Central Park, 4/25)
Baltimore Oriole (at least several on 4/25 including in northern Manhattan, but 
overall still very scarce)
Purple Finch (some reports, but please be aware there is still a very-red male 
House Finch at CP's feeders which is not a male Purple, 1 individual that’s 
shown there for many weeks now.)
House Finch (common & rather widespread now)
American Goldfinch (fairly good no’s., appearing almost anywhere)
House Sparrow 

There were some insect sightings with the ‘rare’ sunny & milder days, & these 
included some bees, wasps, flies of many types, beetles, bugs, & butterflies, 
amongst various families. The leaf-out of many trees continues at a moderate 
pace, & more “May” (or what were once-upon-a-time May) blooms have been 
bursting out & blooming all over Manhattan.

Good, spatially-safe birding - Stay the Course.

Tom Fiore


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