New York County (within N.Y. City), including Manhattan, Randall’s Island 
and Governors Island, and skies-above plus adjacent waters
into the first week in September, 2023 -

As some have noted elsewhere, this week now concluding had featured massive 
migrations, especially of nocturnal migrants, totaling far more than one 
million birds (that number exceeded on some recent single nights), even as 
we’ve had the humid, hot and sultry conditions on the ground over some 
recent days - these mass-migrations have continued on. This includes vast 
numbers and diversity in passerines (as well as other groups of birds, 
obviously including shorebirds moving on, both by days and nights) - and with 
warblers, as expected, strongly featured in each night’s migrations, 
including vast numbers passing over N.Y. City and over Manhattan and this 
county as well.

Going back to last Sunday and holiday-Monday (Labor Day), in N.Y. County we 
were still seeing up to 28+ warbler species in the county, and with a number of 
some of those species considered (especially by long-time observers) as more 
typical for later in the season - so such warblers as Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] 
and Palm, plus more and more Blackpoll Warblers, were all moving thru by even 
before last weekend, and especially so during and since then. On Monday, Labor 
Day, there were up to a dozen+ Blackpoll Warblers in Central Park alone (some 
also in other locations), with some also photo-documented well enough to remove 
any doubts as to identifications. We also have had good numbers of Bay-breasted 
Warblers, and a number of that species were being seen into Wednesday in such 
locations as Central Park (multiple not-for-profit bird-walks had sightings 
then) as well as in some of the other large and smaller parks and greenspaces 
of the county. Altogether into Wednesday, there were at least 23 spp. of 
American warblers still being found around the county (and all of those were 
in-addition being seen in Central Park, with its many independent watchers, as 
well as the not-for-profit guided birding-walks which are by now regular there 
as well as in other sites around the county). One additional note: in the norms 
of guided wallks or trips / tours led by birding-guides, it is standard usage 
for birds seen only by a guide (a walk-leader or trip-leader) to be designated 
as “Leader-Only”, sometimes initialized as L.O. or LOB, which is a 
standard practice across the planet with amateur and professional birding 
guides, and by almost all of many tour-companies that focus on birds. It is not 
common to designate such leader-only sightings as “Early” - on a 
birding day-trip or single walk, yet some few have done this. In the simplest 
way, this means that a bird or birds has/have not been seen nor heard by any 
member-participant of a group, on a guided walk or tour, it was seen or heard, 
then reported by only the designated leader of said walk or tour. Further, it 
is very uncommon to list amomgst *highlights* of a days' or length of days 
guided walk or tour. any “leader-only” sightings of birds unless 
some or one of said species is very rare or exceptional in some way. A 
most-typical and usual list of highlighted species will be of birds that all, 
or almost-all, of a group of any size was able to see.

Some early mornings and pre-sunrise flights of migrants have occurred in recent 
days in this county (and all thru much of the eastern parts of Nortn America as 
well), after very strong nocturnal migrations. Such were very much so on the 
mornings of this past Sunday, Monday, Tuesday; it seemed that Wednesday (9/6) 
had rather less in our area, albeit still many migrants that were passing from 
Tuesday night. One location (among others) where these flights could be seen 
generally, and mainly only in the first hour or two of day, that is by 
pre-sunrise first-light on thru around 7 a.m., was in lower Manhattan including 
the areas near South Ferry and the Battery (the southern end of Manhattan) and 
a bit less-so, out on Governors Island, where access is not easy until at or 
after about 7 a.m., unless special access was allowed or an overnight there 
made. Flights on Sunday and Monday were, in particular fairly good, with up to 
20 species of warblers as well as a broad variety of other migrant species, but 
seemingly lacking in any notable rarities. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was seen 
from Governors Island, as a fly-by west to east, on Monday, however that 
species is at-least occasional in that area of the county - and also fairly 
regular at Randall’s Island with up to four of that species seen there in 
recent days. At Governors Island, unfortunately one of the excellent 
(potential) habitats for migrants is often hard to, or not available for access 
by birders - the so-called Urban Farm area, which is likely the single best 
part of that island for ON-the-deck birds of many kinds, rather than fly-overs 
or shorebirds, waterfowl. etc., at the margins of the island. I was able to 
access a part of the farm’s habitat on Labor Day, but was also refused 
entry to a few of the small sections where clearly many migrants were lurking 
and feeding. Many birders do not even get in there at all. In part, that island 
is placed under multi-jurisdictional control and so there are a variety of 
rules in place there, local, state and interstate, and federal. It is what it 
is, yet the potential for interesting birds is always there on that island as 
well as in active migration over and around there.

Some of the many migrants of this past week from New York County:

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal (flyovers only)
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Common Tern (still being seen on the Hudson and around New York Harbor; numbers 
less tnan in August)
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Monk Parakeet
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl, E. Screech—Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (multiple on migrations in recent days, also in some 
parks continuing at flower plantings and at wild blooms)
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (very few, these are still likely to be individuals 
that had summered in Manhattan)
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Empidonax []genus Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow (mainly or solely still individuals and small flocks 
that had summered in Manhattan, which is typical and not at all unusual)
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
White-winged Crossbill
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak
House Sparrow
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Myrtle / Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warblerr
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler (only on Sept. 1st, at Bryant Park, midtown Manhattan)
Worm-eating Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
and likely some additional species.
- - - -
There have been some special sightings of rare / uncommon butterflies in 
Manhattan, especially, as well as (some) on Governors Island, over the past 
week, including Cloudless Sulphur, White-M Hairstreak, Variegated Fritillary, 
Common Buckeye, Long-tailed Skipper (which is the least-common of all of these 
noted), Ocola Skipper, and some other species - and also Harvester which is 
rare in N.Y. County, albeit resident in Bronx County in select habitats, this 
latter in Central Park (again) in recent weeks, in more than one location 
there. All of these uncommon species are / were also being seen elsewhere in 
N.Y. City and in the region recently as well.
Thanks to the many quiet and keen observers of birds and other aspects in 
nature, with so many reports from all days even those featuring very-sultry 
(hot and humid) weather. And as always thanks to the many walk-leaders out 
lately for non-profit organizations such as the NYC Audubon (NYCAS, to be given 
an updated name at some point) and the Linnaean Society of New York, and for 
the American Museum of Natural History, and for other non-profit conservation 
and scientific organizations and institutions, as well as further groups in 
not-for-profit guided bird and nature walks. All the local reports made via 
either GroupMe bird-alerts and/or eBird, as well as via word-of-mouth and many 
independent photographers and birders.

Good birding to all,

Tom Fiore


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