A Wilson's Snipe was on the west shore of The Pool, a body of water at the north end of Central Park. It's a wonderful bird, and was out in the open, which was a real treat.
Hints of spring are in the air. The park has some Snowdrops and Forsythia in bloom and the city's Red-tails have begun to copulate. Today, I caught up with a Cooper's Hawk, and both of the Fifth Avenue Hawks, Octavia and Pale Male.
On Saturday afternoon, I walked for about five miles through Central Park. I was able to add three more birds to my 2018 Manhattan list, a Ring-Necked Duck (female at the North Gate House of the Reservoir), a Great Cormorant (on the dike in the middle of the Reservoir, a rare visitor to Central Park, but seen frequently off Randalls Island in the winter) and an immature Cooper's Hawk.
The Cooper's Hawk was exploring the Loch, a waterway with three waterfalls that flows under the Glen Span and Huddlestone arches from The Pool to the Harlem Meer. It has recently been restored by the Central Park Conservancy. The restoration carefully reshaped the waterway, to provide a mix of currents and depths designed to maximize biodiversity, with the help of a environmental consulting company. Improved landscaping was also added to minimize erosion and run offs from the North Meadow Ball Fields. I'm looking forward to seeing the biodiversity results in a few years.
The surprise of the day was a Red-throated Loon on the reservoir this afternoon. About two thirds of the reservoir is still covered with ice, so the Loon was closer to the shoreline than normal making for great looks.
The young Peregrine Falcons on Central Park West are big enough to see finally. I saw two of them on Saturday and both the parents. My understanding is there might be a third youngster.
The pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on the The Century on lower Central Park West supposedly have three chicks this year. I studied them for an hour and only saw signs of a parent. I suspect I'll need to make a number of visits to see the youngsters.
The colder weather made for a quiet day on Pale Male and Octavia's nest. However, there were a large number of migrates, including a Least Bittern (a small heron) and Red-headed Woodpecker.
Central Park had two Indigo Buntings stopping in the park during their migration today. They were filling up on grass seed just south of Sparrow Rock.
Two Green-Wing Teal drakes have been hanging out in the Upper Lobe of The Lake in Central Park. Wonderful ducks to watch.
Central Park has had an Immature Red-headed Woodpecker near 68th and Fifth for over a week. I caught up with it after it started snowing on Saturday. It was hanging out in and around a Shagbark Hickory tree.
I spent the afternoon watching more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the Oven in Central Park, just as I had yesterday. They're so much fun to watch!
In the Ramble of Central Park is an area of the Lake called the Oven. It has a patch of Jewelweed that attracts Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks during the fall migration. It also attracted a Tennessee Warbler today as well.
Fall Migration is in full swing with lots of different species in Central Park. My favorite of the day was this male Hooded Warbler.
A female Hooded Warbler was near the Azalea Pond in Central Park today. This shy bird was the highlight of my day.
The hawks at 116th and Riverside have begun "branching", so they should be leaving the nest soon. Good luck little guys!
A Swainson's Warbler was in Central Park today, near Strawberry Field. It's a bird that usually stays further south, so it created a great deal of excitement.
I went to Central Park South tonight to figure out where the Sheep Meadow Red-tailed Hawk pair have relocated only to see the male briefly at 64th and Fifth Avenue. I saw them copulate last week by Tavern on the Green, but that was the last time I saw the female. So, this is still a mystery. If anyone has figured it out, please let me know.
While looking for the Red-tails, I saw The Century Peregrine Falcons again on Central Park West. They were on both The Century and the Zeckendorf buildings.
I spent the weekend trying to figure out what was happening with our three pairs of hawks in Central Park.
- The Sheep Meadow pair continue to be seen in the SE corner of the park, but don't seem to have settled on a nesting location just yet.
- The pair that tried to nest on the Beresford last year, are bringing twigs to the Beresford and San Remo this year.
- Pale Male and Octavia are doing just fine. Pale Male gave Octavia a long break on Sunday afternoon.
- A Merlin was a nice extra bonus near the band shell.
The two Snow Geese continue on the Central Park Reservoir. They've been hanging out with about 75 Canada Geese at the south end.
As winter finally arrives and we get a light dusting of snow, Central Park has two Snow Geese on the reservoir. Large flocks of snow geese fly over the park during migration, but it's unusual for there to be a pair hanging out on the reservoir, especially in January. So, they were a nice treat on a gray day.
As I was leaving the park, I ran into Pale Male in the east Pinetum. He looked handsome with a dusting of snow.