Central Park had a Virginia Rail at Triplets Bridge (77th Street, west of the West Drive) on Thursday and reports are it continues there today. It's a fun bird often very hard to see, even when you know it's there! This one gave those who were patient some great views.
I'm amazed to see the Chimney Swifts still roosting in large numbers at 944 Fifth Avenue. I would have expected the number to have decreased by now. What's been fascinating to watch is the change in behavior. Instead of swarming at the model boat pond and then going to the roost, lately the swifts have been appearing almost out of nowhere five minutes before they roost.
It would be fascinating to know if they are swifts hunting higher or in a different place during the day or if these are migrating swifts that know this stop along their migration route?
Update: I went to see them on Thursday, October 22nd and only saw one Chimney Swift at the roost. It made on pass at the chimney and continued on.
On a rainy Tuesday morning on a bird walk in Central Park yesterday, our group was rewarded with this wonderful Marsh Wren along The Lake.
Tonight almost seemed like a bust. There were a few bats at the Model Boat Pond, but no swifts in sight. However, after sunset the swifts slowly began to appear above the roost and for about 5 minutes swarmed above it. Then it was off to roost for the night.
It will be interesting to see when they leave the city.
While watching Eastern Red Bats and Big Brown Bats on Thursday, I ran into a bird watcher studying Chimney Swifts that roost at 944 Fifth Avenue at 75th. It turns out the best place to watch them is the "hawk bench" where "regulars" watch Pale Male's nest in the spring.
The swifts swarm around the roost and then around 6:30 into the video they start to enter the roost. In a few minutes, they are almost all inside. Thank goodness for pre-war buildings.
Early on Saturday, Ben Cacace found a Swainson's Hawk on Governors Island. While the chances of others finding it was slim, it was such a rare bird for Manhattan, lots of very good birders made a trip to the island. As is bound to happen with so many good birders on the island, Loyan Beausoleil found a Western Kingbird about 150 feet west of Tango Pier, a life bird for me.