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.
At Turtle Pond, a Belted Kingfisher made a meal of a nice sized fish this afternoon. It took a bit of work to kill it but then it was quickly down the hatch.
Last Thursday there was at least two Clay-colored Sparrows in the northeastern section of Central Park. This one was in a Crab Apple tree at 106th Street.
For the last few days, there has been a Dickcissel up by the compost heap in Central Park, which is near the East Drive and 105th Streets. I got lucky and was in view for a few minutes. It harder to find later in the afternoon.
Fall migration has been slowly starting over the last few weeks. Birds take some work to find at times, but there are interesting species moving through the area now. Today, I was lucky to have a number of birders direct me to a Tennessee Warbler in Central Park's Maintenance Meadow. It was a very cooperative bird and it gave great looks for over two hours.
Odds and ends from a quiet day in the park. Central Park lost a number of trees and there were a lot of broken branches blocking paths after Tuesday's storm. On Turtle Pond there was a Belted Kingfisher, a nice bird for early August. The Gill in the Ramble had two nice sized catfish and lots of minnows. It's amazing that such a small stream could have such good sized fish.
There is a family of Eastern Kingbirds on Turtle Pond this year in Central Park, just like last year. There are three fledglings, which were in a tree on the Turtle Pond island this afternoon. A parent was flying back and forth from the island to a set of bushes on the south shore of the lake, skimming the water as it went to and from. It was only when I saw the food being feed to a fledgling did I figure out what was going on. The parent was catching dragonflies.
Today a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were working the flowers around the Tupelo Meadow in the Ramble of Central Park.
I took more photos of the Cedar Waxwings today. It's an easy nest to watch, although it requires some patience as the feedings can be more than half an hour apart.
I've gone a few times to look for the West End Avenue Red-tailed Hawk fledglings, but have been unable to find them on my last visits.
So, I spent time in Central Park today. At the north end of Strawberry Field in a Black Locust tree which is in the steep slope between the end of the chip path and the road, is a Cedar Waxwing nest. It appears to have two birds in the nest. I saw them and both the parents today. The feedings took place about 30 minutes apart, so the nest requires some patience if you're going to watch it. This is the first time I've seen a Cedar Waxwing nest in the park.
I saw my first European Goldfinch today in Central Park. An introduced bird in North America, it is becoming more and more established.
I had to ask a WhatsApp group I'm in to figure it out. Luckily, folks forgave my ignorance and I got an answer within a minute.
There are scores of American Robin nests in Central Park currently. Some nests have already produced fledglings. I caught up with one nest on the Point a small peninsula that juts out in the Central Park Lake. Both parents were actively feeding the three young robins.
A Belted Kingfisher was on the shore of The Pond in Central Park on Wednesday. I caught up with it while it was eating a fish. It took a lot of work to swallow the fish!
Mary Beth Kopper found a Long-tailed Duck on the Central Park Reservoir on Saturday. A bird common in New York harbor, is very rarely seen in Central Park. The female slept most of the time it was on the reservoir before becoming active later in the day.
On Wednesday, thanks to a report from Deborra Mullins, I had my first warbler of the season, a Pine Warbler. Eastern Phoebes are also being reporting in Central Park. After a quiet winter, spring migration is very welcome.
An American Woodcock was out in the open south of the Maintenance Field parking lot this morning. However it got spooked and flew west. It decided to stay the whole afternoon perfectly still. I came back at dusk and once it was dark it finally moved.
I stayed and listened for bats, and had two Big Brown Bats in clear view flying at times a few feet from me. I got some nice recordings. On my way out, I was able to record two more Big Brown Bates on Cedar Hill, and possible got two recordings of a Silver-haired Bat. I don't usually listen for bats this early and thought I might be lucky with the warm weather and see an Eastern Red Bad, which I didn't end up seeing or hearing.