Saturday, April 5, 2014


I'm not a "competitive birder". I do keep track of how many birds I've seen each year in Manhattan (well, in New York County, anyway); as you may have noticed, I usually note each new species on this blog. At the moment, I'm a few days behind on the count, so I'm going to catch up now. Don't worry--at least there'll be some photos, so it won't be all OCD.

April Fool's Day, there were three Mute Swans on the Central Park Reservoir. They were hanging out pretty far from shore, so the photos were not brilliant:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Mute Swans, Central Park Reservoir

I had thought the bills of the young birds turned from pink to black by the start of winter, and then to orange in the spring. Apparently not. Now I'm even more convinced that the swan I saw on the Hudson last month was a Tundra (Whistling) Swan, not a Mute. Anyway, Mute Swan was species number 84 in New York County

Wednesday, my first Great Egret of the year was at Turtle Pond.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Great Egret, Turtle Pond, Central Park

Isn't that a fine looking bird? It helpfully flew from the middle of the south shore to the east end just as I arrived.

Thursday, my first Golden-Crowned Kinglets of the season, at Tupelo Meadow and Azalea Pond. I got a much better photo on Friday, which is in my previous post, along with mentions of my three new species for the year from Friday: Louisiana Waterthrush, Merlin, and Winter Wren (none of which provided usable photos).

Finally, today (Saturday) there were Chipping Sparrows at the feeders in Evodia.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Chipping Sparrow, Central Park

That's species number 90 of the year. Last year I was at 74 on this date, and got my 90th on April 20. I'll shut up about my list now, and instead give you a few

Rumors of Warblers (and other birds)

There were reports of a bright Palm Warbler yesterday, on the rocks just outside the Conservancy Garden near Harlem Meer and later at Compost Hill nearby.  Several people told me there were Yellow-Rumped Warblers in the Ramble today, but they escaped me, as did the Louisiana Waterthrush reported in the cut on the west side of the Point and later in the Oven.  Megan Gavin reported a Northern Waterthrush--way early!--at the Upper Lobe;  I missed that one, too.  That's all the Warblers I know about.

My best bird today was actually a drake Ring-Necked Duck on the Upper Lobe of the Lake.  One spent a good portion of the winter on the Reservoir, but a Ring-Necked is still a good bird for the Park.

Nobody has seen the Virginia Rail again.  Tom Fiore reported on the MYSBirds mailing list that it was actually a bird released by a wildlife rehabilitator.  Hopefully it did better than another release, a common Loon seen on the Lake on Thursday which--rumor has it--died.

I've heard varying reports about whether the Red-Necked Grebe is still on the Reservoir.  Farther afield, Joseph DiCostanzo reports that White-Winged Scoter are still at Inwood Hill Park, and Ben Cacace reported two American Oystercatchers (!!) on the Lawrence Point Ledge Light, which is visible from the northeast shore of Randall's Island,.  By "visible", I mean it's about halfway to Rikers Island, so you'll need a 'scope.  Assuming the birds are still there, of course.  Well, I guess you'd need a 'scope to tell for sure that they're not there, too.

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