Saturday, December 13, 2008

I came across a woodcock outside St. Vartan's Playground on the 36th St side, between 1st Ave and the tunnel entrance street.

Friday, October 17, 2008


So I was sitting in Yanticaw Brook Park with Aunt Pat and wondering why bird activity was so minimal. A hawk soared above, briefly, then was lost in the clouds, so one might conclude the area was not hospitable for potential prey. Then Bam! A short cry and a few moments later a Red-Tail swooped a few yards in front of our bench, a squirrel in his talons. He perched on a tree branch and had his lunch. I hope the squirrel died sooner rather than later.

Monday, October 13, 2008

1 & 2 Kinglets


3 4 5
Nashville Warbler ???




6 7 8 9
Orange Crowned Warbler



Murray Hill hopped with birds over the past week. The three guys above were all at St. Vartan's Park, the little enclosed garden on 1st Avenue. The other birds were in the area behind my building. I had no time to blog so I'll give them all a shout out now:
Nashville Warbler ( I think, double checking)
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Blue-headed vireo (which I had called "solitary vireo" in ebirds. Time to start using the newer Peterson's.
Red eyed-vireo
Common yellow throat (several)
White throated sparrow (a few)
Yellow-rump (2)
Northern Parula
Ruby crowned kinglets (a few)
Song Sparrow (several)
Blue jays (2)
House sparrows
Rock doves (of course)
Mourning doves
Double-crested Cormorant (East River)
Northern Juncos Slate variety (2)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I returned and got some shots of his head and bill. Consensus from ebirds advisers is that it is a Virginia Rail.



I walked by the vacant lot which is bounded by 35th and 36th St and between 1st Ave and the FDR. I saw this little bird, pictured above and below. This is the best I could do, as he is behind a chain link fence. I saw a long bill before he tucked his head in.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cape May
My first time birding Cape May, limited though it was, gave me a taste for the spot. We just spent a short while at Cape May Point State Park but the appeal for birders is immediately obvious. I had my new spotting scope so concentrated on shorebirds and waders, but other birds were so obvious they must have felt slighted that I was paying them no mind. So, many Canada Geese, several mute swans, semi-palmated plover, common terns, Forsters terns, Great Egret, Eastern Kingbird, American Oyster Catcher, a small olive warbler, barn and tree swallows. That's the short list. there were things I never Id's and things I never saw or don't recall. Rather rushed feeling. Beautiful day.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I joined a birding class led by Joe Giunta at Jamaica Bay on Sunday the 17th. I added a number of birds to my life list, and I'll try to set down everything I saw from memory:
Mute Swans
Greater Yellow Legs*
Lesser Yellow Legs*
Least Sandpipers*(above)
Spotted Sandpiper*
Semipalmated Plover*
Semipalmated Sandpiper*
Willet*
Pectoral Sandpiper*
American Oyster Catcher*
Glossy Ibis
Wood Duck*
Short-billed Dowitcher*
Least Fly Catcher
Mallards
American Black Duck
Tri-colored Heron*
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron
Little Blue Heron
White phase immature blue heron
Green Heron
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Black Bellied Plover
Common tern
Foster's Tern*
Cedar Waxwing
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Laughing Gull
Boat Tailed Grackle*
American Goldfinch
Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird
Osprey
Double-Crested Cormorants
In Transit:
Rock Doves
House Sparrows
40 birds, I think 14 life birds

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yesterday I rode the water taxi to Ikea in Red Hook (Brooklyn). The ride was fun, I love any excuse to be out on the water. The grounds around the store are park-like, with benches, grassy areas and walkways, all river (or estuary) side.
Before I went in the store I checked out the back area and behind a fence, with only small gaps for viewing, was a pond, fringed by reeds and cattails. Barn swallows perched on a wire overhead, and on the pond I caught a glimpse of a bird which I can't ID, but it had a distinctive ring around its bill. A grebe? Not sure; just couldn't get close enough.

Friday, July 04, 2008


So I finally got to JBWR to see the black-necked stilt. Good thing a woman was there to point it out to me, because I sure couldn't spot it with my Monarchs. I seldom feel the need for the expense of a scope, but for distant birds it's the only thing. Also for digiscoping. In the long run a decent scope would be like buying a camera lens as well.
I did get a nice tree swallow, above.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Central Park, Thursday AM. A rather quiet day, and I just had time to sprint around the lake and the Ramble.
Black and White Warbler
Wilson's Warbler (above)
Red-Winged Blackbirds
American Redstarts (several)
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Blue Jay
Eastern Towhee
House Wren
Vireo (not sure which)
Wood Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Starlings
House Sparows
Rock Doves
Mallards

Monday, May 26, 2008





Garrison, NY again on Sunday the 25th.
An American Robin sang much of the day, and my highlight was again the Eastern Bluebird, female, and male (m pictured above.) I also snapped this house finch, which seemed larger than others I've seen, but I can't think what else it may have been. One bird was really intriguing. It had a pinkish tinge to its breast, I believe it was white on its belly, though streaked, dark above and acted like a flycatcher. The best I could do was the shot of its underparts. I can't find a flycatcher with the rosey breast. A swallow?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Garrison, just up the Hudson was a birding disappointment, I thought, until late afternoon, when the sun finally put in an appearance. Then, in short order, I saw a tree sparrow, a group of Cedar Waxwings a magnificent Eastern Bluebird (I'm sure he knows he's magnificient) and a couple of goldfinches, one pictured above. I also spied a hawk I couldn't ID, a crow and some turkey vultures. I caught a flash of black and orange out of the corner of my eye, but too quick to focus on.
Funny thing about the Cedar Waxwings, on Friday I came across and posted a photo of a Waxwing that I'd taken years ago. I have seen few Waxwings in recent years, but immediately after posting one, I came across the others. Or they came across me.

Friday, May 23, 2008



Pictures taken long ago, a yellow rump warbler in the Great Swamp in NJ, and a cedar waxwing in the tree at 427.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Another quiet day in CP. The trees at the South Gate of the reservoir were jumping with warblers: Magnolia, yellow-rump, bay breasted and my first Chestnut sided warbler. On to the Ramble where I ticked off the usual suspects magnolia, yellow-rump, black and white warbler, lots of redstarts, American Robins, starlings, grackles, mallards, cardinals, blue jays, oven bird, veery, house wren, northern water thrush, Northern Flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, double-crested cormorant, swallows over the lake, I didn't take a good enough look to ID them. Gray catbirds, tufted titmouse (with such a prominent black forehead I thought I had a black crested titmouse). Red winged blackbirds in abundance. I saw a little olive bird which might be a vireo, and another yellowish bird which I can't guess at because I was distracted by the telephone. Not a bad day, but as migration season moves along one wants it all. Now.
The little guy above is a mystery, but is likely a common yellow throat, though in my previous, limited experience, they are not on the ground as much as this one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday in CP around the Ramble:
Black and white warbler
American Redstarts (M&F)
Grackles (lots)
American Robins
Magnolia Warblers
Mallards (in the Frick fountain)
Double Crested Cormorant
Starlings
Rock Doves
House Sparrows
White Throated Sparrows
A wren, not sure which one
Slow day, but better than no day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008



A quiet day in Central Park after a day of cold, heavy rain. Spent an hour and a half or so along the lake and in the Ramble.


White Breasted Nuthatch
Black and White Warbler
Black Thraoted Blue Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-Rump Warblers
Wilson's Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White Throated Sparrows
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Northern Cardinals
American Redstarts (several)
Starlings
House Sparrows
Rock Doves
Mourning Doves
Grackles
American Robins
Mallards (2)
Veery
Wood Thrush
Overbirds (several, seen and heard)
Downy Woodpecker
And a Raccoon in a tree.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


A quick visit to the park. Nice Green Heron sharing the Azalea pool with a mallard. Orioles male and female in the little rocky area above the pool. American Redstarts, Magnolia and yellow-rumps, black throated blue warblers, Cardinals, Starlings, House Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Grackles, Common Yellow throats, Northern Flicker, female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak and I think, a female Hooded Warbler.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A lovely Scarlet Tanager today in the Ramble, as well as a Summer Tanager
Canada Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler (my first)
Yellow rump
Magnolia
Redstarts (male and female, several)
Common yellow Throat
Black throated blue Warbler
Baltimore Orioles (2)
Great Crested Fly Catcher
Black and white warblers (a few)
Swainson's thrush
Northern Water thrush
Oven birds (several
Gray Catbirds (several)
Blue Jays
Northern Cardinals
Great White Egret flyover
Mallard pair, male and female
Starlings
House Sparrows
White throated sparrows
Rock Doves
Mourning Doves
Wood Thrush
American Robins (lots)

Saturday, May 10, 2008



The May 10th list:

Scarlet Tanager
Indigo Bunting
Rose Breasted Gros beak (several females and one male)
Black-throated green warbler
Black-Throated blue Warbler
Several Common Yellow Throats
White throated Sparrows
Hooded Warbler (a first)
Bay breasted Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Parula (My first)
American Redstarts
Northern Flicker
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrows
Starlings
Rock Doves
Ovenbirds
Catbirds
Northern Waterthrush
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Blue Jays
Cardinals
Mallards
Cormorants
Green Heron
Great White Egret
Mourning Doves
Grackles
Downy Woodpecker
Black and white warbler
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Red bellied Woodpecker
Veery
Red Winged blackbird
Eastern Kingbird
Barn Swallows (three or four, over reservoir)
Wood thrush
American Robins
Great black backed gull
Herring gulls (three)
Canada Goose
Common Loon
I think that's 43, for anyone who made a pledge for the Birdathon. Oh, no one did? Not too late.
There are one or two things I described into the reocorder, and still have to see if I can ID them otherwise, that's it.

Missed the dickcissel and the Cape May Warbler sighted.
Don't care, I was pleased.
I started in the Conservatory Garden, headed up to the Meer, around Nutter's Battery, into the North Woods, along the lock, the pool, the Reservoir, down into the Ramble. The last stop at the Ramble is where I saw the Bay Breasted, the tanager, the Rose Breasted, the Hooded warbler, Northern Parula, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Kingbird, magnolia Warbler


Double crested cormorant of the lake (above) was just one of the goodies to be seen this AM in Central Park Other fun birds included a green egret at the Meer:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A super couple of hrs in Central Park this AM
2 Red Bellied Woodpeckers (Below)
Indigo Bunting
Black throated Blue Warbler Male
Hermit Thrush
Veery
American Redstarts (2)
Oven birds (several)
Mallards (several)
Cardinals ( a few, male and female)
Common Yellow throats (many, one playing peek-a-boo above)
White throated Sparrows (many)
Several black and white warblers
Black throated green warblers
House Wren
European starlings (many)
American Robins (many)
Red winged black bird
Grackles (a few)
Cat birds (many)
House sparrows many)
Mourning doves (2)
Rock doves (many)

I think that's the lot.

Saturday, May 03, 2008




I had a magical day in Northern Central Park. I arrived at the Conservatory Garden @8:30 spent two hours at the Meer, the North Woods, in the Ravine and along the Loch.
Black-Crowned Night Heron (above)
Great Egret
Mallards (several)
3 Canvas Back Ducks
Loads of
American Robins
European Starlings
and Catbirds
Northern Cardinals (several)
Indigo Bunting (my first) NW
Overbirds (my first)
Ruby-crowned Kinglets
Gold Finch
Titmouse
Black and white warbler
White throated sparrows (several)
Hermit Thrushes (several)
Northern Water Thrush
Louisiana Water Thrush
Veery
Swamp Sparrow
Common Yellow Throat
Yellow rumped warbler
Black throated green warbler (my first)
Baltimore Oriole
Song sparrow
Chipping sparrow
Black-throated blue warblers

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I did not see the Protonothary warbler in Central Park today, but between yesterday and today was happy to see a Northern Flicker, Belted Kingfisher(Meer), Northern Shovelers, Buffleheads, Hermit Thrushes, lots of white throated sparrows, loads of Robins, starlings, along with Mallards, and a Great White Egret (Meer). Here is one of the shovelers.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On Saturday I caught sight of a Great Egret in flight over Rye, NY.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Upper Montclair, NJ today, and a fine birding day it was. Without much movement at all I spotted three goldfinches high in a tree, a red-bellied woodpecker which stopped by briefly, two tufted titmice, a couple of black-capped chickadees, a female Northern Cardinal, a crow, many house sparrows, a white breasted nuthatch and a white-throated sparrow. On the journey through the Meadowlands via NJ Transit, mute swans were visible, as where egrets and other waterfowl too distant to identify. The sky was blue, the clouds were few and high, the weeping cherry in Aunt Pat's yard was showing off its brilliance, and the birds were too wonderful.

Monday, April 14, 2008


A productive birding day.
A new one for my life's list in the North Woods in Central Park, thanks to Malcolm who called me over to see a Screech Owl nestled in a tree. Also saw ruby crowned kinglet, hermit thrush, white throats, the bufflehead again, mallards, and probably some other things I have to recollect when I get a minute.

Saturday, April 12, 2008







I went to Central Park today, and did not see the vesper sparrow, the spotted sandpipers, or the ring-necked duck,
but did see a lot of the usual suspects, starlings, robins, house sparrows, more Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers, a Northern Flicker (yellow shafted), titmice, white breasted nuthatch, northern juncos, ruby crowned kinglets, a coot in the reservoir, a night crowned black heron and great blue heron, a cormorant, white throated sparrows, cardinals
and three additions to the life list: a palm warbler, a northern shoveler and a bufflehead which I managed to snap and are pictured here in that order, top to bottom. Still enjoying my camera, but am having a wee issue with the fact that when the long lens is used, the rangefinder is obscured. Not great for trying to capture a small object like a bird in sharp focus, but I'l figure it out.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I caught sight of this immature Yellow Bellied Sapsucker on 31 st, lunching from a tree on which hung a feeder. I have been noticing more feeders lately than I recall seeing before, and more YBS's than I've ever seen in the city. I got a good shot, even without the telephoto lens, and am not unhappy despite cutting off the tail. I'm tempted to head out for a shot of the whole bird, but have work to do and don't want to be compulsive. I think I love my camera, the resolution is great, at 12.1, it should be. I just have to figure out how I cut off so much, when I thought I had it all centered.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finally got the little guy. This Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been frequenting East 35th between 2nd and 3rd since at least the Autumn. I never seemed to have my camera, or he was too elusive when I had it, so it took me a while to get him. Nothing remarkable, but on 35th St. you are happy for every bird that is not a pigeon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Scott's Oriole at Union Square


Rather jolly. Saturday morning I asked for a special bird this weekend (Whom did I ask? The creator of all birds and people and everything else.) Within minutes I read on a bird mailing list about a Scott's Oriole at Union Square. This bird is usually confined to the American Southwest, Mexico and parts south, not Manhattan, so this was a rare sighting indeed. I hightailed it down there, and didn't see the Oriole, but did see a nice red-tail, very close up. I tried again for the Oriole after mass this AM and sure enough, I got one for my life list. Feisty little guy, unfazed by all the attention. There was also a yellow-bellied sapsucker, which I didn't see, and a kestrel, or so I'm told.
A nice bird weekend. Just what I asked for. God is good.

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