Date: 3/1/17 8:11 pm
From: Thomas Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Clinton Cove & Central Park, NYC 3/1 (+YHBL in Richmond Co., NY: 2/28)
Don't see a 'cross-post' here on the adult male Yellow-headed
Blackbird on Staten Island (Richmond County, NY) - Tuesday morning,
2/28, that Professor Richard Veit, PhD found at the main parking area
to Wolfe's Pond Park, which is off Hylan Blvd.- the report appeared in
the SINaturaList group, which covers Richmond County. It does not
appear that there was a follow-up report, for a later hour, or the
next day (today).
- - - -
John Sepenoski has been wonderfully keeping track of the wintering
Townsend's Solitaire in Southold (Suffolk County) NY, which has now
entered a third month at the same location there along North Sea Drive
(the species may, or may not, hang in through mid-spring, as seen in
some of the birds of this species in New England & in other NYS
occurrences; it will be interesting to read how late, or not, this one
lingers around that site.)
- - -
hm, I will opine that a Lincoln's Sparrow reported at intervals this
winter at Bryant Park (mid-town Manhattan NYC) is rather remarkable as
an over-winterer; there may have been a bit of transitioning in the
bird's plumage &/or this individual may have been (and was) quite
scruffy at times, in its stay there. Anyone able to might attempt good
documentary photos of this bird - I've tried & not done too well, but
have not encountered the species in every (often-brief) stop-in at
this often-busy, ultra-urban park. Incidentally, daffodills & 20+
other types of garden flowers have begun in Central, Riverside, &
other Manhattan park areas, as well as the unfurling of tiny new
leaves on many shrubs and some trees, and buds galore on many more, as
I mention more of in too much detail below ;-o

Central Park & Manhattan, N.Y. City
Ash Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 -

Pat P.'s report was spot-on for the CP reservoir with 2 Pied-billed
Grebes, 1 Red-necked Grebe, and 1 Common Loon seen there on Tuesday,
as well as a pair of Hooded Mergansers, and a fair number of American
Coots, & Northern Shovelers continuing. It was fun to see & hear
numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds (about 40, with one or more females
in the flock) at the Meer (in the park's NE corner) at day's end
Tuesday as well as nice looks at Wood Ducks (pair) and the 'best bird'
in the park all this winter (an Indian Runner Duck), plus other
waterbirds including American Coot. The park's highest concentration
of American Robins was also to be seen in the park's far-northern end.

The above reservoir situation remained as per the above, for today,
the 1st of March.

Linda Ewing of Brooklyn, USA (Kings County NY) found a first-of-year
Eastern PHOEBE in Prospect Park this Wednesday morning, and inspired
by her sighting, I had time in Manhattan's Central Park to seek the
same, but did not come up with one in that park; however, in a day
when yet again, the high temperature touched 70 (F.) I was inspired to
continue outdoors-ing, and at an unexpected location, Clinton Cove
park (which became better-known last year, thanks to the appearance of
very-surprising Seaside Sparrows after a patch of stormy weather then,
in 2016) - which is on the Hudson river near West 54-55th Streets &
has a bit of varied if minimal habitat, there was a single Eastern
Phoebe, happily finding some insect life in the late-day milding. (The
bird was nearer the north edges of that small park.)

I've not done quite as much spring-migrant birding at or near the
Hudson, but in what I have (& mostly in Riverside Park's northern
areas, closer to home-base), have found E. Phoebe only regularly in
the month of April (there), however in Manhattan overall, there are
February records for that flycatcher species, and many, many sightings
in most recent years by the first day of spring. And, since today
(about 3 weeks ahead of the vernal equinox), at both of these parks I
visited, even at the smaller Clinton Cove, flowers, buds, & small
leaves were all unfurling, & the condition of many garden-park plants
is that of what, in a decade or two prior, would have been "expected"
2-4 weeks later than this date, we have a situation with the urban
parks where 'heat-island" effects make for uncommonly-early bloom
dates, and it's telling to watch native plant species too as they do
(or do not) start to bud or bloom, or even appear above ground - in
Central Park today, I counted more than 2 dozen species of plants in
bloom, & at least a dozen in bloom in the Shakespeare Garden alone
(what some of these do when our NYC temp's fall into the sub-freezing
area for many hours this weekend, I'm not sure) this first day of
March! There have been many insect emergences as well, & so some of
the insectivores will be fine once past the few nights & days of
wintry weather. All of this is part of what's happening globally, and
it may at some point be glaringly evident to everyone that climate-
change is the issue of this age on Planet Earth, affecting every
aspect of human activity and of course all other life in increasing

One feisty Red-headed Woodpecker still transitioning into full adult
colors is in the area of the park just west of East 68th Street - this
morning, it was fending off Blue Jays, starlings & other takers with
what I interpreted as not only glee, but a bit of NYC 'tude. My sense
is that it is a "she", as females of the family can often be the more-
aggessive, at least away from actual nest-territories, as this & all
known of this species are, when found in Manhattan. (n.b., I've no
proof of it being a female.)

At the Pond in the SE part of Central Park today, the now-alternate
plumaged drake Northern Pintail ("pin" now in place, as Ardith Bondi
noted here recently) was seen easily at the northern part of the pond,
& the oft-visiting Great Blue Heron was rather obvious at the SE outer
edge of the sanctuary, or in the se portion of the pond's inner edges;
it too has been showing a lot of plumage; a drake Wood Duck was
harder (for me) to spot, but was there as well as a few of the other
regulars of all this winter in that area: Brown Thrasher, Eastern
Towhee (male), Swamp Sparrow, & yes, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, these all
noticed just after the morning's thunderstorm passed, & while still
drizzling, in the area on the south side of the skating rink & vicinity.

The Ramble contained some of these same species - Brown Thrasher,
Eastern Towhee, Swamp Sparrow, and a (seen singing, no less) Ruby-
crowned Kinglet that also almost certainly overwintered; there were
also some [red] Fox Sparrows seen in a few areas, including the south
& north ends, & Ramble areas, the latter also including Strawberry
Fields today. Many of the White-throated Sparrows are now in brighter
plumage, but the full-on breeding crispness is not quite there just
yet in most.

These messages may interest some on the NYS list, as they reflect the
strange new realities of global climate change & what we may be seeing
on the local front: (2 reports in one post & added cut&paste)

"All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the
individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. ~

The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to
include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. ~

A land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the
land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect
for his-her fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such."

- Aldo Leopold (18871948), U.S. wildlife biologist, conservationist,
professor, author, best known for his book "A Sand County
Almanac" (1949), which has sold more than two million copies.

good birding, and thanks to those respecting all wildlife and other
park users.

Tom Fiore,


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