Date: 3/15/17 10:26 pm
From: Thomas Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Woodcock-wonders, Central Park, NYC 3/15
Wednesday, the 15th of March, 2017
Central Park - in Manhattan, N.Y. City

''beware the ices of March'', the soothsayer -sort of- sayth, for
which this day, in addition to weather-related perils to creatures of
the genus Homo, brought dramatics of a Scolopax-ian sort to inner/uber
Central Park (Scolopax is an avian genus, in which American Woodcock
is placed).

At an absolute minimum, there were 35-40 American Woodcock within the
park we know as Central, and those numbers, conservative as can be -
the true numbers may have been as much as triple what I am reporting
and saw for myself in 8 hours out in the cold, ice, and wind (far less
than what some of these birds are going thru - but, see below, as well).

I remained in the field until 2 hours past sunset (yes, I was wearing
'arctic' gear), and thru afternoon-evening hours, visited parts of
Central Park, & much more briefly, in Morningside Park (2 more
woodcocks found there, in just 20 minutes - that park, smaller than
Central, & a short way off to the northwest, is west of Frederick
Douglass Boulevard, and beneath/east of Morningside Drive).

Amid excitement of an historic day for the species in Central,
observations were and are very much tempered by the grave difficulty
these individual lives are in, just now. That said, birds that migrate
to and from, or reside in, temperate or cold-temperate climes, such as
American Woodcock - & many, many, many other species moving at the
''end'' of winter! - have faced these rough-weather issues over
millennia, and they are adapted, as species, to withstand such
'infrequent' situations as this seems to us to be. It has been about
twenty years (i.e., about one generation in the genus Homo, in
contemporary times), or a bit more, since an event of his magnitude in
the city of New York took place (in my memory) however some others,
with longer memory &/or deeper notes, may have more to say on this

- to add a bit to the city-wide (at least) scope of this day's
woodcock-event, there are sightings from some other areas - from each
borough (county) in city of New York, that (at least) suggest this may
have involved many, many, many dozens of woodcocks in each (of 5, in
NYC) counties - and possibly in the many many hundreds, if not even
more, thru this region in just the past 24-36 hours. Nature IS
prolific, in some (many) instances.

Higher numbers of some other species noted - Rusty Blackbirds (at
least 9), [Red] Fox Sparrows, (at least 20), & to (somewhat) lesser
extent, Hooded Merganser (at least 7), Ring-necked Duck (at least 6,
reservoir), & Dark-eyed Junco (at least 120) - these all counted in
Central Park on Wednesday, 3/15. A Red-headed Woodpecker continues in
the park, in areas west of East 68th Street.

A bird-list for Central Park on Wednesday, 3/15:

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser (reservoir)
Ruddy Duck
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
American Woodcock
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
[feral] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Eastern Phoebe [1]
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet [1]
Hermit Thrush [1]
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow [1]
[red] Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

“This thing of darkness I acknowledge - is mine.”
- The Tempest - WiIIiam Shakespeare

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that."
-'Endgame' - a 1957 Samuel Beckett play.

kiusaamista vastaan! - at any place & at any time.
- - -
good birding - and be careful on the ice,
Tom Fiore


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