Date: 5/10/18 3:19 am
From: Tom Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Manhattan 5/6-7-8 (lingering migrants / lowered new "drop-ins")

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Manhattan including (in particular) Central Park (N.Y. City) -
Continuing highlights as of Tuesday late afternoon included Red-headed
Woodpeckers, still at least 2 as previously, one as seen by multitudes
in the Ramble, & a second also in expected bright plumage, in & around
trees to the east of N. Meadow, usually nearer the E. Drive at about
E. 99th, but also has moved in to nearer the Rec. Ctr. handball courts
& in other adjacent areas; it’s been pretty quiet, too. For
warblers, at least 28 species were still being found over the noted 3
days, with a Prothonotary moving around the Lake’s edges, esp. but
not always within sight of the Point, in the Ramble’s SE portion, &
a now very skulking Kentucky that’s been available but hard to spot
in the north end, now above the Loch’s north side, a modest number
of ongoing Bay-breasted & Cape May, & at least 2 male Hooded (singing
at Great Hill & by the Ramble’s NW portion as of Tues. a.m.) plus
some Wilson’s, Canada, & fair numbers of Blackpoll amongst
later-moving species. One species NOT yet reported at all, in
Manhattan (as of this writing) is Mourning, although that species has
sometimes appeared by & before this date, but more traditionally is
expected a bit later on in the spring. Most of the Pine & Palm
Warblers moved on by Monday, but a few Palm, including of the
“western” form, were still about, often quieter females and high
in trees rather than tail-pumping on lawns as in earlier parts of the
spring. I’m not sure of any Tues. sightings of Yellow-throated but
that warbler has a tendency, like some Kentuckys in Central in
particular, to “disappear” & then turn up again, possibly in a
just slightly different area from the most-recent place[s] where seen.
There have been migrants in almost all of the other parks &
greenspaces in Manhattan, a number of which I’ve had (shorter)
visits in. However, as seen in Central Park, the variety & numbers of
those migrants have diminished since the stronger push & drop-in of
last week’s high numbers. Riverside Park, where as many as 20
species of warblers were seen less than a week ago, may have had a
dozen or so warbler spp. on Tuesday, at least in areas north of W.
96th Street.
The overall numbers of all migrants were diminished, park-wide & also
(seemingly) borough / county-wide by Tuesday. This despite, or more
likely in part because of, an excellent (big) night migration on
Monday night, which saw huge numbers of birds move past the southern
edges of NY & neighbor states, on their ways north; that movement was
as broad as NYS is wide, and it included a major flight moving up the
eastern edges of the state overnight… under very clear skies (at
least around N.Y. City) likely adding further to onward movement, &
thus a tendency for birds that had fed & rested & were “ready” to
move, took advantage of this large flight, with good conditions, to
get outta town and head farther on to &/or towards breeding areas
north of the city.
There was a little of an interesting “effect” noted with at least
some of the species slightly more-expected to peak in late April, or
earlier, including some sparrows (White-throated, Chipping, & Swamp it
seemed in particular, all common passage migrants in the NYC parks &
greenspaces) with E. Towhees also, coming in where many had already
-previously- passed, this notes as of Tuesday. There also was a
general dimunition of many common neotropical migrants with such
species as tanagers & orioles & even Gray Catbird in somewhat lower
supply than on prior days, & far lower than had been just 5-6 days
prior. (this could be seen thru a survey of several Manhattan parks,
not just a peek into one section, for example the Ramble in Central
Park, likely the most heavily birded single location in May in all of
N.Y. City, but not an entire universe of migration goings-on all in
itself, by any means (despite the fabulous birds found in that one
location year after year under lots of scrutiny).
Certain species may have increased just ever-so-slightly in the past
few days, including some Empidonax (mainly Least Flycatchers still) &
perhaps Red-eyed Vireo, Gray-cheeked (type) Thrushes, and a few
warbler spp. such as Chestnut-sided, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird,
maybe a couple of others - but many, many individual migrants, -
warblers key amongst them - moved on, as of Monday night…
Birds of Sun. - Tues., May 6-7-8, 2018 in (esp.) Central Park, & also
in other parks in Manhattan:
Double-crested Cormorant (esp. noted as flyovers, ongoing visitors
Great Egret (mostly noted as fly-bys. esp. from n. end)
Snowy Egret (multiple fly-bys, as usual over the n. end)
Green Heron (multiple, nest-selection going on)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (multiple at first-light by various
waterbodies)Yellow-crwoned Night-Heron (lingering at Lake)
Canada Goose
Wood Duck (1)
Gadwall (2)
Northern Shoveler (still on reservoir to Monday)Ruddy Duck (reservoir)
Osprey (Sunday fly-by)
Red-tailed Hawk (local residents)
American Kestrel (local residents)
Peregrine Falcon (local residents)
Solitary Sandpiper (many fewer)
Spotted Sandpiper (fewer)
Laughing Gull (few noted as fly-bys, mid-day reservoir visitors)
Ring-billed Gull (very diminished now)
[American] Herring Gull (modest number)
Great Black-backed Gull (small numbers)
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Black-billed Cuckoo (most moved on by Tuesday)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (multiple)
Common Nighthawk (Sunday & Monday)
Chimney Swift (multiple)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (ongoing visitors, still passing thru)
Red-headed Woodpecker (2, ongoing)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Yellow-shafted Flicker (nesting, & a few probable migrants still
Eastern Wood-Pewee (multiple)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1 was seen, & reportedly calling for a
Least Flycatcher (modest numbers)Empidonax [genus] Flycatcher (perhaps
still mainly Least Flycatcher)
Great Crested Flycatcher (multiple)
Eastern Kingbird (multiple)
Blue-headed Vireo (getting scarcer by Tues.)
Yellow-throated Vireo (few)
Warbling Vireo (nesting or at nest-sites, and migrants continuing)
Red-eyed Vireo (increasing a little)
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow (fewer)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (fewer)
Barn Swallow (fewer)
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren (nesting, & still some migrants passing)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (very few, mostly females now)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (few)
Veery (still fairly common, esp. north woods)Hermit Thrush (in very
reduced numbers now)
Gray-cheeked / possible Bicknell's Thrush (most by calls & plumage
have been Gray-cheeked)
Swainson's Thrush (modest numbers)
Wood Thrush (a few selecting nest sites; ongoing migrants)
American Robin
Gray Catbird (plenty)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (increased & often overlooked)
-Blue-winged Warbler (multiple)
Tennessee Warbler (multiple, tougher to observe now, with left-out
Nashville Warbler (multiple)
Northern Parula (multiple, obvious decrease though)
Yellow Warbler (multiple; more females have arrived)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (slight increase by Tuesday)
Magnolia Warbler (multiple, females have arrived)
Cape May Warbler (fairly good numbers continue, both sexes)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (multiple, more females arrived)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (plenty)
Black-throated Green Warbler (females in particular now)
Blackburnian Warbler (females & some 1st-year males in)
Prairie Warbler (females but still singing males)
Palm Warbler (late now)
Bay-breasted Warbler (relatively few still)
Blackpoll Warbler (very modest increase)
Black-and-white Warbler (decreased, more females now)
American Redstart (modest increase)
Prothonotary Warbler (continuing thru Tuesday, Lake edges)
Worm-eating Warbler (several)
Ovenbird (increased)
Northern Waterthrush (singing, & non-singing likely females)Louisiana
Waterthrush (at least 2, getting late for being here)
Common Yellowthroat (increased)Kentucky Warbler (n. end, skulking into
Monday at least)
Hooded Warbler (at least several into Tues. incl. 2 singing males)Wilson's
Warbler (small increases)
Canada Warbler ( “ “ )
Summer Tanager (at least 2 continued into Tues.)
Scarlet Tanager (reduced numbers by Tues.)
Eastern Towhee (some fresh arrivals Tues.)
Chipping Sparrow (modest fresh arrivals Tues.)
Savannah Sparrow (very modest arrivals Tues.)
Song Sparrow (nesting & a few late movers too)
Lincoln's Sparrow (not many)
Swamp Sparrow (very modest arrivals Tuesday)
White-throated Sparrow (fresh arrivals Tuesday)
White-crowned Sparrow (not that many)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (further arrivals, w/ more females coming in)
Indigo Bunting (more still arriving)
Red-winged Blackbird (females still pushing thru, a few nesting now)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole (fewer than 5-6 days prior)
Baltimore Oriole (ongoing, & now setting up nests)
House Finch
Pine Siskin (surprise singleton with Am. Goldfinches on Monday, n.
American Goldfinch (multiple / very overlooked now)
House Sparrow
Some words of wisdom & also just plain commonsense for almost any
public birding area in the world; this from a keen & quiet birder of
Manhattan referring to a Central Park Ramble sighting on Tuesday, May
8th - " Blackburnian warbler at the cut at the Point. The birds make
sound (&) I don't, because I know how to behave in heavily birded
areas.” - ‘nuff said or sure ought to be.
— — Now here is a sea-rescue story the likes of which no one
expected - & even a real pelagic-addict likely has not heard of
before, so far from shore:
- -A brightly-plumaged Varied Bunting has been recorded in Allegheny
County of Pennsylvania. It has required homeowner permission via
telephone (at the least) to be sought by anyone. Amazingly it’s
actually a 2nd state record, assuming acceptance by that state’s
birds records committee. As many will know the species is really a
Mexican one (that may also just barely make it into parts of adjacent
Belize &/or Guatemala), with known areas of occurrence in the U.S.
principally near the U.S.-Mexico border regions. Anyone even thinking
of visiting the area, in hopes of seeing this rarity, must read &
follow the request made via this post to PA-Birds:;id=1422671
(A few very nice photos of the bird by western PA birder Geoff Malosh
can be viewed in his eBird checklist - scroll down thru the list to
view the Varied Bunting photos) - -
& at risk of seeming overly repetitious, DO NOT GO SEEKING THIS BIRD
unless you have first made personal phone contact with the listed
person in the list-serve post referenced here. It is OFF-LIMITS to ANY
'casual drop-ins’ & to all UNinvited seekers. (n.b., this is not a
request by me; also, it’s in the norm these days for many, many rare
birds that may linger a while.) - FURTHER NOTE for Tuesday, May 8th,
the V. Bunting was NOT being seen by those invited to look, that day,
& it is possible it’s moved on from that location.
--It may be partly just a matter of more keen observers out & about (&
possibly more with cameras &/or devices that can capture sounds as
well as images), but in any event, there’ve been a notable batch of
extra-limital sightings of Swainson’s Warbler so far this spring,
with one just a few days ago in the state of Colorado (amazingly, a
2nd state record, if accepted - a sighting with many observers; the
farthest-west Swainson’s Warbler seems to have been one in a prior
year, in the state of Arizona; by far most extra-limital records of
the species have been from the eastern parts of N. America, & also by
far, most not terribly far from the known breeding range in the
southeast U.S. with a modest bit of east Texas as part of that
breeding range) - this is a species to keep ears (especially, note the
differences in the song from Louisiana Waterthrush), and of course
eyes out for, all the way thru the month of May. Many Swainson’s
Warblers will have arrived on breeding grounds by early May, but there
could still be odd movements, as with so many migrants, thru the
busiest spring month for bird migration. Those lucky enough to have
surveyed for Swainson’s Warbler either in breeding areas, or on
wintering grounds (esp. on Cuba, & in parts of the Yucatan of Mexico)
may know that this is a skulker, and may not be “common” but nor
is it a really rare species - just (usually) rather shy, with very
skulking behavior. Even though an individual male may come out & sing
openly on occasion, they are far more likely to remain rather
well-hidden. The “trick” in spotting them can be to have one that
“thinks” it is hidden from view, even as observers get the desired
views, most likely with a proverbial bird-in-a-bush (or on the
Thanks to those who practice ethical birding everywhere.
Good month of May observations,
Tom Fioremanhattan

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