Date: 5/15/19 1:47 pm
From: Thomas Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Manhattan, NYC 5/11-15 (Evening Grosbeaks, Blue Grosbeaks, Yellow-throated Warbler 5/15, & more)
A White-faced Ibis was reported after noon by K. Thompson on Wednesday, 15 May at Hecksher State Park, Nassau Co. NY as were at least 65 Glossy Ibis in the same area.

2 Cattle Egrets (together) were photographed and reported by B. Nott & L. Scrima (& also seen by others) at the Walkill N.W.R. in Orange County, NY - reported as seen early Wed. 5/15 near the junction of "Liberty Lane & Winding Waters" trails there.

An adult Little Gull (in alternate i.e. breeding plumage) was carefully observed moving by J.Riis Park in coastal Queens County early on Sunday, May 12 by S. Ausubel & C. Finger (10,000 Birds collaborative), with a variety of other expected members of the family Laridae (gulls, terns, skimmers) and without the presence of Bonaparte’s Gull; this was in the rain, but with visibility reported as good, which will happen at times in sea-watching even with rain falling.

In my previous post, I mistakenly placed the date as “4/14” into the header-subject line; the date was of course 5/14, as stated in the intro. of the report from Central Park, NYC. (I may have thought that it felt more like mid-April weather, or for that matter, a decent weather-day for mid-March!) Thankfully, we are seeing much more mid-May-like weather again. Birds had been suffering in some areas from a relative paucity of food due to the cool & wet conditions.

Expect a stronger migration Wed. night into Thursday, likely many more arrivals showing in the N.Y. City area and well beyond. Dependent as well on any localized heavier showers or chance storms, there could be at least some localized migrant ‘fallouts” in & around the region.
Manhattan, N.Y. City - notes in particular from Tuesday/14th & Saturday, 11 May, 2019 -
with some notes from New York County locations off-Manhattan (from the other islands)

The mid-point of May in Manhattan, & we have at least a few EVENING Grosbeaks still around & passing through! Most have been heard more than seen - on Wed. 5/15, there were audible calls from the area of the Loch (aka Ravine) in Central Park’s north end, and about simultaneously, heard from near the n.w. end of The Lake, on the west edge of the Central Park Ramble. However, a female Evening Grosbeak has shown itself (again) around & near the Azalea Pond in Central Park’s Ramble, with multiple observers. Also present &/or passing through are ongoing Pine Siskins and (more of) Purple Finches. Red-breasted Nuthatch also has continued in the multiple, although in lowered numbers from fall movements.

It’s worth adding that over the last several months, Evening Grosbeaks were found & photographed to as far into the southern U.S. as (at least) central Mississippi, with some flocks of at least 3 dozen in some locations such as in West Virginia, even to end of April, and in other locations not as far south of New York, into early May or even more recently. The species as a whole was also seen in good numbers in locations through much of the U.S. southwest (& west), but it seems that the last few months found few or none of those coming to areas east of New Mexico & Colorado, with an exception (of just one bird) in western Kansas; no recent sightings in Texas, and few near the far-west TX border area, in s.e. New Mexico in recent months. Far north & east of New York, a sighting of a single Eve.-beak was recorded from Labrador, a short way north of the northern tip of Newfoundland only a few days ago.

Of perhaps ‘local' interest only, the non-native Turkey Oaks [Quercus serris, native to southeastern Europe & thru the nation of Turkey; planted in a number of parks in N.Y. City) in Central Park, which leaf out a bit later than other oaks, were again productive recently, including on Wednesday. A YELLOW-THROATED Warbler was found in the Turkey Oaks along the western part of the reservoir & bridle path, not far from a park entrance at W. 90th St. (this area made best-known with the occurrence of a state-rare Kirtland’s Warbler in May of 2018). These trees also hosted at least one Yellow-throated Warbler and many other migrants earlier this spring, in Central Park. They are sometimes the most-productive oaks in mid to late May for finding migrants, as other oak species and cultivars may already have reached a stage where less food is available to the insectivorous migrants in the form of various arthropods, but especially of caterpillars of certain small moth species, a staple of many birds in spring. More Turkey Oaks are located along the bridle path of Central Park immediately south of the reservoir & those trees have been getting a bit active again this week.

Some migrants still being seen & heard on Wed. 5/15 in Manhattan included Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm & Pine Warblers & Louisiana Waterthrush, while the multitudes of ongoing Yellow-bellied Sapsucker reports into mid-May in New York County suggest that many of that species have been reluctant to move on - the species is not known to breed there. Also recorded for Wed. 5/15 was a moderately late American Woodcock, assuming twas not a release from any rehab.(?)

A number of interesting aspects to the rainy, chilly day in Manhattan on Tuesday, 14 May. Thanks to Tim Healy for his timely post here, with news that at least 2 Evening Grosbeaks (the one seen earlier was a female-plumaged bird) were in the Central Park Ramble, and it is of course possible that more than two of the species were in fact present in the area. Well worth listening, & looking for, in the next few days as this species can even at this time of year sometimes linger in unexpected places. Pine Siskin was again reported, also in Central Park, and this species also is worth listening & looking for, sometimes to be found mixed with American Goldfinch flocks.

A BLUE Grosbeak (female-plumaged) was photographed by L. Beausoleil & seen with ‘G.S.S.’ on Governors Island on Tuesday (5/14), and also present there were a few dozen Common Terns, as well as more-usual migrant species for New York County, including multiple warblers & some migrant thrushes. Another BLUE Grosbeak was reliably reported from Central Park on the same day, & also in female plumage. Bobolinks were on the move again Wednesday, with some moving thru over & perhaps stopping in at Central Park, as well as along the Hudson River greenway, & on Governors Island again (the latter report from G. Willow et al). Common Nighthawks are also moving, and could be looked & listened for locally.

There were more of at least some migrant birds in particular places in Manhattan on Tuesday than on Monday (the day prior). Some of the species that showed clear increases (albeit patchily distributed) included Indigo Bunting (of both sexes) & Scarlet Tanagers (of both sexes), plus at least these warbler species: Cape May (more than a dozen were present just in Central Park, from the s. end of that park to, most notably, the northwest sector), Ovenbird (at least 80 in Central Park alone, & many dozens more - conservatively! - in other parks & greenspaces), Common Yellowthroat (similar to the numbers of Ovenbirds), with also modestly notable numbers of Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler, and N. Parula. At least 20 species of warbler were present in Manhattan Tuesday, although seeing that lot of twenty was much more time-consuming than some would deem reasonable… and in some locations in certain parks -or in sections thereof- warblers, & migrants in general, appeared relatively sparse in variety or number. However some areas provided fairly good variety, more in keeping with what one expects here at mid-May.

Baltimore and Orchard Orioles were found in many areas in Manhattan, & some, especially of the former, will be remaining to potentially nest there. Modest numbers of sparrows, including some Lincoln’s, White-crowned, & Savannah Sparrows were found, and there are still White-throated Sparrows in modest numbers, many of the latter having moved on & it will be interesting to see if yet another later “push” of that (commonly-wintering) Zonotrichia [genus] passes thru this city, or if most of the White-throateds have already done so. Many of these that were about in recent weeks may have not been the same that wintered-over locally, but this is also an interesting conundrum, as some White-throated Sparrows, in some areas in (esp.) urban Manhattan may linger long; it also is not too rare for a few to summer in the larger parks, with absolutely no signs of any breeding.

Uncommon for Manhattan (although some nest on the isles near to that island), Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were still being seen in at least several locations on Manhattan, including in Central Park to Wed. 5/15. A Common Loon in high plumage was on the Central Park reservoir at least thru Wednesday (as also were increasingly common Double-crested Cormorants). At least 3 Ruddy Ducks also were still there then, and a rather low number of the 3 most-regular hirundines - Barn, Tree, and N. Rough-winged Swallows moving low over the reservoir’s waters.

As just one indication of nice migrants being found in small parks & greenspaces, at the Clinton Community Garden (which is named for a longstanding neighborhood) in Manhattan’s mid-west side, a Cape May Warbler, Scarlet Tanager & some other migrant species were noted by M. Edde on Wed. 5/15. Many, many other smaller parks or greenspaces are hosting migrants as well. At least 2 dozen species of warbler were found on Wednesday, 5/15 through all of New York County.

Going back to Saturday, May 11, a very good day for migration in much of the northeast, & Manhattan & it’s surrounding isles in New York County all received a good many migrants as well as some diurnal passage; Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Common Nighthawk, and at least 4 of the 5 northeastern-breeding species of Empidonax being seen/heard (the Empidonax included Least, Acadian, Willow, and Yellow-bellied Flyctachers, documented, with the possibility that Alder Flycatcher also made an appearance), as well as increases in many of the later-arriving landbird migrants, with Blackpoll Warblers and Gray-cheeked [type] Thrushes amongst the indicators of ongoing middle of May migrations. On May 11 (alone) at least 27 species of warblers were collectively found in Manhattan, that even with a few of the rarer species seeming to have departed the night before.

A Marsh Wren was again seen in an unusual location at Union Square Park in lower Manhattan on Sunday, 5/12; thanks to Alice Deutsch & others for reporting. A single Broad-winged Hawk was soaring across the north end of Central Park on Wed. 5/15, headed slowly north; this bird had what appeared to be a single missing (or very displaced) primary (a flight-feather).

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) butterflies continue to move thru, some stopping off in Manhattan, with some numbers again moving as of Wed. 5/15.

good May birding,

Tom Fiore


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