16 May 2010

A day in May in Central Park, New York City

Finally a JFK layover at our downtown Manhattan hotel!
After narrowly evading the ever-spreading ash cloud from the Eyjafjallaj√∂kull just west of Iceland by some creative thinking by Chris, we landed on-time on Saturday May 15th. Beer & pork was consumed in copious amounts shortly thereafter on 46th Street with my fellow aviators James, Chris & Al. It was good to be back! And a big thanks to Captain James ‘voice of Sam Elliott’ Whitlock for showing us this great eatery. Let’s do it again James!
A fantastic Sunday was spent walking in Central Park the following Sunday, after waking up confused at the ungodly hour of 03:15 am.
Blue skies once the sun decided to get up, lots of people around but also good number of birds. I walked from 6 -9 am after delivering my old MacBook Pro for repair at Apple 5th Avenue (open 24 hrs/365 days), then from 1-4 pm before picking up my repaired Mac and preparing for the flight back to Dubai.
Two lifers were seen, both self-found: Mourning Warbler (sorry Knut) and Bay-breasted Warbler.
Met Bob and enjoyed a nice chat with him while checking out the warblers flitting about. He is good company.
The park was alive with birders, birdwatchers and dudes. A very different scene from Dubai and the UAE where you would be lucky to bump into another birder.
It was also some kind of gay liberation day or something suchlike, making the park very busy (see bottom photo (pun not intended)).

Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla aurocapilla
Several Ovenbirds were seen: always a fun bird

American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
American Redstarts were conspicuous and often showing off their flashy tails

Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata bromia
This Blue Jay was feeding on termites in The Ramble

Mourning Warbler, Oporornis philadelphia
Here seen with lots of termites in the background

Mourning Warbler, Oporornis philadelphia
Mourning Warbler, Oporornis philadelphia
Mourning Warbler, Oporornis philadelphia
This AMAZING bird was found behind the Boathouse during my afternoon walk, and the first bird I saw after entering the park!  It had been present since yesterday, and it was pure luck that I found it. It later moved to a termite mound that had thousands of winged termites flying off to the delight of the Grackles, Cowbirds, Thrushes, Warblers and Jays in the area

American Robin, Turdus migratorius nigrideus
This good-looking thrush was nesting nearby, and was very happy to feast on the escaping termites

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Dendroica pensylvanica
The only male seen

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Dendroica pensylvanica
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Dendroica pensylvanica
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Dendroica pensylvanica
This stunning female kept watch at the termite mound for over an hour

Black-throated Blue Warbler, Dendroica caerulescens caerulescens
Very unassuming compared to the flashy male. A termite wing was stuck to her bill

Grey-cheeked Thrush, Catharus minimus
Grey-cheeked is almost impossible to distinguish from Bicknell’s Thrush, but the song was apparently heard by other birders confirming its identity

Magnolia Warbler, Dendroica magnolia
The most numerous warbler in the park today

Swamp Sparrow, Melospiza georgiana georgiana

Bay-breasted Warbler, Dendroica castanea
A crap photo, but at least it shows my second lifer of today! Found just as I was leaving the park, with hundreds of people milling about

16.05.2010 NYC; Central Park (New York, USA)
Atlantic Canada Goose (Branta canadensis canadensis) 2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos) 6
American Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax hoactli) 1
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia ‘feral’) 50
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura carolinensis) 4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens medianus) 1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus olivaceus) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata bromia) 8
Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 30
American Robin (Turdus migratorius nigrideus) 2
Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 4
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris vulgaris) 100
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 1
Northern Parula (Parula americana) 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica) 3
Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens caerulescens) 2
Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata) 2
Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca) 1
Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castanea) 1
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) 1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) 4
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla aurocapilla) 3
Mourning Warbler (Oporornis philadelphia) 1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas trichas) 3
Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis) 2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana georgiana) 1
Eastern Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra rubra) 6
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis cardinalis) 4
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus phoeniceus) 1
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula stonei) 10
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater ater) 4
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus domesticus) 100

Whatever happened to good old fashioned vaseline?