About David Barrett

Birder and writer

4th Annual Fall Migration Walk

On Sunday, 16 October 2016, at 7:30 a.m. at 103rd Street and Central Park West, Lenore Swenson will lead a birding walk through Central Park’s North End in memory of Starr Saphir. This walk is open to all birders and there is no need to register.


Results of 4th Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Spring Migration Walk


From left to right: Sandra Paci, Jeffrey Kimball, Lenore Swenson, and Tom Ahlf.

The weather forecast for steady rain all morning (May 6th) would seem to certainly put a damper on doing the walk. However, the four of us who showed up at 7:30 a.m. in light rain decided to give it a try. The light rain alternated with periods of soaking rain as we roamed the Central Park Ramble in search of birds until 11:00 a.m. Huddling under the Ladies Pavilion at Hernshead brought back memories of doing so on several of Starr’s trips, and of her saying: “You don’t get any wetter after the first 10 minutes!”

Despite the rain and dim light, we managed to get 46 species:

1. Canada Goose
2. Wood Duck
3. Gadwall
4. Mallard
5. Double-crested Cormorant
6. Great Egret
7. Black-crowned Night Heron
8. Red-tailed Hawk
9. Spotted Sandpiper
10. Ring-billed Gull
11. Herring Gull
12. Rock Pigeon
13. Mourning Dove
14. Red-bellied Woodpecker
15. Downy Woodpecker
16. Blue-headed Vireo
17. Warbling Vireo (h)
18. Blue Jay
19. Black-capped Chickadee
20. Tufted Titmouse
21. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
22. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
23. Veery
24. Hermit Thrush
25. Wood Thrush
26. American Robin
27. Gray Catbird
28. European Starling
29. Ovenbird
30. Northern Waterthrush
31. Black-and-white Warbler
32. American Redstart
33. Northern Parula
34. Yellow Warbler
35. Palm Warbler
36. Yellow-rumped Warbler
37. Eastern Towhee (h)
38. Song Sparrow
39. Swamp Sparrow
40. White-throated Sparrow
41. Northern Cardinal
42. Red-winged Blackbird
43. Common Grackle
44. Brown-headed Cowbird
45. Baltimore Oriole (h)
46. House Sparrow

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Red-eared Slider

Lenore Swenson

Results of Third Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Fall Migration Walk

About 30 people participated in the Starr Saphir Memorial Walk on October 11, 2015, in the North End of Central Park. Although the day started off on the cool side, it turned into a very beautiful fall day, with the trees starting to show a bit of fall color.

1. Wood Duck
2. Gadwall
3. Mallard
4. Red-tailed Hawk
5. Herring Gull
6. Great Black-backed Gull
7. Rock Pigeon
8. Mourning Dove
9. Red-headed Woodpecker (found by Sandy Paci)
10. Red-bellied Woodpecker
11. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
12. Downy Woodpecker
13. Hairy Woodpecker (h)
14. Northern Flicker
15. American Kestrel (h)
16. Peregrine Falcon
17. Eastern Wood-Pewee
18. Eastern Phoebe
19. Blue-headed Vireo
20. Red-eyed Vireo
21. Blue Jay
22. American Crow
23. Black-capped Chickadee
24. White-breasted Nuthatch
25. House Wren
26. Golden-crowned Kinglet
27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
28. Hermit Thrush
29. American Robin
30. Gray Catbird
31. Northern Mockingbird
32. European Starling
33. Cedar Waxwing
34. Black-and-white Warbler
35. Northern Parula
36. Blackpoll Warbler
37. Palm Warbler
38. Pine Warbler
39. Yellow-rumped Warbler
40. Eastern Towhee
41. Chipping Sparrow
42. Savannah Sparrow
43. Song Sparrow
44. Swamp Sparrow
45. White-throated Sparrow
46. Dark-eyed Junco
47. Scarlet Tanager
48. Northern Cardinal
49. Common Grackle
50. House Finch
51. American Goldfinch
52. House Sparrow
Also seen by several participants:
53. Green-winged Teal
54. Wilson’s Warbler

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Chipmunk
Red-eared Slider
Cabbage White

Lenore Swenson

Results of 3rd Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Walk

The 3rd Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Spring Migration Walk was held in Central Park’s Ramble on Friday, May 1, 2015. About 30 participants joined in on this mostly cloudy and cool day. Despite the weather, Central Park put on its springtime best of trees and flowers in bloom. Although the bird activity was slow, we did manage to find 53 species in about 3.5 hours:

1-Canada Goose
2-Wood Duck
4-Double-crested Cormorant
5-Great Egret
6-Black-crowned Night Heron
7-Red-tailed Hawk
8-Herring Gull
9-Great Black-backed Gull
10-Rock Pigeon
11-Mourning Dove
12-Chimney Swift
13-Red-bellied Woodpecker
14-Downy Woodpecker
15-Northern Flicker
16-Great Crested Flycatcher
17-Warbling Vireo
18-Blue Jay
19-Tree Swallow
20-Northern Rough-winged Swallow
21-Barn Swallow
22-Tufted Titmouse
23-White-breasted Nuthatch
24-House Wren
25-Carolina Wren
26-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
28-Hermit Thrush
29-Wood Thrush
30-American Robin
31-Gray Catbird
32-European Starling
33-Northern Parula
34-Yellow Warbler
35-Yellow-rumped Warbler
36-Prairie Warbler
37-Black-and-white Warbler
38-Northern Waterthrush
39-Louisiana Waterthrush
40-Eastern Towhee
41-Chipping Sparrow
42-Field Sparrow
43-Song Sparrow
44-White-throated Sparrow
45-Northern Cardinal
46-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
47-Red-winged Blackbird
48-Common Grackle
49-Brown-headed Cowbird
50-Baltimore Oriole
51-House Finch
52-American Goldfinch
53-House Sparrow

Also: Eastern Gray Squirrel, Red-eared Slider.

Lenore Swenson

Results of 2nd Annual Starr Saphir Fall Bird Walk

Walk leader Lenore Swenson offers this report:

The 2nd Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Fall Migration Walk on October 12, 2014, started off sunny and cool. Early on, birds were very active, darting around quickly and getting hidden in the still leafy trees, making some difficult to see. Our group of 18 went through the north end of Central Park – the Pool, Great Hill, the Loch, Wildflower Meadow, Grassy Knoll, the Meer, and ended at the compost area near the Conservatory Garden with an unsuccessful search for a reported American Pipit there. We did, however, have a flyover adult Bald Eagle and a cooperative Indigo Bunting as consolation prizes. Starr would have been delighted with the beautiful day in her “office”, the touch of fall color, and the 55 species recorded.

1. Canada Goose
2. Gadwall
3. Mallard
4. Northern Shoveler
5. Bald Eagle
6. Red-tailed Hawk
7. American Kestrel (heard)
8. Ring-billed Gull
9. Herring Gull
10. Rock Pigeon
11. Mourning Dove
12. Red-bellied Woodpecker
13. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
14. Downy Woodpecker
15. Northern Flicker
16. Eastern Wood-Pewee
17. Eastern Phoebe
18. Blue-headed Vireo
19. Blue Jay
20. American Crow
21. Fish Crow
22. Black-capped Chickadee
23. Tufted Titmouse
24. Red-breasted Nuthatch
25. White-breasted Nuthatch
26. House Wren
27. Winter Wren
28. Golden-crowned Kinglet
29. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
30. Hermit Thrush
31. Wood Thrush
32. American Robin
33. Gray Catbird
34. Northern Mockingbird
35. European Starling
36. Cedar Waxwing
37. Nashville Warbler
38. Black-throated Blue Warbler
39. Yellow-rumped Warbler
40. Palm Warbler
41. American Redstart
42. Common Yellowthroat
43. Eastern Towhee
44. Chipping Sparrow
45. Field Sparrow
46. Song Sparrow
47. Swamp Sparrow
48. White-throated Sparrow
49. Dark-eyed Junco
50. Northern Cardinal
51. Indigo Bunting
52. Common Grackle
53. House Finch
54. American Goldfinch
55. House Sparrow

Also: Eastern Gray Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, Raccoon, Red-eared Slider, Cabbage White, Common Green Darner


Results of Starr Saphir Memorial Bird Walk

Lenore Swenson, who expertly led the walk in the Ramble, writes in with this report:

The Starr Saphir Memorial Bird Walk in Central Park on May 2, 2014, surely had Starr smiling down on us. The weather was perfect – mostly sunny, warming up into the 60’s; cherry trees and flowers were in bloom, and the birds were plentiful. About 40 people showed up for the walk, and, although it was a large group, people managed to stay together and get good looks at most birds. With so many eyes and good spotters among us, we amassed a list of 63 species, including 14 warblers.

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Mallard
  3. Double-crested Cormorant
  4. Green Heron
  5. Black-crowned Night Heron
  6. Red-tailed Hawk
  7. Herring Gull
  8. Rock Pigeon
  9. Mourning Dove
  10. Chimney Swift
  11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  12. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  13. Downy Woodpecker
  14. Northern Flicker
  15. Peregrine Falcon
  16. Great Crested Flycatcher
  17. Eastern Kingbird
  18. White-eyed Vireo
  19. Blue-headed Vireo
  20. Warbling Vireo
  21. Red-eyed Vireo
  22. Blue Jay
  23. American Crow
  24. Black-capped Chickadee
  25. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  26. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  27. Veery
  28. Hermit Thrush
  29. Wood Thrush
  30. American Robin
  31. Gray Catbird
  32. European Starling
  33. Cedar Waxwing
  34. Ovenbird
  35. Worm-eating Warbler
  36. Northern Waterthrush
  37. Blue-winged Warbler
  38. Black-and-white Warbler
  39. Common Yellowthroat
  40. American Redstart
  41. Northern Parula
  42. Yellow Warbler
  43. Black-throated Blue Warbler
  44. Palm Warbler
  45. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  46. Prairie Warbler
  47. Black-throated Green Warbler
  48. Eastern Towhee
  49. Chipping Sparrow
  50. Song Sparrow
  51. Swamp Sparrow
  52. White-throated Sparrow
  53. White-crowned Sparrow
  54. Scarlet Tanager
  55. Northern Cardinal
  56. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  57. Red-winged Blackbird
  58. Common Grackle
  59. Orchard Oriole
  60. Baltimore Oriole
  61. House Finch
  62. American Goldfinch
  63. House Sparrow