Great Cormorant (Photo credit: 0ystercatcher)
Alex Hale’s walk in the Central Park North End today added one new species for both the season and the year (#154), a Great Cormorant seen flying over. This bird is rare in Central Park though it is common all along the central and northern Atlantic coast of North America. It prefers a coastal habitat, where it breeds. The New York harbor area reliably hosts Great Cormorants during winter, and they can also be seen occasionally on the East River.
There was a male Wood Duck on the Meer.
This morning’s walk in the Central Park North End, begun by Starr and finished by Alex Hale, had 50 species.
The highlights were a male Prairie Warbler at the Grassy Knoll and a female Blackburnian Warbler at the west side of the Loch. The group also observed a Cooper’s Hawk. Northern Parulas were the most commonly-seen warbler.
Prairie Warbler (credit: John Van de Graaf, Mohegan Island, Maine)
Today’s walk in the Central Park Ramble, led by Alex Hale, had 32 species.
Highlights were White-throated Sparrow and American Goldfinch, both first-of-season for the group, and a Prairie Warbler, first-of-season for all reports from Central Park. The group also got a good but brief view of a Worm-eating Warbler.
Kentucky Warbler (Photo credit: Gulf Coast Greenie)
Today’s walk in the North End of Central Park produced 50 species, including 11 warblers. Starr and Lenore were unable to make it today, so Alex Hale, a dedicated young birder whose life list will soon total 600 species, led the walk.
Highlights: (* = new bird for the season)
- Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
- Great Crested Flycatcher (at least 9, an unusually high total)
- Red-breasted Nuthatch
- Swainson’s Thrush* (first fall report for Central Park)
- Orange-crowned Warbler*
- Kentucky Warbler* (male, west end of Loch)
- Black-throated Green Warbler* (first fall report for Central Park)
- Scarlet Tanager* (first fall report for Central Park)
The best bird of the day is without question the Kentucky Warbler, which Starr also had on the spring walks, and which has shown up in Central Park much more often than usual this year. Historically, it has been “very rare” for the Park, a bird not seen every migration season or even every year.
The Orange-crowned Warbler is also a great sighting. Last year this bird was easier to get after the migration seasons than during them, as some were noted in Central Park beginning in early November and continuing through December. Swindler Cove Park had one that stayed into early January.
Pacific Loon (stock photo — not the Loon seen in Cupsogue, which was in nonbreeding plumage)
Alex Hale spotted a Pacific Loon flying east of the boardwalk in Cupsogue, NY just after 11:30 this morning. Starr was birding with her and verified this extremely rare sighting!
How rare is it? Since 2004, the eBird database contains only one other observation of the Pacific Loon in the New York City/Long Island area.