Saturday, 5 November 2011

So good they named it twice - Part 2

Yellow-breasted Chat - One of two birds I twitched in Bryant Park. This was a particularly showy bird and was a joy to watch and photograph. A truly stunning bird and I am really happy with the photos I have got!
Red-winged Blackbird - A few small flocks were seen migrating south but only two grounded birds with this male in Bryant Park and a female in Central Park by the Hallett sanctuary with Common Grackle
Grey Catbird - 2 birds were present in Bryant park feeding actively and proving to be remarkably obliging. Superb birds and almost mythical in terms of European birding!
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - several were seen in Central park and Bryant park. 2 birds were in front of the entrance to the public library. Lovely birds!
Tufted Titmouse - one of the main target birds of the trip that I really wanted to see. Luckily I timed the trip with their arrival and they were reasonably common and stunning to see, but a bit of a challenge to photograph.
Black-and-white Warbler - Probably one of the biggest surprises of the trip was this single bird that was seen deep in the Ramble whilst I was taking a short rest on a bench. It was feeding actively but looking up at the bird, it was a real bugger to photograph, so I can only apologise for not doing this stunning bird justice!
White-throated Sparrow - Without a doubt, the commonest lifer of the trip with lots present almost everywhere and almost abundant in certain areas with flocks of upto 200! Stunning birds, but I am afraid to say, I began to come a little blasé about this bird due to its status.
Mourning Dove - I wasn't expecting such regular views of this species and several were very obliging and probably even more so than Collared Dove back on this side of the Atlantic! Stunning little birds!
Cooper's Hawk - Like a big Sharp-shinned Hawk (also seen), I saw 2 of these within the Ramble and I was impressed by the size of these birds.
Yellow-rumped Warbler - by far the commonest warbler with 15 seen in Central Park. I really wanted to see at least one of the American warblers and I banked on this being the most likely. I was really impressed with this species and I must say, make it a little bigger, elongate the tail and take away the yellow, and you have a good dead ringer for a Buff-bellied Pipit!
Ring-billed Gull - Since finding out that the Alston Res Ring-bill of 2010 was actually a hybrid, this trip saw me tick this species for my world list! Very common around Battery park and on the crossing to Staton Island
Eastern Towhee - Stunning birds! 2 were seen: This female (?) was present around the feeders in the ramble and an even more stunning adult male was seen by the Hallett nature sanctuary but my camera was playing up at this point
Swamp Sparrow - 2 of these were seen, one of which by The Pond with White-throated, Song and House Sparrows, and another bird near to The Loch in the north end of the park.
Red-headed Woodpecker - This immature bird was another semi-twitch as it was present before my arrival in the Hallett nature sanctuary. It took several trips to the park before I got views of this rather Pied bird and it was one of the nicest birds of the trip!
Common Grackle - Common by name, Common by nature! Potentially just one nomadic flock in the park of about 300 birds were seen on several occasions showing off their glossy plumage. Lovely birds with a peculiar call sounding like a juvenile Tawny Owl!
Northern Mockingbird - Whilst on Central Park's East Drive near the MET, this bird hopped down right in front of me feeding on a beetle of some kind, then sat in the sun about 10 feet away! A really stunning bird and again, one of my targets of the trip, except this is one I didn't think I would actually get!
I thought I would end this report with a photo of my highlight of the trip as well as a list of the other lifers of the trip totalling 46 lifers!
American Black Duck, Wood Duck, American Herring Gull, Northern Flicker, Turkey Vulture, House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch, Hooded Merganser, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Yellowthroat, Brown Creeper, American Crow, American Kestrel, Buff-bellied Pipit.

One of the best weeks of my life...I'm surprised to say it, but I think I've fallen in love with America!


Craig said...

Northern Mockingbird looks like a cross between a Barred Warbler and a Cuckoo. Looks like you had an amazing trip.


Zac Hinchcliffe said...

Alright mate. I suppose you're right with that haha. Pretty much every bird is just incredible! Due to Central park being such a public place, the birds are just so tame! I had the Ovenbird on my shoe, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets perched on my finger! and I rescued a Hermit Thrush...Its like what dreams are made of haha