Monday 9 December 2019 45 °F
Yestersday I had only a short gap in between a gig and a concert I was attending, so I made a quick stop at the north end of Central Park where there is a water body called “the Pool.” It is no such thing; stagnant water permeates the depression in a remarkably forested corner of the park — no one would dare swim in it, but it happens to be a favorite haunt for migratory birds. I was keeping an eye out in particular for the Rusty Blackbird, a species which was noted here earlier in the morning and one that I have not seen in a while (it is quite uncommon and also declining steeply in population due to habitat loss).
Upon arrival, I saw a common resident of Central Park: RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER.
The area around the Pool was almost completely devoid of birds, other than the woodpecker and a few common WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. I did remember, though, that Rusty Blackbirds have been seen throughout the north end of the park, so I hiked into the “Loch” which is an area with a wooded stream. I thought this would be a good place to find a Rusty Blackbird foraging in leaf litter by the side of the stream, like they tend to do.
There was a beautiful BLUE JAY that had just taken his or her afternoon bath:
And sure enough, I soon spotted a gaggle of birders pointing their binoculars and cameras across the stream at...two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS! The lighter bird would be a female and the darker, a male.
Then, the male flew across the stream towards us and gave some absolutely stellar views. Wow!
Super-duper cool to get views of an uncommon bird like this, so my bird of the day is obvious, Rusty Blackbird! Stay tuned — next week I fly down to SOUTH AMERICA with my family for a 16-day cruise to the Falkland Islands and around the tip of the continent. I am beyond excited!
World Life List: 978 Species