New York, New York
Saturday 1 December 2018 46 °F
Today, I birded at the Cemetery of the Resurrection on Staten Island in hopes of finding my life bird Eurasian Wigeon — there was a seemingly more chaseable bird there than the one I’ve already searched for in vain at the expansive Marine Park in Brooklyn.
I was afforded great views of NYC and the Statue of Liberty from the free Staten Island Ferry.
When I arrived at the cemetery, I immediately found ducks in Perpendicular Pond, the place where the wigeon has been seen — certainly a good sign! I was afforded some beautiful shots of two HOODED MERGANSERS:
Then, I saw a dabbling duck with a maroon-colored head and there it was — my life bird male EURASIAN WIGEON! Awesome!!!!!
Unfortunately, it flew away soon thereafter so I didn’t manage to get any better shots than this, but I’ll certainly take what I can get!
Then, I visited Central Park where I walked and birded roughly from 5th Av/59th St all the way to 8th/81st St. The park did NOT disappoint! First, I stopped to photograph the celebrity MANDARIN DUCK which at this point has been determined to be an escapee from a duck farm (so technically not “countable”):
Perhaps even more impressive was the massive crowd gathered to admire this star of the New York Times!!
Then, it was a fifteen minute walk to the Central Park Ramble where I found the BARRED OWL that had been reported from near Warbler Rock. The views it afforded were breathtaking — so peaceful and awe-inspiring to be in the presence of such a wonderful creature.
Bonus birds from the Ramble were a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and this FOX SPARROW:
Then, I walked over to Shakespeare Garden where I found both the reported NORTHERN SAW-WHET and BARRED OWLS!!!! Amazing — three owls in a single hour! Here is the saw-whet:
PSA — there were many people photographing the saw whet from literally right underneath the owl! This behavior can disturb these sensitive creatures as they need their sleep during the day to survive, and human disturbances can also lead to mobbing from birds such as Blue Jays. Owls are very beautiful, but sensitive, birds. Please keep a respectful distance when observing ALL owls (usually I say 15-20 feet minimum).
And here is the second BARRED OWL of the day:
What a fabulous day!!! Bird-of-the-day to my life bird Eurasian Wigeon and runners-up to the Barred & Northern Saw-whet Owls! Incredible! Additionally, as of today I have birded in all five of NYC’s boroughs.
World Life List: 959 Species (1 life bird today: Eurasian Wigeon)