Central Park, NYC
Tuesday 1 October 2019 82 °F
On tuesdays, classes end at 1:50pm for me so I have the rest of the day to practice, study, hang with friends, and if I choose to — bird! Today, I saw that there were a few decent birds in several Manhattan parks so I decided to start out with chasing a Dickcissel reported at the north end of Central Park, fairly close to school for me. This is a rare grassland species in this part of the country that is much more abundant in the interior US and is somewhat of a rarity for Manhattan, so I was excited to possibly see one.
As soon as I walked into the park, I heard the “chip!” call of a warbler and indeed, it turned out to be an AMERICAN REDSTART:
I arrived to the appointed place where the Dickcissel has been seen, and there were a few birders around, but the bird was nowhere to be found. There were a few NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS though — this area near the northeast corner of the park is probably their most reliable place in Central Park:
An AMERICAN KESTREL flew by — perhaps another reason why the Dickcissel was absent:
So, I continued on to the Loch in hopes of finding more birds. Along the way, I did see this OVENBIRD. As in classic Ovenbird fashion, it was a blurry photo because these little devils do not stop strutting around:
And my first YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER of the season:
Warblers were overall scarce, but there were a few including this COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
And a NORTHERN PARULA:
Despite the lack of warbler variety though, there were still quite a few birds around including a female BELTED KINGFISHER which posed absolutely amazingly well:
This GREEN HERON was bathing as well — scarcely recognizable as a bird when I first spotted it!
Then, a birder tipped me off to the fact that the Dickcissel was apparently being seen again! So, I headed back over to the place. Along the way, I saw a flower which hosted the absolute highest density of Monarch butterflies I have EVER seen!
When I arrived to the plant nursery area where the Dickcissel was reported, I saw four excited birders pointing to a small songbird perched in a small oak — and then it flew before I could examine it! Annoyingly enough, they said it was <the> bird! So I waited...
And a PALM WARBLER showed in the meantime:
And waited. And finally after about a half an hour of scanning this small but very birdy tree nursery, one of the other birders spotted the DICKCISSEL perched in a small shrub. I managed one documentation photo but unfortunately right after this, the bird dove back down into some grasses to forage. One can still discern its beautiful yellow underside contrasted with the brownish-streaked markings on its back from this photo, though:
While waiting for it to reappear, I spotted a NORTHERN FLICKER:
This little HOUSE WREN stopped by:
As well as a surprise visitor to this open habitat, a VEERY. After submitting the ebird checklist for this afternoon, I learned that this species is rare for this “late” in the season around here — very interesting!
Alas, the Dickcissel never showed again so I decided to take one more swing through the Loch to see if any goodies were around. There was a female EASTERN TOWHEE:
“The Loch” is a beautiful part of the park designed to look like the Adirondacks.
And I found the resident GADWALL in the water body called the “Pool” near 103rd St right before I got on the subway back to school.
A wonderful afternoon of birding with brilliant weather! Bird-of-the-day to that mischievous Dickcissel with runner-up to the amazingly photogenic Belted Kinfisher. Honorable mention to all of the Monarchs — it has been a banner year for them!
World Life List: 976 Species