Saturday, 8 November 2014

New York State birding, Oct 2014

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk in Central Park Ramble
I feel fortunate that my teaching job takes me to interesting parts of the world every year or so. This autumn I spent two weeks in Toronto, Rochester and NYC. It was not a birding trip, but like most birders I  maximised the free time... Highlights were a few hours at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory coinciding with one of their busiest catches of the season, several walks along the Pittsford Loop Trail (turned out to be a great adopted patch for a week in Rochester) and a day of birding in Central Park, NYC, which included joining one of Deb Allen's guided walks (this was great as I hadn't explored the North end of the park before). I have a real soft spot for birding in the North America - something to do with 30 years of drooling over the plates in the National Geographic guide and hoping to someday find a vagrant this side of the Atlantic. Although I've never managed a proper birding trip on the other side of the pond I've seen almost 300 species there ... including 10 additions on this trip. All pics taken with a CanonSX50 - can't always lug my 100-400 around when in the company of 'normal' folk!

New World Warblers - who doesn't love em?
Yellow rumps were everywhere - the only species I really expected to see. Totally underestimated how many species would be about: managed to also find Tennessee, Nashville, parula, magnolia, black-throated blue, black-throated green, palm (east & west), blackpoll, black & white, american redstart, ovenbird, Wilson's, yellowthroat
B&W in Central Park
Ovenbird in Madison Square Park
Blackpoll - only previously seen breeding plumage male so keen to see this plumage  had better views than this!

Woodpeckers - always seem so much more abundant in North America

Had six species on Pittsford Loop Trail including plenty of downy woodpeckers
Pileated was new to me - amazing views! Obviously I was more interested in focussing on the twig!
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was also a much enjoyed new species - lots seen. This one is a ground level in Madison Square Park.
Yellow-shafted Flicker - evolving into a groundpecker by the looks of things

Sparrow migration was well underway
White-throated Sparrows were everywhere. This one right next to Wegman's supermarket.
White-crowned Sparrow in the same area
Field Sparrow alongside the other two species

Finches - finally connected with Pine Siskin and Purple Finch!

Pine Siskin - a species I duffed in California (but it was only a flyover anyway). So enjoyed jamming into these - think there has been a bit of an invasion since. Gorgeous aren't they...?
Even the American Goldfinches were looking worse for wear...
Thrushes - a nice selection
Eastern Bluebird in upstate New York - these birds are AWESOME

Hermit Thrush in the hand at Braddock Bay - already seen this species on Fair Isle this year on another school trip (jammy eh?)
A very obliging Swainson's Thrush in Central Park that I decided to take a very bad picture of for some reason...
A Wood Thrush in Central Park - only my second sighting ever I think...
This one is a Gray-cheeked Thrush - nice one!
Icterids - some of these are stunning close up

Common Grackle in Central Park. No pic but did manage to see my first Rusty Blackbird on Pittsford Loop Trail - tick!

Red-winged Blackbird on Erie Canal Trail

 Other bits and bobs...

Lots of Blue Jays around - on some days a steady trickle moving S overhead
Pure Black Duck or hybrid Black Duck x Mallard. Don't know but happy with the ones I saw in Wellfleet MA 2 years ago... phew
Non breeding male Scarlet Tanager - was pleased to find this one in Central Park - don't think I've seen this plumage before... so difficult to remember some stuff before digital cam (I'm very poor at field notes...
Finally as a treat for anyone who has scrolled this far - my best shot of the trip - incoming Cedar Waxwing. An easy bird to see in the states it seems...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cracking set of shots. Bruce