Monday, April 16, 2012

April in Manhattan

View from our hotel room of Central Park, NY
A family trip to New York. We stayed in the Rockefeller Center area rather than Times Square, which was a relaxing change. And the view from our room was spectacular.

Not having done a full New York trip while in my birding phase, I was still a Central Park skeptic. Pigeons, starlings, house sparrows. I'll see those. But what else?
Partially leucistic American Robin, Central Park, NY
I'm now a believer. Almost literally the first bird I spotted was the piebald robin above. Interesting...

The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Central Park, NY
Then I wandered over towards "The Pond." White-throated sparrow songs were everywhere.
White-throated sparrow, Central Park, NY
At 3 on a Saturday afternoon. With people everywhere. When I spotted a hermit thrust in the bushes off of 79th St. I nearly lost it.
Hermit Thrush, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Central Park, NY
Turns out this was peak hermit thrush migration time in the area. I would see them in all sorts of locations, including Ellis Island, during our trip.
At the Pond itself, a lone drake wood duck. It was being corrupted by a guy tossing bread crumbs and holding its own against the mallards.
And twice I saw folks gesturing excitedly at things on the opposite bank. A raccoon, casually plodding along (at 3 in the afternoon).

And a woodchuck.
Ruby-crowned kinglet, Central Park, NY
The other migrant of note was the ruby-crowned kinglet, singing occasionally and in the tops of trees in Central Park, Ellis Island, Battery Park, and probably every green space in the city.

Laughing Gulls, East River Bike Path, NY
The most surprising sighting of the weekend, though, which literally made me exclaim, out loud, "What The..." was a yellow-bellied sapsucker in Battery Park. OK, New York and Central Park, I am definitely a birding believer.

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