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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 22:19   #501
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Autumn, at last

Hello all,

From yesterday, through this morning, we had high winds and more than 8 cm of rain. This morning, when the temperature was about 9C, the paths were covered with leaves, branches and conkers . Still the best colours are on the sugar maple trees.

A winter bird, northern shovellers have arrived. I saw my first one, today, on Turtle Pond.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 22:22   #502
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Hello,

I got another glimpse of a red bellied woodpecker and the pleasure of my first sighting of the season hooded mergansers both on Turtle Pond and on the Reservoir. I am still seeing American coots on the Reservoir. Finally, Central Park Lake is beginning to look autumnal.
Bird images by Louis Agassiz Fuertes; Central Park Lake photographed with my iPod Touch.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 3rd November 2017, 00:16   #503
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That's a lovely image Arthur! No colored leaf display down here. Just dead leaves. Wonder why?
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Old Friday 3rd November 2017, 00:18   #504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Foggin View Post
That's a lovely image Arthur! No colored leaf display down here. Just dead leaves. Wonder why?
Hello KC,

I would guess that you have had ample rain and mild weather.

Upstate New York and New England experiences very weak autumnal colouring.

Happy bird watching,
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Old Friday 3rd November 2017, 00:23   #505
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Yup, plenty of rain and warmer temps. Thanks Arthur
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Old Friday 3rd November 2017, 21:05   #506
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Arthur and KC,

We have also experienced very weak autumnal coloring in the Pocono Plateau of Northeastern PA this fall after a dry summer. Most of the leaves will have fallen shortly except for the Oak trees.

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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 00:10   #507
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waterfowl

Hello all,

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing two pairs of buffleheads on the Reservoir.

Today, I paid another visit to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Aside from shovel[l]ers, an egret, a pie billed grebe, and ruddy ducks, I spotted American black ducks, rafts of brant, spotted sandpipers, a life bird a merlin. The images are from The Birds of New York, by Eaton, The New York State Museum, 1912-1914. The images were drawn by Louis Agassiz Fuertes. I should note that the merlin, falco columbaris, was listed as a pigeon hawk. Fortunately, I found the Latin name in Peterson's guide and could use it to find the images.

At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the West Pond was breached by tropical super storm Sandy. This artificial pond then filled with sea water. Now that the breach has been repaired the pond is slowly returning to fresh water.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 00:13   #508
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Sounds like it's been a productive week for you so far and congrats on your lifer Arthur
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 18:02   #509
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Local waterfowl

Hello all,

Sometime last week, I saw a song sparrow, perhaps the last of the season. A black capped chickadee, last week, and a fox sparrow, today, were firsts for the season.

I am still seeing hooded mergansers on both the Reservoir and Turtle Pond. Today, on the Reservoir, were more hooded merganser, mallards, norther shovel[l[ers, many ruddy ducks, coots, buffleheads, wood ducks and a pie billed grebe

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 01:50   #510
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Seaonal changes

Hello,

I have begun to notice a lot of common grackles in the Park. I was in the midst of a large flock, at Triplets Bridge, today. I got a glimpse of a tufted titmouse, also today.
Yesterday, those wood ducks were on the Lake, as was a male northern pintail, which ad decided to move from the Pond, in the southeast corner of the Park. Yesterday, I also started seeing juncoes, both male and female.

While looking at the pintail, from the Point, I heard some splashing and the beating of wings very close to me. It was a red-tailed hawk. I wonder if it was trying to get a mallard on a nearby log. It flew off, without any prey, to the top of the Bethesda Fountain. Both the Pond and the Bethesda Fountain might be familiar to those who have seen the film Home Alone 2.

Yesterday, when I entered the Park, there was a group of Japanese tourists looking up a tree, tablets and mobile 'phones, at the ready. They were not looking at birds only gray squirrels.

Paintings by Lous Agassiz Fuertes, the pintail among the mallards was taken with an iPod Touch.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 12:40   #511
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How strange about the visitors being focused on the squirrels Arthur. One of my least favorite of all wildlife.
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 15:37   #512
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Quote:
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How strange about the visitors being focused on the squirrels Arthur. One of my least favorite of all wildlife.
Hello KC,

Tourists are often fascinated by New York's squirrels. A true New Yorker regards them as rats with bushy tails. I had one come into my apartment, which would have been a true problem but I chased him out almost as soon as it entered.

Today, there was ample rain in the morning. Tomorrow, the Thanksgiving Day Parade makes visiting the park rather problematic.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 18:07   #513
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Well have a good Thanksgiving Arthur!
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Old Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 19:41   #514
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Well have a good Thanksgiving Arthur!
Hello KC,

I hope that you and all those who celebrate Thanksgiving may have a wonderful holiday.


With warm regards to all,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 17:40   #515
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Hello,

On Thursday, America's Thanksgiving Day, I could not enter anywhere near my home. I took the Metro to 104th Street and visited the Pool. As I anticipated, there were mallards and buffleheads but nothing unusual. I did see a mallard try diving rather than dabbling but it splashed a lot more than any diving duck. The Reservoir provided views of American coots, ruddy ducks, shovellers, more mallards, and hooded mergansers.

On Sunday, Briding Bob's group discovered a likely Hammonds flycatcher. On Monday and Tuesday, I only saw a glimpse of the birding flying off. The bird would be about 3,000 kms, off it range, in the far west. I also saw a Wilson's warbler.. On Monday, I got a nice look at a brown creeper. Both are laggards.

Today, I saw my first American goldfinch of the season and I had good look at a Cooper hawk, above Azalea Pond.

I append two views in Central Park, one of the Gill, the other of Azalea Pond, which show how sylvan the Park's Ramble appears.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 17:47   #516
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Arthur

It sounds good to me, I saw my very first ever American Goldfinch in Central Park.

best regards

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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 19:20   #517
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Hello all,

Visiting the Reservoir is still a pleasure. Shovellers, mallards, ruddy ducks, buffleheads, hooded mergansers, American coots, pie billed grebes and the occasional wood duck, the male in fine feather, all turn up. The only thing missing from the possible sightings is a common loon.

Unfortunately, I have seen few new passerine birds. I did see my first black capped chickadee of the season and house finches The great blue heron turned up in the shadows of the Lake.

Saturday, it snowed all day, more than 12 cm, but I found the paths too treacherous on Sunday. Snow packed down by walkers freezes very nicely with cold overnight temperature, even -1C, and there are few workers to clear the paths on Sunday. Nowadays, ice keeps me away, so I did not venture far in the Park.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 18:33   #518
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snowy weather

Hello,

There was enough snow on Sunday evening to make many of the paths in Central Park to be too icy for me. Today, the major paths were cleared, so I made my usual round except for some of the Ramble.

Today, the Reservoir had the usual assortment of waterfowl: American coots, buffleheads, mallards, northern shovellers, ruddy ducks, wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Additionally, there were ringed necked ducks. Elsewhere, near the frozen Lake were pine siskins.

Last week, I had a truly good look at a northern flicker, which was feeding on the ground near me. I believe that the flicker is the only woodpecker which feeds on the ground. In any case, I had a nice look at its remarkably striking plumage.

I add a photograph, taken with my iPod, of two year round park regulars: a mourning dove and a blue jay. The blue jay is very familiar in the American East but never seen in the far West.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 19:40   #519
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Thanks Arthur. I always enjoy your posts.
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Old Tuesday 19th December 2017, 19:39   #520
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That elusive flycatcher

Hello all,

First of all, I appreciate Graham Osborne's kind comments, which encourages me to continue my posts, I am surprised at how many bird watchers look at my jottings. I suspect that many are curious about birds in a big city like New York.

Today, there was still ice on the Lake and on Turtle Pond, so I saw only a few mallards. I did see tufted titmice and a downy woodpecker, at the bird feeders as well as a great blue heron, at Turtle Pond.

Since the tenth, inst., there have been sightings of a Hammond's flycatcher. On the eleventh and twelfth, it was pointed out as it fly by, not far from Azalea Pond. Today, I noticed a sparrow sized bird, near the west side of the Lake, with odd markings. My glass, a now old fashioned Zeiss 8x30 BGAT*,, showed an epidonax flycatcher with two wing bars, the forward one less distinct than the after one, with a long tail. Dr. Robert de Candido, "Briding Bob," agreed with my identification of the Hammond flycatcher.
I was not seeking it, but I was happy to get a sufficiently good look to count it as a life bird. As I have written, an awareness of one's surroundings, patience and persistence are more important in this pastime than how much one spends on optics.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 27th December 2017, 20:33   #521
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Hello,

Juncoes, white breasted nuthatches, black capped chickadees and fox sparrows are turning up with more frequency, even when the day starts with a temperature of -7C. On Sunday, I saw wood ducks on the Reservoir but not today. With ice forming on the Lake and on Turtle ponds, there is far less waterfowl on those bodies of water. There were hooded mergansers on the Reservoir along with ruddy duck, buffleheads, a ringed neck duck, shovel[l]lers, mallards and a black duck hybrid.
There was a Christmas bird count on the 17th, which, according to my sources, did not reveal one brown creeper. Two days later, I saw one, but none since.
Yesterday, on the Great Lawn, I spotted a few common ravens or are they northern ravens? The last time I saw a raven, I was at the Tower of London.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Monday 1st January 2018, 11:10   #522
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A very happy New Year to you Arthur. I hope all your 2018 wishes come through!!

Many thanks for the enjoyable reads of your posts throughout the year. I love them and often wonder if I'll manage over there to see some of the birds you've found. We we can dream, can't we? LOL
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Old Monday 1st January 2018, 11:13   #523
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Thank you, Delia.

I wish you and all those who read these jotting a Happy New Year of joyous occasions, of good and of peace

It is -14C, but I will step out.

With warm wishes,
Arthur
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Old Monday 8th January 2018, 16:14   #524
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Hello,

I read in the Guardian, that New York's deep freeze made the news, even in the UK. Thursday, we had 20 cm of snow, which kept me out of the Park. When I had some time on Sunday, I woke to -15C, which was discouraging but I did go to the mainland, the New York Botanic Gardens in the Bronx. Every year the conservatory is used for a holiday train show. Around 800 metres of "O" gauge model train tracks are laid among models of New York area buildings, past and present. All the model buildings and bridges are made from plant materials: twigs, pine cones, seed pods, leaves and even from fungi. The staff are dressed like train personnel. Afterwards, my friends and I went to an old established restaurant in what was the Bronx's Little Italy for a rather pleasant meal.

I was out in the Park today, although many paths were snowy but with little ice. I did manage to see a rusty blackbird in the Ramble, as well as white breasted nuthatches and juncoes. Although the Lake was frozen, the Reservoir was had a little open water with gulls, wood ducks, ruddy ducks, ringed necked ducks. black duck hybrids and a gadwall.

Warmer weather is on the way, so if the Park clears more paths perhaps I may have more rewarding outings.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 23:54   #525
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Winter in New York

Hello,

Today, New York emerged from the deep freeze, but there was still plenty of snow and ice on the ground. A lot of ice melted on the Reservoir, where I saw quite a few American coots, as well as a few wood ducks, shovellers, ruddy ducks and ringed neck ducks. Others saw hooded merganser on the Reservoir but I was not so fortunate.

On Tuesday, I was told that an American woodcock was seen near the Lake in the "Oven," which surprised me as they usually pass through in the autumn. Of course, it is well camouflaged for sitting in leaf litter but not for snow. On Tuesday, it was reported that only some feathers remained where it had been seen.

I add some photos of a wintry Park. Only a few weeks, ago, I posted the Gill and Azalea Pond in autumnal colours.
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