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From my Manhattan Window (1 Viewer)

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
A sign of spring

Hello,

On Monday, and on Tuesday, I saw song sparrows for the first time this year. On Tuesday, a fox sparrow flew past me, only the fourth one for the season. On Wednesday , I also saw a bird, rather uncommon in Central Park: a male red breasted merganser. I think that I may have seen one, years, ago, but this one was.
Korean azaleas are already blooming in the Park. This is a hardy early blooming species, which have been imported but are apparently not invasive. Other birds, like a female towhee and juncoes which in previous seasons were common, are not usual, this year, but do appear.

Bird images are by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, the Korean azaleas were photographed with an iPod.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur :scribe:
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Bird watching in a time of plague

Hello all,

New York City is not locked down but churches and synagogues have called off services; some schools have closed, theaters and cinemas are closed, and bars are supposed to limit customers to avoid crowding. The latter is probably unnecessary as people are staying at home.

Fortunately, I can still walk around Central Park. I have had two noteworthy encounters with redwings blackbirds. The first was sighting an almost mature male, which confused me with its remaining eyestripe. I have begun to see male redwings blackbirds with prominent red shoulders, even with feather erect like velvet, a sign of looking for love.

On Thursday, I saw my first northern flicker, for the first time in quite a while. The same day, I saw two other woodpeckers: downiest and red bellied. It was also a good day for ducks: mallards, northern shovellers, a pie billed grebe, buffleheads, ruddy ducks and hooded mergansers. That same day, I had a close encounter with an immature red tailed hawk near the source of the Gill, and then it had a quick wash.

I used my iPod for the photos of the red tailed hawk.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
 

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KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I know it's not good for NYC. I worry about all of you including my son but he'll never leave the City ;)

Stay safe Arthur and the photographs of the Hawk are quite nice guy.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Still in a time of plague

Hello,

First of all, there are more restrictions in New York: most schools are closed,non-essential business are now closed. Groceries and even off license premises, what New Yorkers call liquor stores and other Americans call package stores, are considered essential. B :) The off licenses are requesting that orders be placed in advance or are to be delivered. Grocery shops are limiting the number customers at any one time, so I had to queue for half an hour, at one. On March fifth, I attended a concert devoted to Beethoven, at Carnegie Hall. It must have been one of the last concerts held at that venue.

I live in a block of flats, an apartment house to the locals, with 500 flats. There is one reported corona virus victim, who is self isolating in my building. The building's management have set out rules to keep people out, including deliveries only to the concierge, not to the residents' doors.

"You should have been here, a few minutes, ago," is probably the story of most bird watchers. I heard those words from someone who saw a tufted titmouse, which are famously uncommon, this year. I heard that also from someone who claimed to have seen a belted kingfisher, at the Northern Lobe of Central Park Lake. I looked where he pointed and did see a bird which seemed to me to be too blue for a belted kingfisher. Although an eastern bluebird had been seen in the park, this bird had no rufous feathers for it to be that bird. It was distant and small but I think that it may have been a tree swallow.


On Monday, I did see a male brown headed cowbird. On Tuesday and until today, I have been seeing wood ducks, a bird I love to see. The wood duck likes vertical cover when available, so this pair was near the shore under low hanging branches. Also on Tuesday, I spotted an American goldfinch in full summer plumage, but the many other ones are still in winter plumage. Today's best bird was an Eastern phoebe which may be a little late but sill a sign of the advancing season.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur :scribe:
 

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KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I feel so badly for you and my son Arthur. New York City has been hit hard and hopefully you both can stay safe.

Hopefully your birding will help you keep a pleasant mind.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
I feel so badly for you and my son Arthur. New York City has been hit hard and hopefully you both can stay safe.

Hopefully your birding will help you keep a pleasant mind.

Hello KC,

I hope that your son may be well and that all of us on Birdforum may survive this pandemic.

With warm regards to all,
Arthur
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
Best wishes from the UK Lake District. Stay safe.
We're just reaching the end of a 14 day self-isolation having both been symptomatic.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Best wishes from the UK Lake District. Stay safe.
We're just reaching the end of a 14 day self-isolation having both been symptomatic.

Hello Mono,

My best wishes to you, as well. I am glad to read that you overcame the symptoms.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

Yesterday was a day of intermittent rain. So I started a walk in the private park my block of flats shares with several others. The park is roughly one hectare in extent and has a large lawn, bushes at the western margin, many trees, a padlocked set of basketball courts, a children's play area and a small concrete hockey pitch. After a couple of circuits, lengthened by detours around some of the sports areas, I had seen song sparrows and juncos, along with our usual city birds. Then I felt rain and continued my constitutional around the ground floor, of my building which provides a fair distance: seven circuits of 90 metres each.

In the afternoon, I did three circuits during a break in the precipitation. I saw a juncos and a northern flicker at the beginning of my walk, song sparrows and more juncos. In fact, I saw my juncos at one time, than I have seen lately in Central Park.

Earlier in the week, I saw a pair of red tailed hawks roosting or perhaps nesting on a ledge of the San Remo block of flats. Unfortunately, this is the same sloping ledge which some hawks chose a few years, ago. Then the eggs rolled off.

Of seasonal not, on Friday, I saw my first hermit thrush of the season and a pine warbler,, my first warbler of the year, both in Central Park.

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

Not much to report. Last week, I started to see a great egret with regularity. I did see a northern mockingbird for the first time in years. This afternoon, outside my window was a thrush, with no obvious eye ring. It was a brief glimpse but I think that it was most likely a wood thrush.

As many of you know, I am an OAP, an old age pensioner, so I am at risk and should stay home. After a young woman sneezed not five feet from me, without covering her mouth, I decided that I should not risk a long walk to and in Central Park. The private park behind my building with people who understand social distancing may have to do for a while.

The egret was photographed with an iPod Touch; the other two images are by Louis Agassiz Fuerted

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

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footman

Well-known member
I was thinking of you the other day, wondering how you were getting on. If plans had gone ahead I would be lurking around the feeders in Central Park today but our visit to see our daughter and family in Manhattan has obviously been curtailed.
Our September visit is obviously still in doubt but one can always hope. Keep well everyone!
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Observing isolation

Hello all,

From my flat's window and in the garden, I get to see plenty of house sparrows, starlings, feral pigeons mourning doves and American robins. Very occasionally, something of interest turns up: surprisingly few northern cardinals, a female Eastern towhee, a northern flicker and today a chipping sparrow.


For those who saw only heartbreaking news from New York City, I have to point out that there are pockets of extreme hardship in the City and areas which are stressed but not in panic. My building, a block of 500 flats, had one resident and one worker infected by the corona virus and both recovered. I do get word that the elderly are hard hid all over.

Our mayor has refused to provide neighbourhood breakdowns because those neighbourhoods with certain minorities were hard hit. He feared that the truth would incite prejudice. The disparity in is a bitter inditement of America's healthcare, a system based on profit and privilege. New York City was far better prepared for a pandemic than most American cities and than rural areas where hospitals are in short supply. Population density and the presence of "at risk" populations led to increased infections and deaths. Of course, there was a failure at the national lever to acknowledge the threat and take timely action.

Two weeks ago, I wanted to shop in one of those minority areas but my niece's husband, a physician, cautioned me to avoid both the tube and the hard hit area. I generally take medical advice seriously, so I made do with shopping in my own area.

I do go shopping, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance, but it seems to be like wartime. I often wait in queue to enter and find empty shelves. I could not get a head of "iceberg" lettuce for a week and I cannot find barley, at all. I had to wait more than twenty minutes at the fishmonger, who did not have the hake I wanted. I settled for pollock fillet*.

The food chain is so disrupted that dairy farmers are disposing almost 8million litres of milk daily. I read that the supplier of 40% of America's pork had shut down because of infected workers.

Stay safe,
Arthur :scribe:

*Baked, covered, with a garlic, chopped parsley, and olive oil topping, at 200ºC, for thirty minutes.
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
I was thinking of you the other day, wondering how you were getting on. If plans had gone ahead I would be lurking around the feeders in Central Park today but our visit to see our daughter and family in Manhattan has obviously been curtailed.
Our September visit is obviously still in doubt but one can always hope. Keep well everyone!

Hello Footman,

I thank you for thinking of me. New York City is no place for visitors from abroad. There are too many who do not take social distancing seriously.

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello all,

In the last two weeks, my bird watching has been confined to my building's private garden. Shortly after my last post, I could add white throated sparrows to the garden's frequent visitors. I was still seeing them yesterday, but I expect them to clear our soon.

Although I saw a northern flicker, yesterday, the only other bird of interest was a hermit thrush. There has been unseen activity in the garden's bushes, on the west side. Today, I did see a great egret, heading for the Hudson River.

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Warblers!

Hello,

Those white throated have departed. Most of the time it has been the same old: house sparrows, hermit thrushes, the occasional northern cardinals, American robins and mourning doves.

Bird watching with a face mask is problematic. Every time I bring the binocular to my eyes, the binocular's eyepieces and my specs both fog. Nevertheless, I have seen a couple of new birds for the season. Friday, I thought I saw a brown thrasher up a tree but I certainly did see a gray catbird a blackpoll warbler. Yesterday, I saw thrushes, perhaps including a Swainson's thrush. Today, a Maryland warbler, aka common yellowthroat turned up at my window.

Stay safe,
Arthur :scribe:

I have been informed that I have the wrong image for the Maryland warbler. You can find a good image at:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Yellowthroat
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

Here is an image of the Maryland yellowthroat, by Louis Agassiz Fuertes from Birds of New York.

Arthur
 

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KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Wasn't even aware that this species existed. It sure is a beautiful bord/
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello KC,

It is a "common yellowthroat," once called a Maryland warbler or a Maryland yellowthroat. I dislike the current name just as I dislike the name "yellow dumped warbler" and prefer the old name fo myrtle warbler.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 
Found this Red-Tailed Hawks nest a week ago in Bushwick, Brooklyn and its been giving me life!

Cast consists of 2 adults and 2 young ones and are nesting on the AC unit of a public school
 

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