Birding Central Park

It's a while since I put anything on my blog. The weather at home hasn't been all that good and apart from the excellent Hawfinches at Stocks reservoir, I've been concentrating on more local birds and survey work.
Well not today - Bernie, Heather and I have taken a mini-break to New York where the weather is calm, crisp and cold. We did the touristy bit yesterday, taking the circle line cruise around Manhattan (an excellent trip) and as well as seeing all those fantaastic sights, managed to see a raft of Bufflehead including a lovely male as a few other bits and pieces. Today, I'd arranged to meet up with a friend from New Jersey, but unfortunately he couldn't make it so I headed for Central Park early on (with the girls planning a shop-til-you-drop session!). I entered Central Park from the Colubmus Circle and soon had an American Robin feeding on some berries - the only one I saw. Blue Jays were very much in evidence as were other common US birds such as Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows (above). Around Strawberry fields I had good views of three Rufous-sided Towhees, Slate-coloured Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I made over to the boathouse where I met up with Bob and his Sunday morning bird-walk group. Whilst I waited I seached out some more of the commoner birds - Tufted Titmouse, Black-cappd Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch. We first made our way over to the feeding station where there were lots of American Goldfinches as well as a few Pine Siskins. A Coopers Hawk perched in a nearby tree with Grackles, Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds making a racket around it. The group was intent on finding some White-winged (two-barred) Crossbills and searched all over for them without success. We did get a few more birds such as Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Flicker as well as the commoner supporting cast. All in all a pleasant mornings birding getting to grips with birds I'd not seen for some time.
Tomorrow - Empire State Building (just a block from where we're staying) and Downtown, I think.


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