Archivos de diario de enero 2023

09 de enero de 2023

Central Park

Today I went for a walk in Central Park. I knew from eBird Alerts that there was a Redhead at the Pool, and a Horned Grebe in the Reservoir. So, Julia and I took the subway to 103rd street. It was cool but not cold, and generally cloudy but bright. A high of 41°F, with a light breeze, almost minimal, coming out of the north.

New England and coastal parks in this area of the world, in January, always look the same to me; middling green to brown grass on mud, with occasional plane trees and outcroppings of schist. Central Park, to me, seems to lack meaningful diversity at the first glance. Even the edges appear dull - occasional goldenrod does spice things up, and brambles. My impressions may be because I am deuteronopic. Winter is the dullest season.

On entering the park, and walking towards the pool, the first life I noted was a call of a crow off to the northwest. This was repeated a few times, which separated out the possibility of a Fish Crow - their calls are much more nasal. I have yet to hear a Fish Crow in Manhattan. Then, shortly after, there was a Blue Jay calling. Blue Jays were there for the duration of our time in the park, but it may have simply been a non-breeding family grouping. Six were counted at one point.

At the uniced pool, I noticed some Mallards feeding at the stream influx, possibly being fed by humans. They were on the other side of the pool, so I walked east in order to go around. I was surprised by the lack of Scaup in the pool, but it was rather small. I had expected them, as all of my interactions with Redhead had also been with Scaups nearby. At one edge, two male Northern Shovelers were feeding, although they swam away when I got close enough to photograph them. They were smaller than I expected, up close. The same note of size relation was more marked when I saw a female Shoveler later with the Mallards - in the attached photo of a Redhead, you can see the Shoveler facing the camera and rather small in stature. Altogether, I only counted three Shovelers in the pond.

The Mallards were preening and generally swimming around the sandy inflow to the pond. Among them the Redhead was preening, as well. I couldn't identify them until I was somewhat close, as the red in the head does not stand out to me at all. When Julia pointed at the redhead, I didn't at first see it. In the future, I should focus more on the back plumage, which is more diagnostic. The redhead was not shy. Four birders stood around twenty feet from it, taking photos.

Walking towards the reservoir, the park was strangely quiet of bird life. I thought I may have heard a single Brown Creeper tseet, but it was difficult to tell if that could have been a bike. However, near the reservoir itself, there was a flurry of bird activity. First, a couple of Tufted Titmice distant caught my eye. With bins, it was easy to see the shape of the head, which is fairly diagnostic in New York for a small gray passerine. The only bird I know that looks vaguely similar is a Oak Titmouse, which would be well out of range (or Crested Tit, even, but no pines here). Then, the first White-throated Sparrow was noted in a small bush. It soon became apparent that there was a large passerine swarm in the area. It seems like some food had been left beneath one of the trees in the brush, and there was a large flock of sparrows - at least ten, and at least five more Tufted Titmice. One Downy Woodpecker pecked away at a tree around twenty meters up. Blue Jays moved through the branches. Another robin bobbed up and down on a thin branch, showing off the gray mantle of its subspecies here. I liked this part best.

The Reservoir was something else entirely. Of note first were 30 mallards and the same amount of Northern Shovelers, with a few geese (another hundred could be seen on the south side). Next to the was a massive flock of Ruddy Ducks - perhaps two hundred, or more. They were rather silly, although not as silly as they could be, in eclipse plumage as they were. Their tails upright, they swam around in a large flock, going the same way. Gulls dotted the reservoir - mostly Herring and Ring-billed, with some Greater Black-backs. I didn't note any Iceland or Glaucous gulls, nor Bonaparte's, but I also didn't look for very long. By this point, we were about to be in a rush to leave. However, not 150 from me, the Horned Grebe popped up, in eclipse plumage with a white neck and a dark cap extending down to the nares. The white neck was pronounced.

After seeing both of our targets, we wandered off. Pigeons flew over some of the buildings on Central Park West. A silly, but nice, walk in the park.

Publicado el enero 9, 2023 02:45 MAÑANA por richardlitt richardlitt | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario