Monday, January 28, 2008

Scott's Oriole in Union Square Park (NYC)

I went into NYC early on Monday morning to track down the first winter Scott's Oriole that was being seen in Union Square Park, of all places. True to form the bird was seen quite easily - perching over my head in a tree pre-sunrise and returning to the small garden in the southwest corner of the park a couple of times to pose in the sunlight. This is potentially a first NY State record for this species. More pictures with text here and a fuller collection on my gallery page for this species.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Catskills boreal invasives (NY)

A brief foray into the southern edge of the Catskills in search of winter boreals netted some excellent looks at Pine Grosbeak in Grahamsville but unfortunately the civilized start time led to us missing feeder birds like Common Redpoll. The day was frigid (low 20's at most) with a brisk wind. So a visit to Shawangunk NWR near Wallkill in Ulster County was especially invigorating while scanning the fields for Short-eared Owl. While developing the early stages of frostbite we did see 4 Rough-legged Hawks including one dark morph and one that looked more intermediate than pale morph. That and several Northern Harriers dominated the field and we did not manage to wait out full darkness before retreating to the car to thaw out.