Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 in Central Park

Those of us that were birding Central Park on 9/11/01 are never going to forget that experience, nor what followed.  There's a tendency to mark the anniversary by doing the same thing again - looking for fall migrants in the Ramble.  However the motivation for birding today was more weather-driven than anniversary-driven.

9/11/01 was the "first good migration day of fall" with the wind out of the north, which blew the ash from the WTC site away from the park until the wind changed two days later.  That wind carried quite a decent number of migrants with it.  9/11/12 also had a north-west wind and cool overnight temperatures but the results were not as dramatic bird-wise or in any other way.

The biggest movement of migrants today were the multiple flocks of Cedar Waxwings moving around the park.  Actual warblers were a little more scarce and I came up with a mere handful of them: Northern Parula; Magnolia Warbler; Black-throated Blue Warbler; Black-and-white Warbler; American Redstart; Canada Warbler; Common Yellowthroat.  Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos were around, and the Warblings were still singing, as they have been over the last few trips to CPK.  The best birds that I saw today were Broad-winged Hawks - a heavily marked immature over the Lake, adults and lightly marked immatures over the Ramble and one pale immature sitting in plain view in the Ramble until it finally flew out mid-morning.  Most or all of these birds had clearly roosted in the park overnight because they were seen at low altitude.  I've never seen one actually roosting in the park before.  The hummingbird movement continued with at least one and probably more through the Maintenance Field - the Central Park Conservancy have numerous Cardinal Flower plantings within the Ramble which are often used as a food source by hummingbirds.  I continue to miss Red-breasted Nuthatches despite hearing them in two locations in the park - I might have seen the ones near Azalea Pond but they did not stick around and fell silent.

Nevertheless a slightly lackluster migration day given the north wind overnight.

What follows is the list from 9/11/01.  I keep my sightings stored in HTML format and this is part of my Sightings2001 file.

Northern Flicker
Red-eyed, Philadelphia Vireo   
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Veery, Swainson's, Wood Thrush
Cedar Waxwing
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Northern Parula
Nashville, Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush
Wilson's Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole

No comments: