Updated: Apr 22
Bird Notes: Bird walks Friday through Monday inclusive - weather looks good this weekend (no rain!). The entire list of spring bird walks can be found on the Schedule page of our web site at $10/person. Above is an adult male Northern Flicker (9 Apr 2022) by Deborah Allen .
14 April 2022
Answer to this week's bird quiz: click here
In this week's Historical Notes we feature three articles about NYC birds/flora/weather: (a) the ***Summer Tanager*** as a very early spring migrant ("slingshot" arrival) on Long Island on 11 April 1901; (b) Flora of Buck's Hollow, Staten Island April 1968; and finally (c) Weather Trends for March 2022 in Central Park/Manhattan.
***With the "unsettled" weather of late March-early April 2022, some significant bird migrants arrived in Manhattan ahead of schedule. There was the Yellow-throated Warbler (2 April) in Central Park we featured last week in the Newsletter, as well as a Blue Grosbeak on Randall's Island (3 April), and an early Blue-winged Warbler on 11 April. (We'll have to ask Deborah if this is the earliest arrival date ever for this species in Central Park: she has the records for the last century+). Sometimes called "slingshot migration" - birds flying at night on migration that should land further south, somehow leap frog much further/faster north as a result of upper atmosphere weather patterns and disturbances. That 11 April 1901 Summer Tanager [photo below] in the Historical Notes sure seems like it was a slingshot migrant into our area from much further south.
Summer Tanager (1 May 2011) in Central Park by D. Allen.
Good! Bird Walks for mid April - each $10
All Walks @ $10/person - all in Central Park
1. Friday, 15 April: (8:30am) Conservatory Garden (105th street and 5th Avenue) $10
2!!!. Saturday, 16 April: 7:30am and again at 9:30am; Boathouse Cafe $10
3!!!. Sunday, 17 April: 7:30am and again at 9:30am; Boathouse Cafe $10
4. Monday, 18 April: (8:30am) Strawberry Fields (72nd st. and Central Park West) $10
!!!: if you do the 7:30am walk, you can come on the 9:30am for free (two for one).
*For all our walks: no need to book ahead or pay in advance - just show up at the right time and place and away you go with us. Binoculars can be rented for $10.
Any questions send them our way: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 718-828-8262 (home)
male Ruby-crowned Kinglet Central Park, 9 April 2022 by ANIKET (our friend who happens also to be a
Ph.D. Neuroscientist via Columbia University and Harvard Medical School.)
The fine print: *No need to book ahead or pay in advance - just show up at the right time and place and away you go with us! In April-May-June, our walks on weekends meet at 7:30am and again at 9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approx. 74th street and the East Drive) through early June 2022. Please note: the Boathouse is not one of the buildings that surround the nearby Model Boat Pond - people make this mistake all the time! Friday walks meet uptown at 8:30am at Conservatory Garden (105th street and 5th Ave); Mondays at 8:30am at Strawberry Fields (Central Park West at 72nd street). Directions to All Meeting Locations can be found here
WEATHER: If in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not the morning of the walk: check the main landing page of this web site as well as the "Schedule" page - if the walk is cancelled, information will be posted there by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 11pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home (718-828-8262) - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk. We end all our Central Park walks (except Fridays) at the Boathouse at about 12noon to 1pm; you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $6 total). Walks last about 3 hrs (less if hot or rainy), and you can leave at anytime - we won't be offended. If you need directions/help to your next destination, just ask someone on the walk - we are a helpful group.
Yellow-throated Warbler (adult female) Central Park 9 April 2022 by ANIKET (our friend who happens also to be a Ph.D. Neuroscientist via Columbia University and Harvard Medical School.) Note Well: bird is feeding on sap (sugar) from holes in this Sweetgum tree made by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. We ask: Are Sapsucker wells (holes) a keystone feeding resource for migrant birds in Central Park?
Here is what we saw last week (brief highlights)
Friday 8 April through Monday 11 April (inclusive). Friday at the North End (Deborah is doing all Friday walks this year) the group found the ongoing Great Horned Owl (here since at least January 2022), as well as two warbler species (Palm and Pine). Friday was the beginning of a weekend of good (early season) bird migration. On Saturday many birds had arrived including Robins flying north overhead at 630am. We found the first Blue-grey Gnatcatcher of the season for the park, and then using sound brought in two Rough-winged Swallows to perch a few feet from us. We picked up five warbler species for the morning - a peak for the weekend. On Sunday the number of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers had a notable uptick, but our best sightings were predators: a young male Merlin [photo below] was eating a small bird in Maintenance Field, and we were surprised to see a Great Horned Owl [photo below] gazing at us from a Hemlock tree in Shakespeare Garden. By Monday, numbers of birds were down, but we still had some fun interactions using sound to bring in Northern Flickers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
1. Deborah's List of Birds in Central Park for Friday, 8 April 2022: Click Here
2. Deborah's List of Birds in Central Park for Saturday, 9 April 2022: Click Here
3. Deborah's List of Birds in Central Park for Saturday, 10 April 2022: Click Here
4. Deborah's List of Birds in Central Park for Monday, 11 April 2022: Click Here
Great Horned Owl Central Park 10 April 2022 Deborah Allen
Piranga rubra [Summer Tanager] Another Long Island, N.Y., Record [11 April 1901]. It will be of interest in connection with the record of this species made by Dr. Braislin, to note another. My correspondent, Mr. Selah B. Strong of Setauket, L. I., wrote to me 11 April 1901, as follows: "This morning I saw a, to me, new bird. It was about three quarters the size of a robin. Head, and nearly his entire body, between cardinal and scarlet with a shade of grayish brown on wings." I at once sent Mr. Strong a specimen of the Summer Tanager for comparison and he wrote that there was no doubt of the identity of the bird. On April 22 Mr. Strong wrote as follows: "The Tanager is becoming very tame and I see him constantly; during yesterday's storm he was winging on the vines on the front of the house, and when I went out of the door he flew from under the steps; again he was on the ground in front of my study window and did not mind our watching him. At present he is flitting among the trees in the orchard." A subsequent letter from Mr. Strong stated that although the bird remained over ten days on his premises it finally disappeared.
William Dutcher, New York City.
20 April 1968. Flora of Buck's Hollow, Staten Island. We started from the parking lot of High Rock Park, and walked through a woodland and some fields to Rockland Avenue entrance to Latourette Park. On the way we saw early spring flowers and blooms of trees. Shadbush (Amelanchier canadensis) were at their best for the season, and many of these trees could be spotted through the woodland and along the trail. Spicebush and sassafras were also in bloom but the maples had already formed seeds. Under foot was a carpet of trout lilies (Erythroniumn americanum) and the canada may-flower (Maianthemum canadensis) was in leaf, with some of the flower buds formed. Apple and pear trees were in flower in an old field, while wild black cherries were still in tight bud. From Rockland Avenue we walked up a hill to get to an overlook. But just as we got there a fire had started in the tinder-dry brush. It was already too hot and large for us to cope with so Ed Milanese ran all the way back to Rockland Avenue, flagged a car and summoned the fire department. Meanwhile we beat a hasty retreat from that woodland. We went back through the open fields and along a brook towards High Rock Park. On the way we saw large patches of the common blue violet (Viola papillionaceae) and colt's foot (Tutssilago farfara). Some of it in bloom, some already in seed.
Attendance 12, Leader, Mathilde P. Weingartner
Eastern Phoebe 10 April 2020 eating a worm (!) in Central Park Sandra Critelli
MARCH 2022: WEATHER SUMMARY for NEW YORK CITY
from the NYC Weather Blog by Rob Frydlewicz
March 2022 was the 16th mildest March on record in New York. (March 2020 and 2021 are among the 16 that were milder.) The month was 2.5F degrees above average, with the high and low being 3.7F and 1.2F degrees above average, respectively. This March would probably have ranked among the ten mildest if it weren't for four cold days:
March 4 - 37°/21°, 11 degrees F. below average
March 13 - 35°/22°, 13 degrees F. below average
March 28 - 33°/23°, 19 degrees F. below average
March 29 - 38°/24°, 15 degrees F. below average
March 28th's high was the coldest this late into the year in 40 years, since a high of 30° on April 7, 1982. (Temperatures rebounded on the 31st, and from late morning into the wee hours of 1 April, they were in the 60s.) And the last time a low of 23° occurred later than 28 March was in 1995, on 6 April.
March 7th and March 18th were the mildest days of the month, with both having the same high/low of 74°/50°. The eight-day period from March 15-22 was 12 degrees F. above average (high/low of 64°/46°). This was followed five days later by a four-day stretch of unseasonably cold temperatures, from March 27-30, 13 degrees F. below average (41°/26°).
Below average precipitation, 2.39 inches (about two inches below average), made this NYC's 29th driest March (tied with March 1897). Much of the rain, 1.99", fell on three days (0.56" on 3/9, 0.50" on 3/12, and 0.93" on 3/24). Only 0.4" of snow fell (3/9), but it was the most in March in three years. 33 other Marches have had less snow.
There was a wind gust of 49 mph the night of 7 March, the highest gust recorded in Central Park since one of 62 mph during superstorm Sandy on 29 October 2012.
Finally, on 22 March, the afternoon humidity dropped to 11% (fourth lowest of this century).
Merlin (immature male) 10 April 2022 in Central Park Deborah Allen
Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (male) in Central Park
10 April 2022 Deborah Allen
Ukrainian Easter Eggs