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Late August Bird Migration, Central Park

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Blue-winged Warbler (male) 21 August 2021 in Central Park by Deborah Allen.

26 August 2021

Bird Notes: Our updated Aug-Sep schedule is now on our web site: SCHEDULE . Our Evening walks have begun on Tuesday and Thursday (5:30pm start/$10) led by Ms. Sandra Critelli of Italy...meeting at the Boathouse Restaurant/Cafe. If you have questions (or need her cell #), email Sandra: you can find her direct link on the Schedule page.

This Newsletter is a mix of coastal and woodland birds...kind of a birder's version of surf and turf. Central Park birders know August as warbler time...but move a bit east, and August is the Shorebirds, particularly hatch-year birds. For us, work continues on our house (see the very end of this missive for the lovely tile work going up); and only three windows to go! More on those next week. We are sure looking forward to being done with house repairs and can devote ourselves to birding and this Newsletter full-time.

In this week's Historical Notes, we send three excerpts about Shorebirds in our area 1887-1920: (a) hunting flocks of Yellowlegs and others along coastal New Jersey in late August 1890; (b) hunting Shorebirds on Long Island in August 1887; (c) the migration of Shorebirds in the tri-state region in June-August 1920.

Greater Yellowlegs Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (NJ) 8 October 2015 Deborah Allen

Semi-palmated Sandpiper Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx) 31 July 2020 D. Allen

Bird Walks for Late August 2021

All Walks @ $10/person

1. Friday, 27 August 8:30am. Bird Walk. Conservatory Garden (105th street and 5th Ave) $10. N.B. this walk meets uptown - at the north end of the park...but easy to reach.

2. Saturday, 28 August 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

3. Sunday, 29 August at 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

4. Monday, 30 August 8:30am. Bird Walk. Strawberry Fields (72nd street and Central Park West) $10. N.B. this walk meets at the IMAGINE mosaic inside the park at 72nd - inside the park (about 50 yards from CP West).


AND!!!: Thursday 26 August (+ Tuesday 31 August), meeting at 5:30pm meeting at the Boathouse Restaurant/Cafe. An approx. 90 minute long walk for birds/bats with Sandra Critelli. Please contact Sandra directly if you have any questions:


5. Friday, 3 September 8:30am. Bird Walk. Conservatory Garden (105th street and 5th Ave) $10. N.B. this walk meets uptown - at the north end of the park...but easy to reach.

6. Saturday, 4 Sept. 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

7. Sunday, 5 Sept. at 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

8. Monday, 6 Sept. 8:30am. Bird Walk. Strawberry Fields (72nd street and Central Park West) $10. N.B. this walk meets at the IMAGINE mosaic inside the park at 72nd - inside the park (about 50 yards from CP West).


Call (718-828-8262) or Email us with questions:


The fine print: Our walks on weekends meet at 7:30/9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approx. 74th street and the East Drive). Please note: the Boathouse is not one of the buildings that surround the nearby Model Boat Pond - people make this mistake all the time! Fridays we meet at Conservatory Garden; Mondays at Strawberry Fields - check the "Meeting Points" page of this web site for exact meeting location.

Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is ( If you are lost and trying to get to the bird walk, call Deborah's cell phone...but remember on weekends there will be 2-3 other people calling who are also lost - please be patient. 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 - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk. We end all our Central Park walks (except Fridays) near the Boathouse at about noon; 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 aim to please.

Baird's Sandpiper Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx) 16 August 2017 D. Allen

Below: Whimbrel Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx) 30 August 2017 D. Allen

Here is what we saw last week (brief highlights): well...Hurricane Henri washed out Sunday-Monday (August 22-23), but as it approached the weather was tropical: humid and quite warm (high 80s) with winds from the south. Such weather patterns are usually not so good for new arrival/migrants in Central Park...but others already in the park tend

Prothonotary Warbler (first-fall) Saturday, 21 August in the Ramble, Central Park/D. Allen

to stay. So it was with the Prothonotary Warbler (above)...and we had below eye-level looks for Karen Evans, Peter Haskell and a nice family from Utah - at the "Oven." We also discovered via Deborah's photos that there are at least TWO Prothonotary Warblers in the park (this second has a brownish cap typical of immatures - see photo above and compare to Deborah's photo of an adult male in last week's Newsletter). That being said/written, we had a Prothonotary Warbler at a third location in the park on Saturday morning...could there have been three? Who knows...but absolutely, certainly, no doubt = two! We also added on Saturday (below eye-level and a few feet away): Blue-winged Warbler (top photo) and Worm-eating Warbler. So even though we did not have many individuals, diversity was good...and people hot/tired. See Deborah's list below for specifics for Friday (uptown) and Saturday (Ramble).

Deborah's List of Birds for Friday/Saturday 20-21 August: Click Here

Deborah's List of Birds for Sunday 22 August: RAIN! HURRICANE Henri

Deborah's List of Birds for Monday 23 August: RAIN! HURRICANE Henri

Western Sandpiper Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx) 24 August 2017 Deborah Allen

Below: Least Sandpiper Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (NJ) 17 Sept 2018 D. Allen

Below: Greater Yellowlegs Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (NJ) 8 October 2015 D. Allen



Perth Amboy, N. J., Aug. 30 [1890].

0n Sunday, Aug. 27 [1890], the oracular person who inspires the column in the Sun which deals in shooting and fishing told its readers that there had been no flight of bay birds along the coast as yet, nor would there be until a change should occur in the "meteorological conditions." I happen to know that yellowlegs were flying at Chadwick’s, N. J., on July, 13, 14 and 15, and that a large flight occurred on the 25th, 26th and 27th, in spite of "meteorological conditions." In to-day's Sun we may read reports from the New Jersey coast as follows: "Barnegat: So far only a few yellow snipe have arrived." "Townsend's Inlet: Bay snipe are as yet very scarce."

Compare with these reports the following extracts from a letter received yesterday from a point on Barnegat Bay: "On Wednesday, the 6th inst., there were droves of birds. Some flocks yesterday (the 7th) had 50 to 75 birds. Got 40 myself. There were quite a number of birds flying to-day. One flock of 30 yellers came over my decoys while I was away from the blind."

Verbum sat. [“a word is enough (to a wise man)”] – K

Dunlin Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (NJ) 10 March 2016 D. Allen

Shorebird Hunting on Long Island in August 1887. [1887 excerpt] The Long Island grass plover [Upland Sandpiper] shooting thus far has proved a fizzle. There have been but very few birds killed on Montauk. Mr. Arthur Duane, however, killed 19 near Southampton, L. I., and some few birds were shot near Mecock Bay and in the pastures east of East Hampton.

It seems as if the wary plover [Upland Sandpiper] were giving Long Island the pass-by in these times for the purpose of concentrating in New Jersey. They bred in this State in goodly numbers this year, especially in Salem and Somerset counties. The crop of plover in the first-named county was immense, and large shipments of these delicious birds found their way to Robbins & Coy's stalls in Fulton Market [lower Manhattan].

The great flight of these birds from their northern breeding grounds passed over Newark [New Jersey] on the nights of Aug. 22, 23 and 24. They could be heard calling from sundown to dawn.

On the Jersey coast the bay bird shooting was poor up to last accounts. I interviewed Bill Chadwick one day last month and he talked common sense. He said there was a row of houses now from Sandy Hook to Cape May, just in the old track of the birds. That the shooting at Barnegat was no longer on the beach, but mainland side.

The meadows were in good order around Chadwick's famous stand, but the birds were scarce. Mr. Frank Endicott was summering up at Bill's and indorsed all the old gunner said. What few birds were being gathered in were falling to Mr. Endicott's gun. He had one yelper [Yellowlegs] the day I saw him. It was regarded as a curiosity. Down at Egg Harbor there were some birds, and small flocks could be seen passing Mantoloking (which is three miles north of Chadwick’s); far out to sea these birds were trading up the beach and were mostly little yellowlegs [Lesser Yellowlegs]. Mr. Howard Hays, of Newark, in company with Mr. T. H. Powers Farr, of Orange, did some shooting south of Mantoloking with but small results.

From Port Elizabeth (N. J.) on the Maurice River, where for some years past the largest number of rail have been boated in this country, comes word that the meadows have filled in and that it will take an unusually big spring tide to go over them. The rail shooting in New Jersey begins to-day. J. L. NEW YORK, 1 September 1887

Semi-palmated Sandpiper Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx) 18 August 2020 Deborah Allen

THE SEASON. June 15 to August 15, 1920

New York Region. The beginnings of the southward migration fall in this period. Tree Swallows are reported as gathering about the Hackensack marshes in early July. There was a further decided general increase in their numbers about August 12. Other Swallows which breed commonly in the region were also moving. C. H. Rogers estimated between 800 and 900 Barn Swallows at Long Beach [Long Island] on the morning of August 8. Before eight o'clock comparatively few birds were seen, and these feeding; a heavy flight took place between eight and ten, after which fewer were migrating.

July to August is the time of year when the majority of land-birds cease singing and are difficult to find; and the time when the majority of the northern breeding shore-birds are sweeping southward along the coast. This season the coastwise marshes have not dried out as they sometimes do, a condition doubtless correlated with an unusual abundance of such birds.

Several species were very early in putting in an appearance. At Mastic, L. I., a Least Sandpiper and a Lesser Yellowleg, in company, were noted on June 27. A week later, July 4, there were more Lesser Yellowlegs, also Dowitchers; July 11, a Solitary Sandpiper; July 17, a Wilson's Snipe! A Solitary Sandpiper reported from Kingsland, N. J. (on the Hackensack) July 5 (C. H. Rogers), is exceptionally early. The Pectoral and Stilt Sandpipers at Mastic (both first noted July 24), and Jack Curlew [Hudsonian Godwit] on Long Island in general, are above their ordinary numbers. The Pectoral was decidedly more numerous in the past than it has been in recent years, but seems to be increasing again. The Jack Curlew [Hudsonian Godwit] is one of the more regular migrants along the Sound side of the island, where shore-birds in general are poorly represented. It may be seen steering a steady course to the west along the Sound, passing close to the northern headlands.

The writer has long been aware that the Duck Hawk regularly persecutes coastwise shore-birds, and expects to meet with it whenever these become particularly abundant.

Early in August he saw a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk attempt to pick up a Woodcock in the woods. Puddles of water in a wheel rut of a certain road frequently had borings beside them, and one afternoon a Woodcock was found sitting motionless, facing such a puddle, and the road beyond, its long bill slanting down across its breast. After about three minutes by the watch, a shadow dropped down, and a flutter resolved itself into, first, the Hawk, which had missed, turning upward with dark-barred tail broadly

spread to disappear in the arching branches and foliage above, second the Woodcock's

wing-twitter slanting up and away through the trees in a direction opposite to that

it had been facing. It must have been very quick. J. T. Nichols, New York City.


Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD

Follow our Bird Sightings on Twitter: @DAllenNYC and/or @BirdingBobNYC

Reservoir, Central Park looking southeast from the northwest corner

We are starting with the tile work in our foyer as of 24 August. [Meanwhile, since you asked: Four of the Five Bay Windows are 100% complete; more photos in a week or so when we finish the fifth, and last, Bay Window.] These are the Mexican Talavera Tiles that we like so much and have used extensively in our kitchen and elsewhere. The Black-and-white "Day of the Dead" skulls (left side of photo above; see detail below) are especially popular - just be careful where you use them! As for the colorful pattern on the cannot go wrong with them...just don't use Mexican tiles outside the house because they will crack due to freeze/thaw cycles. Anyway, one only needs someone good at installing tiles (not too difficult); keep the grout lines thin - and think colorful. Have fun...

#BirdWalksCentralPark #BirdWalksCentralParkAugust


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