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New York

Saturday 15th April 2000 –Sat 22 April 2000; John Newnham

A week mainly site-seeing in the city; stayed The Park Central Hotel on corner of 55th Street and 7th Avenue; two blocks south of the south end of Central Park.  Most birding done during brief morning walks in Central Park, a long stroll in the Park in hot weather on Sunday 16th pm and on Wednesday 19th April on trip to Liberty & Ellis Island.  Unfortunately poor weather and limited time meant no trip out of the city to wild life refuge @ Jamaica Bay (near JFK airport).

Most days wet and cold with predominately north to NE wind; locals described spring as one of coldest and wettest in recent years and birders had noted few migrants yet appearing.  Sunday am explored SE corner of park but other mornings walked to the lake and “ramble” area where most other birders were found.  Only migrants knowingly missed during the week were Purple Martin reported on Reservoir, Pine Warbler and Blue headed Vireo seen in the Ramble.

Systematic list 

Red-throated Loon

Single flew close past ferry on route to Liberty Island on 19/4.

Common Loon

Single flew close past ferry on route to Liberty Island on 19/4.

Double Crested Cormorant*

Central Park lake & reservoir; most days; + Harbour and flying over Manhattan

Black Crowned Night Heron

Central Park lake; male 20/4.

Great Egret

Central Park Lake/ Pond & Hbr

Mute Swan

Nesting on Central Park lake.


ca 100 hrota Hbr and several feeding on greens @ Flushing Meadow.

Canada Goose

Hbr & Central Park reservoir.


Central Park Lake/Pond/reservoir; Hbr; seen daily

American Black Duck

Central Park lake & reservoir.

Northern Shoveler

Central Park lake & reservoir.


Central Park reservoir; ca 16 birds including several males

Ruddy Duck

Central Park reservoir; ca 10 individuals.


probably 4 (two together) seen from Empire State Building on 20/4; ? migrating.

Red-tailed Hawk

3 over Central Park on 18/4.

American Coot*

Central Park lake & reservoir.

Spotted Sandpiper

Central Park lake on 19/4

Laughing Gull*

several full breeding adults Liberty Island

Ring-billed Gull*

all ages except full adult Hbr & Central Park lake & reservoir.

Herring Gull

large variety @ Hbr & Central Park lake & reservoir.

Great Black-backed Gull

Hbr & Central Park lake & reservoir.

Rock/Feral Dove

Central Park++

Mourning Dove*

Central Park; most days – best views @ Ramble

Red-bellied Woodpecker*

Central Park – mainly Ramble

Northern Flicker*

Central Park – daily

Yellow –bellied Sapsucker*

Central Park – only 16/4

Downy Woodpecker*

Central Park – commonest woodpecker in park

Hairy Woodpecker*

Central Park – only seen in SE corner on 16/4

Blue Jay*

Central Park – common in most areas

American Crow*

Central Park daily and Ellis Island; possibly Fish Crow also

Northern Rough-winged Swallow*

Central Park lake on 17/4; only stayed for short while & only hirundine

Tufted Titmouse*

Central Park – regular in Ramble

Black-capped Chickadee*

Central Park - Ramble area only

Brown Creeper*

Central Park – not unlike familiaris

Ruby-crowned Kinglet*

Central Park - seen daily

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*

Central Park Ramble area on 20/4

Hermit Thrush*

Central Park Ramble area on 20/4

American Robin*

Central Park – everywhere-  equivalent to our Blackbird

Northern Mockingbird

Central Park – single singing @ close range outside Met Museum of Art 16/4

Brown Thrasher*

Central Park – single in SE corner on 16/4

European Starling

common everywhere

Myrtle Warbler

Central Park Ramble 2-3 on 20/4

Palm Warbler*

Central Park Ramble 2-3 on 20/4 + single on 17/4

Chipping Sparrow*

Central Park 18&19/4

Fox Sparrow*

Central Park Ramble area 20/4

Song Sparrow*

Central Park Ramble 18,19&20/4

Swamp Sparrow*

Central Park Ramble 18,19&20/4

White-throated Sparrow*

Central Park – most days

Dark-eyed Junco*

Central Park most days – slate –coloured variant

Northern Cardinal*

Central Park most days.

Red-winged Blackbird*

Central Park most days.

Common Grackle*

Central Park most days.

House Finch*

Central Park most days + birds singing in occasional tree in city.

American Goldfinch*

Central Park ramble on 19&20/4

House Sparrow


 * indicates a species new to me; total 55 species of which 34 new; no doubt a trip 2 weeks later would produce a greater range of migrants.  Helped on identification by Chris and a number of other American birders.

JAN 23/4/2000