Sunday, August 19, 2007

Central Park Report: 18-Aug-2007

DATE: Saturday, 18 August 2007 (3:45p-7:20p)
LOCATION: Central Park - reservoir & north end

It's easy to see Central Park is not a nature sanctuary. While counting the Mallards on the Meer I spotted one with a huge fishing lure lodged in its lower bill. Last week the same was seen with a Canada Goose.

While birding the Wildflower Sanctuary I was cursed out by a dog 'walker' who didn't want to hear what the rules had to say about his off leash dog - a beautiful Border Collie.

Sooner or later one of the Red-tailed Hawks will be killed by rodenticide use in the park. Many traps can be spotted in key locations. If anyone knows anything about using rodenticides in a raptor's territory please take a look at and if you could let me know whether these baiting stations are legal that would be much appreciated.

Sorry for the rank rant but it's tough seeing these things going down without anything being done about it. I never see any rangers around when I'm out birding Central Park though they do seem to appear out of nowhere when a tripod is setup on one of the lawns. The police officers don't appear to enforce park rules. Rules are great but unfortunately it takes enforcement to make them stick.

I know fishing is 'legal' in Central Park but much harm is done from discarded fishing lures and fishing line. I think photographs of these incidents, seen by many park birders, should make a difference if shown to park officials. In my opinion there's no need to have catch and release fishing in Central Park.

** Total species - 31 **

[Categories based on the Central Park checklist.]

'Rare' (seen fewer than 10 times betw. 1970 & publ. of list) [1 spp]:
+ Blue-winged Teal - 1 female-type continues on the Meer

'Less Common' migrants [2 spp]:
+ Gadwall - At least 18 on 3 bodies of water: reservoir (6), Pool (3) & Meer (9+)
+ Spotted Sandpiper - 1 juvenile feeding on the grass on E edge of Meer - approached close to where I was standing

'Common' migrants [12 spp]:
- Double-crested Cormorant - At least 26 on the reservoir
- Chimney Swift - At least 15 sightings incl. a group of 8 over C.P.W. & 108th St.
- Northern Flicker - 1 heard
- Eastern Kingbird - Several seen and heard on North Meadow (3+)
- Barn Swallow - At least 8 sightings incl. 4 over North Meadow & 4 over the Meer (none seen around the reservoir)
- American Robin - Many (60+)
- Gray Catbird - 1 heard
- Yellow Warbler - 1 just W of the bridge leading to the Tennis Courts at N end of reservoir
- Black-and-white Warbler - 1 at the NE corner of the reservoir
- Common Yellowthroat - 1 female in the Wildflower Meadow
- Common Grackle - Several (3+)
- Baltimore Oriole - 2 heard

Year round residents [16 spp]:
- Canada Goose - At least 40 on the Meer
- Mallard - At least 120 on 2 bodies of water: Pool (30+) & Meer (90+)
- Red-tailed Hawk - 1 on the NE tower of the Beresford above C.P.W. between 81st/82nd St.
- Ring-billed Gull - At least 2 on the reservoir
- Herring Gull - At least 50 on the reservoir
- Great Black-backed Gull - At least 20 on the reservoir
- Rock Pigeon - Several (12+)
- Mourning Dove - At least 7 throughout the park
- Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1 heard
- Downy Woodpecker - Several heard and seen (4+)
- Blue Jay - Several heard and seen (3+)
- Tufted Titmouse - 1 over the Loch near the Wildflower Meadow
+ Northern Mockingbird - 1 display flying over the Meer
- European Starling - 1 around the reservoir
- Northern Cardinal - 1 male seen on the north side of the drive
- House Sparrow - Several (24+)