I arrived back from New York City early this morning, I was due to fly back on the 27th Jan but after flight cancellations due to the Winter Storm Juno hitting the city during the week, I had to stay longer in the Big Apple (what a shame!). This meant more time exploring the city and getting new bird ticks to try and beat Wayne (the other half of NSL-Birding) with life list totals.
As I was staying with family members and friends who weren't into bird-watching, I set a few hours aside every couple of days and tried to walk through Central Park as much as possible, although it proved in NYC there's birds everywhere, whilst shopping I spotted a small group of Sparrows outside Macy's ! In that group there was 1 White-Throated Sparrow, whom I put some grain down for, and within seconds I was surrounded by them!
I caught the boat across to the Statue of Liberty, and there were stacks of Ring-Billed Gulls and Starlings, aswell as a small group of Brant Geese and Canada Geese. After a walk around the Island and some night shots of the Manhattan Skyline, I was up early the next day for a bus trip around the city, whilst waiting for a bus change, I spotted some little birds feeding in the bushes, 2 of which were Tufted Titmouse and then a Downy Woodpecker appeared!
I jumped off the bus and had a quick wander through Central Park, I heard the Red-Tailed Hawk within minutes but just couldn't find him, so moved on, there was a roost of Mourning Doves in one tree, with Blue Jays in the next tree across calling. I was just leaving the park when I saw some feathers falling from the tree above, it was only the "Pale Male" Red-Tailed Hawk on a kill about 10 foot above me, I snapped away and caught up with the others.
The next day we woke up to snow (before this Storm hit) about 4-6 inches in most places, so another trip to take some pictures of Central Park in the snow was in order, again plenty of Blue Jays and seen at least 3 Red-Tailed Hawks around the park all sat just to far away for my 135mm lens.
Then a bright red bird flew straight in front of me and landed 3 or 4 foot away from me! A Northern Cardinal, amazing bright colored bird, which quickly attracted a crowd of non-birders. Overhead was a hunting Red-Tailed Hawk which is causing havoc with the Feral Pigeons / Rock Doves. Last bird of the day was a pair of Rusty Blackbirds, calling to each other.
A week later and 7 new ticks, along with an extra 6 I got a few years back whilst in NYC, the storm was on it's way so all flights were cancelled and a travel ban was placed for NYC for that evening, exciting, after having to move hotels and re-book onto flights, we settled in for another 2 days (1 night) and spent more time in Central Park where I seen more of the same aswell as a Red-Bellied Woodpecker (only had my phone on me, so no pictures of this one unfortunately!)