Wednesday, 31 January 2018

USA January (Part 2)

Date: 19-26th January 2018

Location: USA New York (Mainly Central Park)

Weather: 
Assorted but very Cold.

Species Highlights: 
Cooper's Hawk, Red Tailed Hawk, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Golden, Bufflehead, White Breasted Nuthatch, Dark Eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Red Billed Woodpecker

Observation: 
The next morning we headed to the Empire State Building, these have gotta be the highest Pigeons in New York, seemed very happy with their spot. 
Bit more sightseeing, no birding today.



Next day we took the Amtrak to Washington DC, a lovely city. 
(I'll do a link with some landscape photography later)
Canada Goose, Brant Goose and Hawks on train journey, on arriving after the Capital buildings we Red Tailed Hawks soaring above with Turkey Vultures and we think a Black Vulture although pictures not good enough to ID small 135mm lens.
We did see American Crow or Fish Crow I think American Crow despite him holding a fish!  Heard them call too to confirm ID.



 Double Breasted Cormorant, Shoveler, and American Robin also about.



Then one of those times when you wish you had a bigger lens a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.


Best we could get, through binoculars looked great and a new species for us both.


My next visit to Central Park was even better, Lauren was off shopping so managed to walk  end to end some 3.5 miles but with many zigzags clocking up 12 miles! 
First bird and a new one for me was a Hermit Thrush who posed beautifully while I confirmed ID and snapped away at him.



So many sparrow in the park White Throated and House Sparrow being the most commonest, not shy!


A very cold walk later in the Ramble came across the American Brown Creeper - Certhia Americana very similar to UK's Treecreeper and difficult to get a photo of too, scurrying around from tree to tree.


Watched a amazing battle between two Red-Billed Woodpeckers chasing each other for some 10 mins, eventually pinning one down on the floor with much squawking.


At the Evodia Feeding station at any one time must have been 10 different species at any one time.


Really pleased to get a Golden Crowned Kinglet saw 3 in total flitting through the foliage. Again another very similar species to our Goldcrest.


 Left the Ramble and headed up towards the Reservoir a very large body of water that was mostley frozen, on way up this Northern Flicker feeding near Turtle Pond.



On the Reservoir Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser plenty of Ringed Billed Gulls, Greater Black Backed and Herring Gulls.


A fly over Red Tailed Hawk.


After to speaking to lots of other birders all giving me lots of information and stories I headed back to Ramble area and a Cooper's Hawk was found, I was very pleased with this shot as first time I'd seen one its slightly larger than our Sparrowhawk but a stunning bird more to come from this species.



The feeder area was a bit quieter with the Hawk watching over it, but this Tufted Titmouse posed nicely.


 A excellent day was had headed back to hotel with a full memory card.

Next day Flushing Meadows was on the cards a site that looked good for birding but a long walk from tube and frozen waters but the best was a American Coot, Brant Goose and this Red Tailed Hawk who perched on the Unisphere constructed as the theme symbol of the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair.


 Last day and back in New York, Lauren took a break from shopping to join me in Central Park for the morning, blue skies and very cold but a few birds later you sort'll of forget how cold it is!

Female American Goldfinch not as colourful as ours. 



American Goldfinch male, summer plumage is a subtle yellow. 


Other wildlife can also be seen in the Park including Raccoon, having a lovely snooze, everyone I spoke to, seemed more excited about the Grey and Black Squirrels didn't give this chap a second glance! 


Male Northern Cardinal, getting peanut butter off the feeders.


Female House Finch.


Fox Sparrow. 


  
Downy Woodpecker, a very tame species that came within inches of us.


A stunning Common Grackle.


Almost the end of our trip and we were treated to 2 Cooper's Hawks real crackers at this point nothing moved around the feeders!


At around 4-5 inches bigger than our Sparrow Hawk, a Hawk not to be messed with!


 Flight home 6 hours, one day to get over Jet Lag, 2 days to edit pictures but great fun and I'd thoroughly recommend Central Park and USA for birding. 
Very helpful people, the birders anyway, and some cracking birds

 Total Birds Species Seen = 40
New Birds Seen = 11

For advice and help please don't hesitate to contact us, always pleased to help.


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