Monday, 25 May 2009

New York


The view from The Standard hotel
I'm in New York for the first time on a last minute 'business' trip. My only free time was this Memorial Day morning so I got out early in search of lifers.

From the hotel I took a walk along the Hudson towards Central Park. It turned out to be a who's who of British scarcities.

The first species in the book was Brant with six birds loafing around within spitting distance of the West Side Highway. Others along the way included 3 Mocking Birds (great singers), 3 Ring-billed Gull (nice to see sub-adults for the first time), 6 Mourning Dove, Double-crested Cormorant, 5 Common Grackle, Blackpoll Warbler and numerous American Robins.

It was hard to know where to focus and God knows how many I didn't identify, especially as my only reference was an old book for the Western region.

That amused my new friend Irvin who took pity on me in Central Park. Irvin is 89 years old and the self–proclaimed 'oldest birder in Central Park'. He has been patrolling the patch since the Great Depression (1932) and boosted my list with consummate ease.

Here's what we found during a charming hour together. Baltimore Oriole, Common Yellow throat, Black-crowned Night Heron, Tufted Titmouse (heard), Blue Jay, Red–bellied Woodpecker (3 heard), Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Cardinal, Warbling Vireo (heard).

Can't wait to come back.

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