A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Friday, 15 January 2016

New York Trip Report - Day 10 (Central Park)

Day 10 -  Saturday 30th  May 2015

Our final day in New York dawned and after a great week and a half in this amazing city it was finally time to head home. Enjoying a final croissant from the bakery next door (and being given several sachets of delicious grape jelly to take back to Britain from the diner across the street) we went for a final spot of New York sightseeing, saving the best till last and heading up the fantastic Top of the Rock for breath-taking views of the city below.

An absolute must for anyone going to New York, we enjoyed unbeatable views of Central Park below, getting a birds-eye look at this ultimate green oasis, surrounded by skyscrapers and where we had delighted in our first American birds just over a week ago. Simply stunning.

With a couple of hours to spare before our taxi to JFK, we sat in Central Park to enjoy a final afternoon of New York City birding. Several Wood Ducks clustered around the bread being provided by a family at the water’s edge around the pond, jostling with the Mallards for scraps and providing the best views of this species all trip, being just a few metres away from the edge. 
Wood Duck - Central Park, New York
Wood Duck - showing fantastically!
A Black-crowned Night Heron silently hunted for fish on one of the overhanging branches while a Great Egret stalked the water below and the usual Grey Catbirds and American Robins called from the trees.
Great Egret - Central Park, New York
Great Egret
A small raptor circling over the baseball field proved to be another American Kestrel, this time giving excellent views as it passed overhead, getting ever higher before disappearing as a spec in the brilliant blue sky. 
American Kestrel - Central Park, New York
American Kestrel! 
Asking a couple of birders with scopes set up what they had found resulted in some great views of a Red-tailed Hawk nest – two fluffy white chicks sat in between the branches while the parent watched continuously from the next tree.

Chimney Swifts chattered happily overhead, while the last Baltimore Orioles and our first Central Park Eastern Kingbird fluttered gracefully from tree to tree across the lake.
Bethesda Fountain - Central Park, New York
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
Our time was soon up however, and with a hugely successful trip coming to an end, it was time to make the long journey home to Manchester airport. With over 100 lifers in just over a week, despite being in one of the busiest cities in the world we had managed to see an incredible number and variety of birds. From the fiery Blackburnian Warblers and dainty Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, to the bizarre Skimmers, prehistoric looking Pileated Woodpeckers and the iconic Bald Eagles, there was a breath-taking selection of birds available in this unexpected big city location. I will never forget that first morning in Prospect Park, when the trees were alive with warblers and birds were positively dripping off the leaves in front of us in a kaleidoscope of colour. A great introduction to American birding, our appetites are now well and truly whetted for the next big adventure in the states.

A once in a lifetime holiday, in fantastic company, with dream birds in a dream city. Something that simply cannot be beaten.

 Alex's great video compilation of some of the species we saw in New York.

New York Skyline
New York Skyline

New York Skyline

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