Thursday, 5 September 2013

Empire State + Central Park - 29.8.13

Northern Cardinal + American Robin
After having breakfast on the roof garden of our hotel we headed off to visit the world famous Empire State Building. We had timed it well as we walked straight through without any queues and after 2 lift journeys we were at the viewing platform looking out over famous landmarks such as the Chrysler Building and the new World Trade skyscraper. Just before we were going to leave I picked up a large bird of prey heading south over the southern end of Central Park. Thinking it was one of the famous Red-Tailed Hawks I fished my bins out of my rucksack and to my surprise I found myself looking at an Osprey! Not what I was expecting to see while I was 100 floors up!

Next stop was to Highline Park which is a disused railway line that has been transformed into a mini nature reserve with a boardwalk through the middle and shrubs either side. We only walked half of it as by now it was scorching hot but I did see a Monarch Butterfly on one of the flowering shrubs. We then walked up to Times Square to catch the tour bus and drive around the top end of the park and through Harlem and we jumped on board just as it was leaving. We got off on the east side of the park and quickly visited the Metropolitan museum of art as I wanted to see a flight of intricately carved wooden stairs! These weren't any ordinary stairs but they came from the original Cassiobury House that stood in Cassiobury Park until 1912 when it was demolished! Very nice they were too!

We soon left and walked back through the park to the hotel and on the way I had a look over Turtle Pond complete with its many Turtles and on the far side with some Mallards was a fine drake WOOD DUCK. After all the escaped birds I've seen back home it was nice to see a wild one! At least 6 Grey Catbird and a similar number of Northern Cardinal followed us along the paths through the ramble until I noticed a movement in the trees just off the path. I got onto it through my bins and could see it was a warbler with a white eye stripe and a patch of white feathers on the wing bend. I had a quick scan through my book and found it was a female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER! Shame it wasn't a male but it was a lifer none the less. It soon disappeared only to be replaced with a lovely flash of yellow from my first ever AMERICAN REDSTART! It showed a couple more times before vanishing. Out on the field areas were 40+ American Robin.

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