Remember that Wren sp. on the end of my last list? Of course not. But I sure do, because I stared at those little bastards for probably ten minutes in the fading light, unable to quite make out to my satisfaction whether they were House Wrens or my life-list Winter Wrens. Stubby tail is all very well and good, but compared to what? So I wanted to see the dark bellies, and looking down on the birds from above with the streetlights coming on that was exactly what I couldn’t see.

So anyway, guess what I saw today in the nice ten o’clock sunshine in Central Park? Having seen this one, I’m pretty convinced that the Prospect Park birds were Winter Wrens too, but I don’t think it’s quite sporting to ex post facto that sort of thing, so today I got my life lister.

Even if that hadn’t happened, it still would have been a good day from the perspective of filling in holes in my year list. The renovation work on the lake left extensive mud flats, on which a late Solitary Sandpiper or four have been hanging on, and I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which would be really embarrassing not to see for a whole year. And a female Purple Finch. So I’ve warmed up to fall again, even if sparrows are still all little and brown.

Rock Dove Columba livia
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
American Robin Turdus migratorius
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Gadwall Anas strepera
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes *LL
Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus