New York, NY
Wednesday 1 May 2019 53 °F
Since it is jury week here and my jury is over, as well as approaching some of the best times of the spring for birding, I took advantage of yesterday afternoon & this morning to again go birding in Central Park. I was very excited upon hearing reports of Golden-winged & Hooded Warblers among other birds seen in the park today and reported on the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter page.
Upon arrival at the Central Park Ramble, I almost immediately spotted this male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER and immediately tweeted my sighting to the Brooklyn Bird Alert.
An AMERICAN KESTREL flew over:
A few other birders and I were allowed brief but identifiable looks at this YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, a very uncommon species for the park:
A nice male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD flew in and perched as a bunch of birders including my friend Ryan and I were watching a mixed flock of warblers.
Next, I headed up to the Central Park Loch because there were reports of a Summer Tanager and up to three Hooded Warblers (one of my favorite birds) in that area.
WINTER WREN was a nice, late surprise:
I missed the Summer Tanager but did nail one beautiful male HOODED WARBLER just before it got too dark for photography. This will be my bird-of-the-day for yesterday, with the Yellow-throated Vireo runner-up because of its undesirable views.
Today, upon hearing a report of a threatened species, a Cerulean Warbler, among many other goodies at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, I made the long trans-borough trek by A & B subway to this Brooklyn gem for a day of spring migration birding. It is the first day of May and the cloudy conditions this morning gave me high hopes for a nice turnover and activity of birds.
I started off the morning with a BLUE-HEADED VIREO, one of absolutely loads of these birds I would see this morning:
As you can see, this BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER did its best to evade photography:
My first VEERY of the year (also known as an FOY bird) was nice:
As was my first COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, a nice adult male:
This NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was another first:
Then, I connected with a group of birders who said they had just seen my target bird for the morning: the Cerulean Warbler! My hopes were high as I scanned every possible warbler flitting in the treetops high above us. Finally, I spotted a dainty-looking bird, holding its wings slightly loosely, and yes, with its clincher identification mark: the thin necklace of a male CERULEAN WARBLER! This is a typical look at one of these birds as they are particularly fond of gleaning insects from the high treetops. My first-ever experience with this species foraging on the ground in 2014 was a true anomaly.
I followed the bird for a little while and was soon afforded more decent looks!
Whew — what a bird, and seen in New York City of all places! On the walk back to the subway, I spotted a soaring RED-TAILED HAWK; I believe they nest here in Prospect Park.
A ride on the G, A, and C subway lines took me back to Central Park where I would try to glean a few more avian species before calling it quits for the day. The view of Manhattan was spectacular along the G train, which I believe is the highest point on the NYC subway system:
The Central Park Ramble did not disappoint — one of my first birds was this WORM-EATING WARBLER, a bird that used to evade me and now I’ve seen multiple times in Central Park!
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
A few uncommon YELLOW-THROATED VIREOS were present:
LEAST FLYCATCHER, my first of the year:
PURPLE FINCH was a nice treat:
Once again, I heard the song of a BLUE-WINGED WARBLER and tracked down this bright male bird.
A lingering RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
Drab PINE WARBLER:
And OVENBIRDS were plentiful and fun to see:
Central Park was hopping today. In the Ramble, the large wooded section along 79th St at which I bird the most often, there were areas when dozens of avian species would be singing simultaneously, and the bushes and trees seemed to be dripping with birds. The best part is that this isn’t even the peak of spring migration! The “Central Park effect” is truly spectacular.
Bird-of-the-day to the Cerulean Warbler, a quickly-declining species which is always an absolute joy to see, no matter how much my neck hurts after viewing it (!).
Stay tuned for more mad obsessive migration birding!
World Life List: 970 Species