Central Park, NYC
Thursday 2 May 2019 72 °F
Today, I realized why this park is so incredibly famous for birding. I may dare say that this morning I experienced one of my first-ever fallouts, where birds were literally dripping off the trees. I birded the Ramble, the most famous and typically most productive area for birding in the park, and I was not disappointed. Warblers, vireos, thrushes, finches, tanagers, even a cuckoo — sixty-seven spieces in total — graced my presence this morning, literally dripping off the trees. It was spellbinding, jaw-dropping, ALL the superlatives: birding Central Park in early May should be on any birder’s bucket-list!
One of my first birds upon entering the Ramble was this WOOD THRUSH, always a nice species to see:
HERMIT THRUSH like this one were everywhere — there were at least twenty-five of them in the Ramble:
Then, I heard about a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that had been seen near the weather station in the Ramble. I raced up there and the cuckoo, of course, was gone — I did; however, come upon a group of friendly birders who showed me this YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. An uncommon species, this would be one of twenty-one warbler species that I would identify today!
Immediately after, as if on cue, a brilliant male SCARLET TANAGER flew in to show off his namesake colors:
Later in the morning I also spotted the relatively-drab female:
Another “eye-candy” bird, an INDIGO BUNTING, also put on a show for us birders:
Then, a little while later, I spotted a long-tailed bird fly through the canopy and land a hundred feet away. I raced over to a position that would give the bird better light and was delighted to find the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO I had missed earlier! I also managed to get a couple from Denmark, who had never seen this species before, on the bird.
Next, I climbed up to the top of a large boulder to get a better view of the treetops in the Ramble, and boy was I glad I did, for a male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER put on a show for me not just three feet away from my head!!! This was paradise!
A very different warbler species, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH:
And mouth-watering looks by a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, one of many seen foraging and singing this morning!
This female HOODED WARBLER, my favorite warbler, evaded decent photos but put on quite a dancing show for me!
Only trumped by YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS were the second-most common warbler this morning: I counted over twenty-five of these beautiful creatures!
Another beautiful warbler species, this AMERICAN REDSTART, was my first of the year:
Female BALTIMORE ORIOLE, one of quite a few around this morning:
One highlight of the morning was tracking down this GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, which is a rarity for the park, by ear. It stayed in the treetops and would not keep still, as evidenced by these photos:
Quick look at an OVENBIRD before it disappeared:
One of many BLUE-HEADED VIREOS again present this morning:
My FOY sighting of SWAINSON’S THRUSH was nice to see:
And then, in quick succession, multiple more nice warbler species. Here is a male BLUE-WINGED, my friend Isoo’s favorite bird!!
And a WORM-EATING WARBLER, continuing the unprecedented number of these guys I have been seeing:
And yet another bird I had been hoping to see, a PRAIRIE WARBLER!
A MAGNOLIA WARBLER fluttered in for some nice, close looks:
And a BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, a little early for this beautiful species, was a great surprise!
Its close cousin the CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was another FOY for me:
And finally, a NORTHERN PARULA to end the morning. There were dozens of these, singing everywhere! Unbelievable.
It is hard to choose a bird-of-the-day but for the sake of its sheer rarity in Manhattan, I must choose Golden-winged Warbler. Runners-up to the uber-cooperative Yellow-billed Cuckoo & Black-throated Blue Warbler for their great photogenic quality today. I will end the day with a list of all of the warblers positively identified this morning — they are the crown jewels of spring migration, and seeing over twenty in any day is AWESOME!
3. N Waterthrush
17. Black-throated Blue
21. Black-throated Green
World Life List: 970 Species