A Travellerspoint blog

In pursuit of a visitor from the Catskills

Central Park, NY

semi-overcast 70 °F

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 — still catching up…my goal is to have all May posts up before June, but various musical obligations may prevent that from happening, we’ll see!

After singing a successful end-of-the-year jury at the ungodly hour of 10am, I rewarded the year’s efforts with a trip to Central Park for migrants. Somebody had found either a Gray-cheeked or a Bicknell’s Thrush west of the Blockhouse yesterday, so it was on my mind to scope out all of the thrushes there in hopes of maybe finding the suspect bird. These two species are almost identical and can only be reliably separated by voice since any minute distinction in plumage can almost never be discerned in the shaded, thick habitat these birds prefer.

Upon arriving, I noted the usual chorus of birdsong that rings through the Central Park North Woods on a cloudy May day. Unlike back home in Chicago where these birds are expected but not particularly common, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS like this gorgeous male are one of the most abundant warbler species passing through in early-mid May here in NYC.

OVENBIRDS also abounded:

My first photographed BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER of the year was fantastic to see:


And FOY EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE while I was fruitlessly searching for a female Summer Tanager:




I found two less-common turtle species out basking in the Pool, an Eastern Painted Turtle in the front, and possibly a Mud/Musk Turtle sp in the back. Anybody here solid with turtle ID? Either way, great to see some turtles that aren’t just Sliders (the House Sparrows of the herp world).

So, it was back to the Manhattan School for a coaching, but after the coaching, I noticed that the bird found yesterday by others was positively identified as a Bicknell’s Thrush by call! Is this is a very, very uncommon species, I figured many birders would be out searching so the chances of finding it would be higher. So, it was back on my scooter to the Central Park North Woods for a second time in a day! Upon arriving, this MAGNOLIA WARBLER greeted me:

And I did find several thrush including a HERMIT and this SWAINSON’S:

But unfortunately no Bicknell’s, and I had to head back to MSM for another coaching. Frustratingly enough, during the intermission of Turandot at the Met that night I got a text saying the Bicknell’s was found singing again in the late evening. Rats! Just kept missing it — and I was seriously hoping to find this bird at Central Park since the other alternative is getting up at 2am to hike into the high Catskills to get the bird on its breeding grounds. Which would be great, but I don’t have a car…

Anyway, I was holding out that the Bicknell’s would stay the night in the park and be found again the morning since migration levels were forecast to be low with headwinds. So my fingers were crossed for early tomorrow morning.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the Blackburnian Warbler with runner-up to all the Black-throated Blue Warblers.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1129 Species

Posted by skwclar 04:27 Archived in USA

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I like the redstart pic

by Tian

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