A Travellerspoint blog

Third time the charm for the Bicknell’s?

Central Park, NYC

overcast 60 °F

THURSDAY, MAY 12:

Upon being woken up by my 6:20am alarm, I jumped out of bed and checked the Manhattan Rare Bird Alert GroupMe and was relieved and exhilarated to see that somebody had just found the Bicknell’s Thrush a minute ago! So, I threw some clothes on and, for the third time in 24 hours, raced down to Central Park on my scooter. Upon arriving to the appointed coordinates, I immediately had my lifer BICKNELL’S THRUSH singing. Here is a short clip I posted to youtube:
https://youtu.be/Evil0MhXmqY

Notice that the final note of its song ends in an upward motion, compared to the downward slur found in the nearly-identical Gray-cheeked Thrush song. It foraged at point-blank range for me and a dedicated group of early-morning birders for a long time, allowing for absolutely unprecedented photo ops.
large_542F886F-096A-4EDC-AF89-D5C4FB14FD20.jpeglarge_DF9BD9CE-2ACC-425F-A81B-40C9560CC70B.jpeglarge_7DEA31C0-B419-4192-BDEA-1C383BD8BF9B.jpeg

The show it put on was just spectacular. To give perspective, here is a photo with a biker from the main loop road right behind it. Usually, in order to find this bird as a lifer, one has to wake up at 1am and make the long trek to the top of the Catskills near the treeline where this bird breeds in stunted boreal-like habitats at the top of the highest mountain peaks. And I was actually planning on doing that to find this bird next week! Luckily, this visitor to Central Park oficially saved me that grueling (albeit beautiful) trip. This species passes through Central Park I would say maybe 1 out of every 5 years, though they almost definitely make their way through unidentified every year. So I was so lucky this happened before I leave on May 20!
large_D15B73A4-C396-412A-BC16-90621772BE8F.jpeglarge_9EC479D8-2F53-4FC7-A3AC-793569300804.jpeglarge_4EBC9BBC-1A53-4C31-BC73-E9BA9594D1F2.jpeglarge_3A64A5C9-2B7A-40A1-90A2-87ED8AB8458A.jpeglarge_9A092721-C65A-4504-9F3A-77B5EDE98224.jpeglarge_14EEE9FD-6A55-47C5-A351-71D5CC695729.jpeglarge_20962055-FE2C-4FD4-B428-43EC799D1410.jpeglarge_0F45A47F-74E3-4322-8C17-A691A1D9C6D6.jpeglarge_FB561C52-1CA1-4A1A-81B4-B8BD9FF72BC3.jpeglarge_FE2F9F75-DC12-4BF1-A5EC-102D3C151733.jpeglarge_2D50DD49-EB5E-4513-BB2D-77B144F9710D.jpeg

As if the morning could get any better, a birder alerted me to the fact that there was a Cerulean Warbler at Summit Rock down near 83rd St! So, I scooted as fast as I could to Summit Rock and within twelve minutes was staring up into the large oaks surrounding the area. NORTHERN PARULAS abounded, briefly confusing us was their Cerulean-like songs:
large_2CF1D19F-E684-498A-B2AF-6561B4FACBFE.jpeg

After about fifteen minutes of searching, I saw a tiny warbler flit into the top of a tall tree, and it gave the vibe that it was not staying for a long time, so I quickly zoomed in and grabbed an identification shot. Sure enough, it flew off the second after I clicked my shutter but not before I could nail it down as my year-bird CERULEAN WARBLER! Absolutely sweet! The colors did not pop on this gray morning, but you can see its identifying necklace contrasted with a pure-white breast.
large_A179EDCF-D3A8-4B95-8EC5-AC42AEC9728B.jpeg

To get two extremely vulnerable and rare species like the Bicknell’s and the Cerulean on one Central Park checklist is an anomaly, and a very welcome one at that.

Next, I hit the Ramble which I hadn’t actually birded yet this year (!) and I picked up my year-bird CANADA WARBLER, the other warbler with a (very-different) necklace!
large_5F5FFC9D-18A1-4BE4-9F8F-A884C836DDAB.jpeg

HERMIT THRUSH:
large_FC0D54E1-ED51-48B7-A188-C39A038D7A39.jpeg

Azalea Pond was looking absolutely beautiful.
large_9398B761-3840-4E2A-8E94-1C41029C69CB.jpeglarge_EA2FF8F1-0E04-46AB-9A16-4014BED29A5C.jpeg

BLUE-HEADED VIREO:
large_2F8D9A7F-3719-47B2-B8D6-ADE37F2D6599.jpeg

Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
large_0D617334-3AE5-497E-B872-235AADEEACDB.jpeg

CEDAR WAXWINGS:
large_348B4C02-B6CF-4018-8247-89D6A93D0953.jpeg

Female YELLOW WARBLER:
large_F0927872-23B3-4308-92CA-24DCA3EFA65B.jpeg

Male BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
large_7F897C59-699A-44D4-BED5-4905B93353B6.jpeg

Female BALTIMORE ORIOLE:
large_5CACA797-C6F4-4CE4-A4BA-D6DB05A455AE.jpeg

Then, I looped back north in the park to bird my way back up to the Loch. This GREAT EGRET was hunting the perimeter of Turtle Pond:
large_74EE24A1-E5BC-4BE7-B181-2B26AB2DE26B.jpeg

The rest of the park, including the Loch, was quieter with the exception of one noteworthy find: this WORM-EATING WARBLER which barely allowed a documentation shot before disappearing into the shrubbery:
large_037FC572-5921-4A22-8338-E16BFBC9402F.jpeg

So, bird-of-the-day has to go to my lifer Bicknell’s Thrush which saved me an excruciatingly long trip into the Catskills, with runner-up going to the Cerulean Warbler. A very solid morning at Central Park.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1130 Species (1 life bird today: Bicknell’s Thrush)

Posted by skwclar 02:56 Archived in USA

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

How exciting! Lifer dance🕺🏻!
We have a Baltimore oriole visiting here just south of Bellevue! Very exciting for all of us!

by Poo

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login