Monday, May 5, 2008

Cerulean Warbler - Central Park - May 4th

Well, not actually in Central Park - the Cerulean was on 89th Street near the park, attracting quite a lot of attention between excited birders and bemused passers-by. Hopefully groups of binocular-toting strangers didn't freak out the locals too much.

I was in Central Park for another day's birding, and while numbers may have been marginally lower than the previous day the diversity was right up there - I found my highest total for seen/heard warblers so far this spring, but still just shy of the iconic 20 with a nice total of 18. Other nice birds were a late Junco, a heard-only White-eyed Vireo, three Rusty Blackbirds with a Louisiana Waterthrush in the Gill, and a singing Blackburnian Warbler just as I was leaving at Shakespeare's Garden.

There's still a mix of early/mid-spring birds, although today I did see my first Magnolia Warbler. However Blue-headed Vireos and Louisiana Waterthrushes are more characteristic of late April. Migration might lag a little, but it's about to play catch-up.

But back to the Cerulean. Doug Futuyma apparently found this bird while going to his car, and then word of it spread rapidly through the park. I saw it around 1:30pm and took a few photos: see the Cerulean Warbler link off my home page or the Cerulean Warbler page at my gallery. My previous best neighborhood bird was a Yellow-throated Warbler I once found along E65th Street in 2005 - a species that's a pretty good find in NYC but it was during a year in which several were found in Central Park. I think the Cerulean trumps it.

Migrant list:
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Blue-winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch

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