Saturday, May 14, 2011

Central Park 5/14

Overcast skies made for difficult birding in Central park on Saturday morning. Initially in Strawberry Fields the going was pretty slow as well, and continued that way through the Maintenance Field. En route the Upper Lobe was a little better with a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a few warblers, including a very vocal Northern Waterthrush.

On reaching the Evodia Field, however, things lit up a lot. Within five minutes I found a singing Tennessee Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, and two Cape May Warblers chasing each other. Tennessee Warbler had become a mini-nemesis bird since I had systematically missed them for several springs in the park, but this one was belting out its song near the source of the Gill and impossible to ignore (that is, if you know the song). Later on the Cape May male was singing at the Azalea Pond. It was also my first of the year, as was the Eastern Wood-Pewee that was flycatching in the lower canopy.

Elsewhere, on the Point etc, the birding returned to relatively slow. Catharus thrush numbers continue to be low, with a couple of Swainson's adding to the now-resident (non-Catharus) Wood Thrushes.

There was a burst of migration in early spring in late April and the first few days of May, but the standard peak window of May 5th-12th has been much slower with less conducive weather patterns. Saturday was the start of some quite wet weather with predominantly east-originated winds and rain every day that may last this whole week and are especially non-conducive to spring migration birding. If migration doesn't go right past us (to the west of us) it could make for a strong migration burst next time the weather is more migration-friendly.

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