Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday 5/7 - good migration

A pretty good migration happened overnight Friday-Saturday although the numbers were not huge in Central Park. In Strawberry Fields the diversity was decent and I picked up Blackpoll Warbler for the year (a singing male, one of a few that day and not atypical for the end of the first week in May). On the way into the Ramble I heard/saw Blackburnian Warbler and Northern Waterthrush and then shortly thereafter I found my first Swainson's Thrush for the year. It's not been a good year for Catharus-type Thrushes and Saturday was no exception with only a couple of Veeries and a Wood Thrush to add to the total (and Wood Thrush isn't even a Catharus). Still it's too early to expect Gray-cheeked so it may yet pick up.

Still, it was a decent mix of earlier and mid spring birds - Black-throated Green Warblers were in a couple of places, but there was also Canada Warbler. Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos. Along the point there was my second Summer Tanager for the year - certainly the only year when I've seen two in the park. There were also tame Canada and Magnolia Warblers, American Redstart - the relatively warm area along the Point was the most active part of the Ramble, perhaps reflecting a cool start to the day. Two good birds were in the Evodia Field area: a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a Black-billed Cuckoo. I was alerted to the Cuckoo by other birders and was frankly amazed when it was chased out of the tree by another Cuckoo ! We rarely see multiple Cuckoos in the park, and when we do we really don't see that sort of territorial interaction. I assume the second Cuckoo was also Black-billed but I wasn't able to relocate it. Turns out this was my first Black-billed Cuckoo in a few years. I usually have better luck with Yellow-billed, although they really aren't that much more common.

Following up on a sighting of more than one Cape May at the Bethesda Fountain I wandered south of the boathouse - something I rarely do now but it used to be part of my regular route into the park when I lived on the UES in Manhattan. I was lucky enough to hear a singing male and after a little search did get onto it. A park employee showed me two roosting Raccoons, and later in the day I saw two more near the Upper Lobe - 4 being the most I've ever seen in one day in the park. Despite culling due to rabies infection they still seem to be present.

There was also a Blue Grosbeak - another park rarity - that I didn't see after it was initially found at Cherry Hill. At that point in time (early afternoon) the crowds would probably scare away most wild birds. (Probably the same bird was found the subsequent day at Strawberry Fields).

Black-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Barn Swallow
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole

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