Sunday, September 25, 2011

Central Park 9/25 (Cuckoos, Tennessee)

Quite a slow start in Strawberry Fields, where I learnt that early in the morning a Mississippi Kite had been seen overhead by Peter Post. However migrant activity was extremely patchy in the initial overcast of the day. Wandering into the Ramble I got a #cpkbirds tweet about a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Upper Lobe and went over to check it out. The lone willow tree was quite active with multiple Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Gray Catbirds, a few Swainson's Thrushes, Pewee and Phoebe. There were also one or two warblers including the lone Northern Waterthrush for the day. Being there for a while I saw a cuckoo fly down the Upper Lobe and assumed it was the Yellow-billed. However some time later a Black-billed Cuckoo flew into the willow, and gave quite a few people good looks especially when it was out on a sunny rock on the other side of the lobe.

From the Upper Lobe I went to the Maintenance Field which also was moderately active. After a few minutes I found another Black-billed Cuckoo - this must have been quite a good Cuckoo day since Yellow-billed were also reported from these same areas earlier. Here I also picked up migrating raptors: Osprey and Sharp-shinned Hawk, although that activity was slow. A few Monarch Butterflies were migrating. While here I "heard" of a third hand report of Tennessee and Connecticut Warblers in some vaguely defined area "near Tupelo". I elected to stay and do a little hawk watching since it had been a long while since I had seen a kettle of Broad-winged. At one point there were two Eastern Phoebes and at least two Eastern Wood-Pewee's flycatching here.

This was a bit of a mistake - there was a Connecticut near Tupelo giving excellent looks, and by the time I got there it had gone. Although I did see: Tennessee and Nashville Warblers and several other warblers (Ovenbird, C. Yellowthroat, Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Restart). They all particularly liked the insect-laden asters as the sun warmed them up.

Shame about the Connecticut since it's rare to get good views. However it's also been a long while since I had eye level looks at Tennessee in fall in the park, so that's the consolation prize.

(On the way home I stopped at the Allentown NJ sod farms and finally picked up American Golden Plover for the year).

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Black-billed Cuckoo (Maint. Field, Upper Lobe)
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (multiple)
Eastern Phoebe (multiple)
Winter Wren (Upper Lobe)
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (many)
Indigo Bunting

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