Saturday, April 28, 2012

Central Park, April 28th

In one week numbers have dropped because of indifferent migration weather, but diversity has exploded.  Somehow - and many of these were heard-only - I racked up 15 species of warbler in a morning while spending chunks of it looking for a Kentucky Warbler.

The Kentucky had been seen the previous day and stuck around the same place in Shakespeare Garden on the Saturday.  I was told it had not been seen in an hour, but Kentucky's often make regular circuits of the same terrain and vanish for quite some time between appearances.  I first saw it - a ventral view - scooting into a tree and dropping onto the ground whence it did a very Kentucky thing and vanished entirely.  Subsequently found by others it eventually ante'd up by perching on the fence and the semi-exposed rock.  Right on time, that Kentucky, in the last few days of April.

Also right on time was the Nashville in Strawberry Fields, the singing Prairie Warbler in the Upper Lobe and the Blue-winged singing on top of Shakespeare Garden.  Two of these were heard-only, but at least I found a Northern Parula near Belvedere Castle while being taunted by an elusive Black-throated Green.  Challenging Kentucky for the best bird of the day was a singing Orange-crowned Warbler in the big oak still standing in Maintenance Field.  Another decent bird was a Chestnut-sided Warbler also in the Maintenance Field.  Despite a warm winter and prematurely warm March the migrant timing is pretty much as expected - some early appearances but most of them are clamped by the need to fly a couple of thousand miles during spring.  Kind of tough to speed that up.  This is still a transitional stage in spring migration, as evidenced by more early spring species like Blue-headed Vireo and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Hermit Thrush as the only Catharus.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Blue-headed Vireo
Barn Swallow
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee

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