Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rainy day

Heavy rain all day, so I didn't get out. Monday I stopped in the Ramble briefly on my way to the Bronx. I failed to spot the Hooded Warbler who was seen on the Point and also in the Captain's Bench area, missed the Spotted Sandpiper in the Oven by mere minutes, and didn't have time to try for the Yellow-Throated Warbler seen around Sheep Meadow and then south of Tavern on the Green. I did see my first Northern Waterthrush and Chimney Swifts of the season, which brought me to 109 species in Manhattan this year. The Chimney Swifts retruning is my marker for the real beginning of Spring.

The southwest part of Van Cortlandt Park was not as birdy as I expected. A lot of red-Winged Blackbirds are around, and I had a nice look at a female RWBB in the wetlands area south of the mansion.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Female Red-Winged Blackbird calling, Van Cortlandt Park
Female blackbird calling

She was calling, rather sweetly for a blackbird. I also saw a lingering Rusty Blackbird there. There was a Ring-Necked Duck on the lake; I wonder if he was the same drake I saw there a month ago. A number of singing Yellow-Rumped Warblers were around, and also Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, and (yes!) Chimney Swifts.

Tuesday, I saw a report early in the morning that the Yellow-Throated Warbler was seen just south of Sheep meadow, so I headed straight down there...and struck out. I spent an hour and a half getting "warbler neck" from scanning the trees between the 65th Street Transverse and the Bandshell. No dice. I did get a nice addition to my photo collection of House Sparrows nesting in interesting places:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Sparrow at nest, 65th Street Transverse, Central Park
Sparrow at her nest in a street sign

And a good look at the male Red-Tailed Hawk of the pair that is nesting near the Sheep Meadow.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Red-Tailed Hawk, Sheep Meadow, Central Park
I think that's a bit of his breakfast still in his beak.

Reaching the Ramble, I saw a Yellow Warbler right near Bow Bridge. Poor thing seemed to be missing its tail, but it was flying pretty well anyway. The other newly-arrived warbler species I didn't see, nor had anyone seen the Hooded Warbler from the day before again.

On my way out, at Maintenance meadow there were some Chipping Sparrows and one Field Sparrow.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Field Sparrow, Central Park
Field Sparrow, ohsocute

There haven't been a lot of Field Sparrows this Spring. I think they're about the cutest thing going.

The yellow Warbler was my 110th species in New York county this year. Tomorrow it's supposed to stop raining in the afternoon, so I'll go see what's around after the storm.

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