Monday, May 12, 2014


The variety of birds passing through Central Park this weekend was astonishing.  Let's start with this guy:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Wilson's Warbler, Central Park
Wilson's all over

Wilson's Warbler. I saw my first of the season on Thursday. Sunday I saw sixteen. Possibly more--I tried not to count more than one in an area unless I saw them all at the same time. That's a crazy number. You see one or two Wilson's a day, if you're in luck. Not sixteen.

Wilson's wasn't the only very abundant warbler. Sunday we saw eleven Magnolia Warblers,

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Magnolia Warbler, Central Park
That's a Magnolia, sugar

which is a lot, and nine Redstarts, which is not too few.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; American Redtsart disapproves of you
American Redstart disapproves of you

Friday I saw eleven Ovenbirds, but they seem to have mostly moved on (only three on Sunday), or maybe they were just less noticeable with all the other activity. Other warblers were frequent as well. I even got a Tennessee Warbler on Friday, my first of the year, and a couple of Blackpolls on Sunday (also FOY).

And then there were rarities. This fella showed up roosting in a tree near Azalea Pond:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, a life bird for me, and I not something that shows up in Central Park often. If ever. And we (Elena and I and our friend Melissa) ran into a group of birders near the Weather Station who were looking at a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Central Park
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

OK, those come through every year. One or two, anyway--so you don't necessarily see them every year. I didn't get a Yellow-Billed last year, for instance.

A couple of other first-of-year birds for me his weekend were Olive-sided Flycatcher (at the northeast corner of Azalea Pond, favoring the bare branches at the top of a tall snag--I think the same bird visits there every migration) and Eastern Kingbird (at least one at Turtle Pond).

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Eastern Kingbird, Central Park
any question as to why they call him the King-Bird?

That all puts me at 153 species in New York County this year.

Some nice birds continue, as well. A Summer Tanager has been hanging around Turtle Pond the last few days.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Summer Tanager, Central Park
Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanagers have been pretty frequent, as well.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Scarlet Tanager, Central Park
any excuse is a good excuse to post a photo of a Scarlet Tanager

And, well, almost everything else. Really an astounding migration season.

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