Friday, May 9, 2014

No Bobolinks

Wednesday morning, there were reports of a singing Bobolink near the Loch in Central Park. Unfortunately, single Bobolinks don't hang around very long, and by the time I got up there, the bird was probably long gone.

But I had a pleasant wander through the North Woods--lots of Northern Waterthrushes and Wood Thrushes, and a really amazing number of Hermit Thrushes--they popped up everywhere I looked. Plus I watched a pair of male Black-Throated Blue Warblers fighting--they chased each other around the bushes and pecked at each other. I've never seen that before.

I ran into Kyu Lee and Tom Fiore, who told me there was a Solitary Sandpiper not far away at the compost area on the Mount, so I set off to find it.

I've written about the Mount before. It's where all the leaf litter and downed tree branches and so on get composted. Because of all the rain this spring, there's a bit of a pool between the heaps of mulch. When I arrived, there were four Mallard drakes hanging out on the edge of the water, and some Robins and Mourning Doves were poking around, but I couldn't see the Sandpiper.

I circled around the area looking for a vantage point where I could see the most north-eastern part of the puddle. It took some doing, but eventually I spotted something walking the water's edge and bobbing its head.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Solitary Sandpiper, Central Park
Solitary Sandpiper (and nearby American Robin) at the Central Park compost area

Every time I see a sandpiper in Central Park, I'm surprised by how small it is. For a moment I took it for a waterthrush. I watched for a long time. It seemed pretty happy wading in what I assume was pretty filthy water.

Solitary Sandpiper is an infrequent bird in Central Park (though there seem to be a few out on Randall's Island right now), and is my 146th species in Manhattan this year.

On the way out, I went by Harlem Meer and saw a Great Egret fly in and perch high in a tree. That always looks wrong.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Great Egret, Harlem Meer
Great Egret, Harlem Meer

No comments:

Post a Comment