Friday, May 16, 2014


The last few days of migration have been much slower. Wednesday I was up in the north end of the park; a tree at the south end of Harlem Meer had nine species of warbler (Magnolia, Yellow, Wilson's, Chestnut-Sided, Black-Throated Blue, Black-Throated Green, Yellow-Rumped, and Blackpoll Warblers, and American Redstart), but that was the busiest spot of the week by a long way. Up at the compost area on the Mount the Solitary Sandpipers were gone, bit I had a nice view of a Lincoln's Sparrow up in a tree.

The find of the day was a female Mourning Warbler near the north end of the Loch. She came hopping out of the vegetation on the east side of the stream and came down to the water's edge, long enough for me to see the complete hood extending onto the breast, bright yellow underparts, and very thin eyering; and then as I tried to get my camera focused, a group of schoolkids came noisily along and the bird flushed to the west side of the stream, well back in the bushes, and I never picked it up again. Neither did anyone else, as far as I know.

A nice bird, but I found it very frustrating. I hate being the only person to see a good bird. I especially hate it when I don't even get a photo. I think I have a good reputation for being a reliable reporter, so when I report something that turns out unfindable and I don't have documentation, it eats at me. You know what they say: "oh, well".

Thursday, I went out a little too early and got rather damp. But there was a White-Crowned Sparrow right on the path at the north end of the meadow north of the King Jagiello ("Poland") monument at the east end of Turtle Pond. Best view of that bird I've ever had.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; White-Crowned Sparrow, Central Park
totally worth getting soaked for

My only new bird of the day was a Bay-Breasted Warbler, up in the big beech tree by Greywacke Arch (which is the underpass under the East Drive at the bottom of that same meadow). That's a fairly hard-to-get bird as well, but at least I have some crappy photos of it. The crappy photos were frankly needed to even ID the bird--it was a terrible view, high in the tree and backlit all to hell and back by the bright overcast sky after the rain stopped.

In the Ramble, an Indigo Bunting sang briefly at Evodia, and a Common Yellowthroat there gave a longer concert.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Common Yellowthroat singing, Central Park
Common Yellowthroat, tearin' up the stage

and several warblers and a Lincoln's Sparrow were on the Point. One Chestnut-Sided Warbler was especially confiding:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Central Park
why couldn't I get a shot like this of the Mourning Warbler?

Friday was very slow. I had expected a lot of birds to arrive ahead of the rain, but that didn't happen. We'll see whether good things happen after the storm.

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