Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Three days

Tuesday there were apparently two Red-Headed Woodpeckers in Central Park. One was reported by Anders Peltomaa early in the morning at the Great Lawn, moving north, and the second was in the Ramble. I glimpsed the second east of Evodia, in the same trees that last May's Red-Headed liked. It flew off quickly towards Azalea Pond, but I guessed that it would return, which it did, at least for a few seconds about 15 minutes later.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Red-Headed Woodpecker, Central Park
Red-Headed Woodpecker

Then it disappeared again, and this time did not come back for the hour I waited in hopes of a better photo.

The Ramble was otherwise moderately birdy. I had a nice view of a female Black-Throated Blue Warbler having lunch.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Black-Throated Blue Warbler (female), Central Park
Mmm.. Tasty!

The Red-Headed Woodpecker is my 160th species of the year in New York County. Aside from that, the only rarity I've heard about in Manhattan is a very late Pied-Billed Grebe on the Reservoir.

Monday was rather slow in the park--28 species, only four warblers. My highlights were a very cooperative Eastern Kingbird near Greywacke Arch:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Eastern Kingbird, Central Park
The Kingbird is not afraid of a peasant like you

and a nice view of a female Indigo Bunting drinking in the Gill.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Indigo Bunting (female), Central Park
the subdued elegance of a female Indigo Bunting

Female Indigos tend to be difficult. They're a bit skulky, and somewhat non-descript. This one, though, came out in the open and had a nice warm brown look overall, with a bit of blue in the tail, so she was fairly easy to ID.

Sunday I went up to Riverdale to take my aunts out to lunch. I rewarded myself for the good deed by birding in Van Cortlandt Park for a couple of hours afterward. I have never heard so many Warbling Vireos in my life--easily over a dozen, including several doing song battles, one of them a three-way fight.

The vireos stayed pretty well hidden, but I did see a loudly singing House Wren.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; House Wren singing, Van Cortlandt Park
House Wren, belting out the hits

Also, the Ring-Necked drake was still on Van Cortlandt Lake, where he's been hanging out since at least late March. He's pretty decisively taken himself out of the mating game for this year.

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