Monday, July 28, 2014

Tufted Titmouses, hurrah!

Saturday I took a pleasant walk across Central Park. At Tanner's Spring I saw two warm brown thrushes with very blurry spots on the breast. First Veerys of the season!

Turtle Pond held ducks--mostly Mallards, including a mama duck with five ducklings in tow, plus a couple of what seemed to be American Black Ducks and one male Mallard/Black cross. All the male Mallards were transitioning to or already in eclipse plumage, which didn't happen this early last year. Across the pond, a Black-Crowned Night Heron stalked through the tall reeds. There were also a couple of male Wood Ducks, one in eclipse and the other in breeding plumage.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Wood Ducks, Turtle Pond
Wood Ducks, breeding and eclipse plumages

The Ramble held the usual summer residents--Evodia had the first female Red-Winged Blackbird I've seen since Spring--and at Willow Rock, I had a nice surprise.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Tufted Titmouse, Central Park
Tufted Titmouse, fluffing dry

Three Tufted Titmouses were bathing in the Oven--the first I've seen anywhere in Manhattan since early May of last year. They're usually ubiquitous in the autumn and winter, but they disappeared last year, and I missed them. I'm a little excited to see them again. They're my 171st species this year in the county.

Cedar Waxwings also bathed in the Oven.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Cedar Waxwings bathing, Central Park
Waxwings taking a dip

I also saw a Black-and-White Warbler there--they're in early this year--and a Northern Waterthrush on the Gill near Laupot Bridge. On the way out of the Park, there was a Black-Capped Chickadee at Triplets Bridge.

So even in the deep summer doldrums, there are birds to see in Central Park if you care to look.

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