Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Getting late in migration

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Central Park
stock Fall warbler photo

Monday in Maintenance meadow (Central Park), I saw my first Yellow-Rumped Warblers of the Fall. To me, that means it's getting late in the migration season.

Carolina Wrens seem to be back in the Park in numbers. I saw a few last week who might have been passing through, but Monday morning I heard a singing battle rage at the east end of Turtle Pond, their songs ringing out through the crisp autumnal air.

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; A cold grey morning (1)
remembrance of wrens past

If there are males working out territory boundaries that close--the two birds were probably ten yards apart at most--there must be a lot of them around staking out claims. They'll be staying the winter in that case--Carolinas stay on territory year-round and don't migrate seasonally--and I hope it's a mild one. The reason there's territory open for this new bunch to stake out is that this past winter was harsh enough to kill all the resident males in the area.  It's not an easy life, being a bird.

In Manhattan birding news, there was a White-Rumped Sandpiper at Muscota Marsh in Inwood Hill Park on Friday afternoon. It appears to be the first recorded in New York County, though they show up every couple of years somewhere in the region. This one hasn't been seen since Friday, but there's been a Semipalmated Plover returning at intervals, so who knows--this shorebird might come back.

Also, on Friday, a Nelson's Sparrow was seen in the saltmarsh at the northern tip of Randall's Island (right behind ballfield 42); another one was spotted at the Loch in the north end of Central Park on Sunday, and then three (!) more at the Randall's Island saltmarsh on Monday. That's a really good bird for New York (and a rather pretty orangy sparrow, too).

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