Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Big weekend

I started my weekend by taking Friday off from work. There had been a lot of rarities reported in Central Park on Thursday--Blue Grosbeak, Red-Headed Woodpecker, both kinds of Cuckoo--but I was responsible adult and went to work.

They were all gone Friday, but I quietly got a total of 49 species anyway. A lot of migrating warblers were in.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Black-Throated Blue Warbler
I'm on my way

And a lot of resident birds were going about their business--establishing territory

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Carolina Wren singing
I am wren, hear me roar


Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Orchard Oriole bathing with a Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Orchard Oriole and a Yellow-Rumped Warbler at the bird spa

and foraging.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Robin and apple

It was a splendid day. I had 46 species by noon, and then went off to look for the Mourning Warbler seen between Balcony Bridge and Triplets Bridge. I found it--along with dozens of other people--and had some good views, but I spent the rest of the day trying to get a good photo of it. It was too wily for me, though.

Saturday was the Global Big Day, organized by the Cornell Ornithology Lab as a conservation-awareness and fundraising initiative. The idea was to get a lot of people out in the field and see how many species they could see. The Lab hoped to record 4500 of the 10000+ species--they got almost 6000.

But it was a bit slow in New York. I had only twenty species in the Ramble, so I went up to Inwood Hill Park. The tide was rushing in when I arrived, but I was lucky enough to see the previously-reported Greater Yellowlegs

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Greater Yellowlegs, Spuyten Duyvil Creek
skinny legs and all

which was a life New York City bird for me, and as a bonus there were a pair of Snowy Egrets--

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Snowy Egrets, Spuyten Duyvil Creek
Egrets, I've had a few

--first of the year for me, and a very good bird for Inwood Hill.

Since I was there, I decide to look for the Wild Turkey that had been reported recently, and on the way up the hill I met Nadir Sourigi, a really fine birder who leads walks for Audubon and so on, and we went off to look for her and for Cuckoos. No luck on either, but I highly recommend the experience of birding with someone who's massively better than you. Great fun, as well as instructive and informative.

Sunday was a little brisker in Central Park, and a lovely day for birding as well.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Northern Parula
Northern Parula

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Blue-Headed Vireo
Blue-Headed Vireo

I'll post more soon.

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