Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sitting still

For me, birding involves tramping all over the place, most of the time. Visit a lot of different locations, see a lot of different birds. Sometimes, though, it's better to sit and wait.

I hadn't seen a Bay-Breasted Warbler this Spring. There had been plenty of sightings, but by the time I got there, the birds were gone. Saturday, I took a rest on a bench at Azalea Pond. Eventually, there was some movement across the pond, up high. A pair of Bay-Breasteds, males it looked like. At last!

I continued resting. One of the birds came down to the tree in front of me and grabbed some lunch.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bay-Breasted Warbler at luncheon
Bay-Breasted Warbler at luncheon

How about that? Best view of a Bay-Breasted Warbler I ever had. He hung around a few minutes, singing and preening.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Bay-Breasted Warbler, Azalea Pond
indeed, I am a fine-lookin' bird

Sunday, I was intending to walk up to the North Woods (Central Park), starting at West 81st Street, but I wasn't really sure I was up to it. I git into the park, and at the bottom of the path going up Summit Rock, I had a nice view of a Redstart.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; American Redstart
a bird with an idea

And then a White-Crowned Sparrow came out, right on the path.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; White-Crowned Sparrow
elegant sparrow

He flushed into the bushes whenever someone walked down the hill, but always came back right after.

Then I sat down for a long time at Tanner's Spring. The "spring" is often just a mud puddle, but this day the water was pretty high from the rain the previous night. A lot of birds came down to enjoy it. There was even a Nashville Warbler!

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Nashville Warbler, Tanner's Spring
unusually good view of a Nashville

There was a Magnolia Warbler there who seemed to have an unusual amount of testosterone. Not only was he singing, but he was chasing other birds around. I watched him chase a Black-and-White Warbler away from the water several times, and he even want after House Sparrows.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Magnolia Warbler, Tanner's Spring
mighty bull warbler

The AIDS walk, going on that day, passed on the drive only a few dozen yards away. They had brass and percussion bands, but the birds didn't seem bothered at all. I watched this Northern Waterthrush calmly work his way around and around the spring while the drums pounded.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Northern Waterthrush, Tanner's Spring
cool and collected

All in all, a good weekend for sitting and watching.

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