Saturday, August 29, 2015

Empid Identified!

I went out birding in The Ramble in Central Park yesterday morning. The day started out at the point with American Redstarts and a Black-and-White Warblers. I then went to the oven, where I found a pair of Common Yellowthroats and a Northern Waterthrush. I hung around there a little longer than usual, but it paid off. I saw a large duck-sized bird fly out from behind the willow being mobbed by grackles. I put my binoculars on it, and it turned out to be a GREEN HERON! I then went to Azalea Pond, where I found another waterthrush, as well as my first Magnolia Warbler and Black-Throated Blue Warbler (female) of the year. Laupot Bridge unfourtunately did not hold any waterthrushes, through there was one a bit upstream. I then went to Maintenance, where I heard there were many birds. I was only able to see a few before they all left, including Common Yellowthroats. a Canada Warbler, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, and a Great Crested Flycatcher. I then went to Tupelo Meadow, where birds from Maintenance sometimes head. The birds were behind the meadow, but these were certainly not the cast of characters seen at Maintenance Field. A Swainson's Thrush popped out of the shrubs. An willow/alder flycatcher flew by. A Magnolia Warbler and Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher flitted right above us. Then, I spotted another empidonax flycatcher, likely the same bird. Everyone scrambled to try to identify it. But before they could, it started calling, and it became clear it was an ALDER FLYCATCHER! This is one of the more uncommon flycatchers that comes through the city. I probably have seen this difficult-to-identify bird before. but this is now definitely on my life list. 7 species of warbler and 1 life bird made this a great morning. Finally, a new addition to the year list!

Black-Throated Blue Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Canada Warbler
ALDER FLYCATCHER (Year bird #139!)
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Laupot Bridge Waterthrushes

Laupot Bridge is located in The Ramble near the end of The Gill before it empties into The Lake.One thing that is strange about Laupot Bridge is that every time I've been there since late July, it always has a Northern Waterthrush foraging in the mudflats there. Some might say it's the same bird, but birds with different leg colors keep showing up, and there have been a number of occassions where there have been 2 birds there. Every time I go there, I'm scared I'll break the streak. And every time I smile when I see a Northern Waterthrush hunting in the stream.

August Catchup

Sorry for the 2 week hiatus. Here is a recap of what happened

Last Thursday morning and evening and Friday evening I went birding in The Ramble. I saw:

Am. Redstarts
A lot of Canada Warblers on Thursday, a few on Friday
Northern Waterthrushes
Black and White Warblers
1 Ovenbird on Thursday
2 Blue Winged Warblers on Thursday afternoon at Azalea Pond and Tupelo Meadow
1 Ruby Throated Hummingbird neat Azalea Pond on Thursday morning

I also went to The Berkshires and Boston, Massachusetts this week, but saw little birds of interest there. I'm going birding tomorrow and can't wait to see what new migrants have arrived!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Find an Early Thrush

On Thursday morning, I did a search of The Ramble for migrants. I found 3 warbler species fairly easily, which were Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart, and Black-and-White Warbler. I then took a break at Evodia Field. After several minutes, I was surprised when a thrush started to come towards me. We were both startled and the bird flew, but I was able to get more looks. There was no doubt that this was an early migrant. It was hard to tell, but it may have been the Hermit Thrush reported a few days previously, due to its tail looking a bit reddish, but it still could have been a Swainson's or Gray-Cheeked. After the bird disappeared, I went to Warbler Rock, where I found what was either a Magnolia Warbler or a Canada Warbler, as well as another thrush, which was a Swainson's! Later, I went to Maintenance Field, where I saw an Ovenbird, and to Tupelo, where I found 2 empidonax flycatchers (Willow/Alder?) and a definite Canada Warbler. 5-6 warbler species today, with the Canada Warbler bringing my warbler count up to 11.

Interesting Species:

1 Canada Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
1 Ovenbird
Black-and-White Warbler
American Redstart
2 Empidonax sp.
Eastern Kingbird (heard)
Barn Swallow
Red-Eyed Vireo
Northern Flicker
Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Migrants in the Shadows

On Sunday, I went on my usual birdwalk in The Ramble. At first it was slow, with the best birds being a pair of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers. But then out luck changed when we headed deeper into The Ramble to Azalea Pond and found a HOODED WARBLER, Ovenbird, and 2 BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS. I had a total of 6 warbler species seen that day.

Other species seen:
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-White Warbler
Great Crested Flycatcher (Swampy Pin Oak)
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-Eyed Vireo

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Birding on the North Side (of Manhattan)

Yesterday, I went to Inwood and Swindler Cove Parks with Ryan to try to find waders and shorebirds. We started at Muscota Marsh in Inwood, where there were Great Blue Herons, a Great Egret, an Eastern Kingbird and Song Sparrows. No shorebirds were there. We then went to Swindler Cove in which there was also a Great Blue Heron, kingbird, and several Song Sparrows, as well as some goldfinches. This didn't go as well as we hoped and I only added Great Blue Heron to my year list.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fall Migration is Starting

On Sunday's bird walk, we started at the boathouse and headed towards The Oven. Before we got there, we stopped along the way to find a Yellow Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireos, Cedar Waxwings, and House Finches. When we got to The Oven, I suddenly heard "WORM- EATING WARBLER!". Unfortunately the bird was well hidden and I couldn't get good looks at it. This is not a new year bird, having had just as terrible looks at one before in early May. When we headed past Bow Bridge to the island in the lake, the Song Sparrow was singing away as usual. I briefly spotted a flycatcher on the island, probably a Least, which would be new for the year. I also saw Eastern Kingbirds there. When we went to Warbler Rock, we found a Black-and-White Warbler. We also found a second one nearby. We then went to The Gill, where we saw a Northern Waterthrush, and then to Maintenance Meadow, where we found Northern Mockingbirds. After that, we went to Tupelo Meadow, where we found a few American Redstarts, After a minute, we also found a Blue-Winged Warbler mixed in with them! Then, we went to the Upper Lobe, where there was a waterthrush and a redstart. A brief trip to Turtle Pond produced a Great Egret. 6 species of warbler is a good number for the beginning of August. Let's hope things get better as the weeks go by!

Great Egret
Chimney Swift
Northern Mockingbird
Empidonax sp. (likely Least Flycatcher)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Red-Eyed Vireo
Eastern Kingbird
Black-and-White Warbler
Yellow Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Song Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
House Finch