Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 20 - Great Gull Island Birdathon - Day 1

It is 10:30 Saturday night. I have been up since 1:30 am (birding since 2:00 am). I have to get up again at 3:15 am for day 2 of the Birdathon (yes, I know we are crazy). Obviously, an actual report will have to wait. Our total for day 1 was 126 species (pending any hanging chads - but I think that number is pretty firm). That is a decent day 1 total, but probably not enough for us to set a personal record, though tomorrow will tell. In the meantime, here is the view at Bashakill Marsh this morning a few minutes before sun-up.

Bashakill Marsh - sun-up - 05/20/2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19 - Central Park

After the early morning R-t Loon (see previous post), I was down in Central Park leading Paul Sweet's Friday morning AMNH bird walk. It was hot and fewer birds than earlier in the week, but we still had some nice birds. Easily the best was the fairly cooperative male Bay-breasted Warbler on the Belvedere Castle plaza. Somewhat surprising was an Eastern Phoebe at Hernshead - it is getting later for this bird in the park. Our full list of 35 species is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Egret (3, two flying over the Lake; one at Turtle Pond
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (8, oerhead at Maintenance meadow)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (heard)
Downy Woodpecker (heard)
Northern Flicker (heard)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1, heard and seen)
Eastern Phoebe (1, Hernshead)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1, maybe 2; heard)
Eastern Kingbird (1, Hernshead)
Warbling Vireo (3, heard)
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse 91, heard)
Swainson's Thrush (2)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Northern Waterthrush (1, heard)
Common Yellowthroat (2)
American Redstart (4)
Magnolia Warbler (4)
Bay-breasted Warbler (1, male, Belvedere)
Bay-breasted Warbler 05/19/2017 Central Park
Blackpoll Warbler (8, males and females)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (2, females)
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch (1, female)
House Sparrow

May 19 - Inwood Hill Park - Red-throated Loon

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to start a busy day. Before I had even gotten out of bed, my phone chimed to indicate an incoming message. I thought I should check it in case there was something interesting being reported from Central Park where I was going to be leading a bird walk later in the morning. It turned out to be a tweet from Nathan O'Reilly to the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter feed. The message said: "A late Red-throated Loon at Muscota Marsh in Inwood Hill Park. 5:35am". I grabbed my binoculars and looked out the window - a winter plumaged Red-throated Loon was swimming away from the marsh. While it was not new for my apartment list, it is only the second I have had. Nice way to start the day!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18 - Central Park

Another big flight of migrants on radar last night; another disappointing morning. I suppose the disappointment is actually relative. Most of the spring has been so cool and wet and the migration has been so slow that everyone was looking for some spectacular flights this week now that the winds were predicted to be favorable (SW) and the temperatures were warming up. Indeed, Tuesday morning (which based on the overnight radar on Monday night was expected to be middling) was, in fact, quite good. The next two mornings, which everyone thought would be even better, just didn't measure up. This does not mean that we had a very poor morning, just a disappointing one. My Thursday AMNH bird walk group tallied forty species, with ten warblers, about half the warbler total of Tuesday morning. It would seem that the last two nights were so favorable for migration that the big numbers of birds picked up on radar just kept on going. Nevertheless, we had some nice birds: Great Crested Flycatcher, male Bay-breasted Warbler, and a male Scarlet Tanager. The list is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret (1, flyover)
Herring Gull (2, flyovers)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker (heard)
Downy Woodpecker (heard)
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1, heard)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1, west of Azalea Pond)
Eastern Kingbird (3, Hernshead and Turtle Pond)
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo (3, heard)
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse (heard)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Swainson's Thrush (1)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (6, flock flying over)
Ovenbird (1)
Northern Waterthrush (1, heard)
Black-and-white Warbler (4)
Common Yellowthroat (3)
American Redstart (4)
Magnolia Warbler (6)
Bay-breasted Warbler (1, male se of Turtle Pond)
Blackpoll Warbler (5)
Canada Warbler (1, male singing south side of Turtle Pond)
Wilson's Warbler (1)
White-throated Sparrow (1)
Scarlet Tanager (1)
Scarlet Tanager 05/18/2017 Central Park
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 17 - Central Park

Radar last night indicated a huge flight of birds through our area. Based on this morning's walk in Central Park, the important word in the previous sentence is "through". While there were indeed birds around, it was no where near as impressive or diverse as yesterday morning. We found fourteen warblers this morning, which was nice, but it seemed so much less than yesterday's nineteen and the numbers of individuals seen as down also. However, flycatcher diversity doubled, including the first Olive-sided Flycatcher of the year, plus an unidentified Empidonax on the south side of Turtle Pond. The full list of 43 species is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (2, overhead)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1, heard)
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (1, heard)
Olive-sided Flycatcher (1, north of the Gill)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1, west of park drive, 77th Street, calling)
Empidonax sp.? (1, south side Turtle Pond)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1, south side Maintenance Meadow)
Eastern Kingbird (1, path to Belvedere)
Blue-headed Vireo (1)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-eyed Vireo (4)
Blue Jay
Swainson's Thrush (1)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling (begging young all over)
young European Starling - 05/17/2017 - Central Park
Cedar Waxwing (8)
Ovenbird (2)
Northern Waterthrush (2)
Black-and-white Warbler (4)
Common Yellowthroat (3)
American Redstart (4)
Northern Parula (4)
Magnolia Warbler (4)
Blackburnian Warbler (1, female, south side Turtle Pond)
Yellow Warbler (1, Belvedere)
Blackpoll Warbler (2)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1, heard)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (2, Belvedere)
Canada Warbler (1, south side Turtle Pond)
Wilson's Warbler (3)
Scarlet Tanager (2)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
House Sparrow

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16 - Central Park (lunchtime)

Today, I was back in Central Park in the Ramble at lunchtime, filling in again for Paul Sweet on his mid-day AMNH bird walk. It was not as busy as this morning, but there were still a fair number of birds around. Even before we entered the park we were looking down at an American Robin nest with young just off Central Park West.

American Robin with young in nest (lower left) - 05/16/2017 - Central Park
There were far more people in the park on this beautiful, sunny spring day than there had been around in the morning. That made the birding harder, but we still managed to find 36 species, including 12 warblers. The full list is below.

Mallard
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (at least 10 overhead; mainly over the southeast side of Turtle Pond)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1, heard)
Downy Woodpecker
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-eyed Vireo (2, heard)
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee (1, heard)
Veery (1)
Swainson's Thrush (1)
American Robin
Gray Catbird (5)
bathing Gray Catbird (in a rain puddle) - 05/16/2017 - Central Park
European Starling
Ovenbird (4)
Northern Waterthrush (3)
Black-and-white Warbler (4)
Common Yellowthroat (2)
American Redstart (5, including 1st year male)
Northern Parula (4)
Magnolia Warbler (5)
Magnolia Warbler - 05/16/2017 -Central Park
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1)
Blackpoll Warbler (2)
Blackpoll Warbler - 05/16/2017 - Central Park
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (2)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Canada Warbler (1)
Canada Warbler - 05/16/2017 - Central Park
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

My total count for the day, combining the morning and lunchtime walks was 51 species.


May 16 - Central Park (morning)

This morning I filled in for Paul Sweet on his Tuesday morning AMNH bird walk in Central Park. It was easily the best morning of the spring so far (at least for warblers). We started well with two Eastern Kingbirds at and a Wilson's Warbler at Hernshead and then a singing Least Flycatcher as we left there for the Ramble. By the Humming Tombstone there was a Bay-breasted Warbler seen briefly, but we oved on quickly from there because of the disturbance caused by someone loudly playing recordings. The Belvedere was fruitful with the highlight there a gorgeous male Cape May Warbler. Along the south side of Turtle Pond we really struck it big with lots of warbler variety including three male Blackburnian Warblers. At one point we were using one of the Blackburnians as a landmark to get people on the nearby Worm-eating Warbler. My total was 45 species with 19 warblers for the two hour walk.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Great Egret 05/16/2017 south side of Turtle Pond
Black-crowned Night-Heron (2, both flying)
Spotted Sandpiper (1, the Lake from Hernshead)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker (heard)
Downy Woodpecker (heard)
Northern Flicker (heard)
Least Flycatcher (1, Hernshead)
Eastern Kingbird (2, Hernhead)
Warbling Vireo (3)
Red-eyed Vireo (4)
Blue Jay
Swainson's Thrush (1)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird (2, heard)
Worm-eating Warbler (1, south side Turtle Pond)
Northern Waterthrush (1, heard)
Black-and-white Warbler (5)
Common Yellowthroat (2)
American Redstart (5)
Cape May Warbler (1, male, Belvedere)
Northern Parula (6)
Magnolia Warbler (4)
Bay-breasted Warbler (1)
Blackburnian Warbler (3)
Blackburnian Warbler - 05/16/2017 - s. side Turtle Pond
Yellow Warbler (2)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (2)
Blackpoll Warbler (2)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (3)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler (2)
Canada Warbler (2)
Wilson's Warbler (2)
Scarlet Tanager (1, female, upper Lobe)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 11 - Central Park

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday morning was cool with a light northerly breeze. This morning was the same. However, yesterday there was great birding in the park, but this morning things were relatively quiet for my Thursday AMNH bird walk group. instead of yesterday's total of over fifty species, this morning we only found thirty-seven.A nice non-avian sighting was the lady's-slippers in bloom near Azalea Pond.
Lady's-slipper 05/11/2017 Central Park
The full bird list is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher (1, heard)
Blue-headed Vireo (2)
Warbling Vireo (1, Hernshead)
Red-eyed Vireo (2, near weather station)
Blue Jay
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird (3)
Northern Waterthrush (1)
Black-and-white Warbler (4)
Common Yellowthroat (3)
American Redstart (4)
Northern Parula (3)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Yellow Warbler (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (6)
Black-throated Green Warbler (2)
Wilson's Warbler (1, Turtle Pond)
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal 05/11/2017 Central Park
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10 - Central Park

Finally, a nice selection of birds on a mid-May morning. It was still a cool morning with light northerly winds for my Wednesday AMNH bird walk group, but it was easily our best morning of the spring so far. By my count the group had 53 species over 2.5 hours (some of us stayed in until 9:30, a half an hour past our official ending time of 9:00 am). Personally I tallied 48 species, but some members of the group added another five species that I missed, usually by being in the wrong place or looking in the wrong direction as something flew over. The list included eighteen warblers with a few nice ones such as Cape May and Bay-breasted. The areas around the weather station, Belvedere Castle and the south side of Turtle Pond were so productive we never made it into the Ramble proper. After walking through the Maintenance Meadow, which was surprisingly quiet, we just headed out along the edge of the Tupelo Meadow since it was now well after our regular ending time of 9:00 am. The full list is below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret (1, the Lake)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (1, the Lake)
Red-tailed Hawk (1, overhead)
Merlin (1, flying south over the Lake when we started)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift (1, flyover)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (1)
Least Flycatcher (1)
Blue-headed Vireo (1)
Warbling Vireo (2, Hernshead)
Blue Jay
Barn Swallow (1, flyover)
Tufted Titmouse (heard)
Wood Thrush (1, heard by Maintenance Meadow)
Swainson's Thrush (1, weather station)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Ovenbird (4, heard and seen)
Worm-eating Warbler (2, Upper Lobe and by weather station)
Northern Waterthrush (1, singing near hernshead)
Blue-winged Warbler (1, weather station)
Black-and-white Warbler (4)
Common Yellowthroat (4)
American Redstart (5, including first year males)
Cape May Warbler (2, weather station and Tupelo Meadow)
Northern Parula (6)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Bay-breasted Warbler (1-2, weather station and Belvedere; possibly the same bird)
Blackpoll Warbler (1, weather station)
Yellow Warbler (3; including a cooperative one by the Belvedere Castle))
Yellow Warbler 05/10/2017 Central Park
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1, male, weather station)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (5)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Wilson's Warbler (1, male, Hernshead)
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow (1, adult by Bevedere Castle)
Scarlet Tanager (3, female and 2 males west of Tupelo)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1, heard singing near Belvedere)
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (6)
House Finch (2, east of Maintenance building)
House Sparrow

May 8 - Inwood Hill Park

I went into Inwood Hill Park for a few hours Monday morning with some visiting birders. While it was mostly sunny, it was still cool and somewhat slow birding for the eight of May. Migration continues to be slow, apparently due to all the adverse northerly winds and cool temperatures.We still managed to find forty-seven species in about four hours in the park, but with only eight warblers.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Egret
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher (1, calling up on ridge)
Blue-headed Vireo (1)
Warbling Vireo (along edge of soccer fields)
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush (2, in the Clove)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Ovenbird (1)
Black-and-white Warbler (1)
Common Yellowthroat (1, singing along the north side of the Clove)
American Redstart (4)
Northern Parula (2)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1, male on the ridge)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (8)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1, singing on the ridge)
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1, male on the ridge)
Indigo Bunting (1, singing on south side of soccer fields)
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole (2, adult male n. side of soccer fields; 1st year male on ridge)
Baltimore Oriole (6, all over)
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow