Since my spring AMNH walks started this year in the beginning of April, every week one of the two has been a wet one. So far, the Wednesday and Thursday groups have alternated in which one got the wet weather. Today it was the Wednesday group's turn. Six of my regulars decided to brave the weather. A mist at the start soon increased to a significant drizzle and then a full rain as we headed up to the Belvedere Castle to take advantage of the shelter there over looking Turtle Pond. We checked the weather apps on our "smart" devices and they indicated there would be a break in the rain so we birded from the shelter for a while. Except for seven Double-crested Cormorants lined up together along the south shore of the pond there wasn't much of interest. As the rain started to lift we headed towards the Ramble. Lenore Swenson and I both commented that it only took "one good bird" to turn around a slow morning's birding. As we progressed through the Ramble and out on to the Point, that "one good bird" eluded us. It is the end of April and we couldn't find a single warbler! Defeated we headed out. On our way I saw one of the park's residents signaling us to be quiet as he pointed up into a tree. I looked up to see a large bird perched quietly. My first thought was one of the Red-tailed Hawks was sheltering from the rain, but I quickly realized the shape wasn't right. Raising my binoculars I was surprised to find I was looking at a Barred Owl! The "one good bird" had turned the morning around and rewarded the stalwart six who faced the elements! The full list of only 26 species is below.
Gadwall (pair on the Lake)
Barred Owl (1)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2, one singing)
Eastern Towhee (1, calling)
White-throated Sparrow (many singing)
American Goldfinch (1)