Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September 30 - Madison Square Park - Connecticut Warbler

In the afternoon an email from eBirdsNYC came through about a Connecticut Warbler being seen at Madison Square Park at 23rd Street. A few minutes before 5:00 PM, I left the Museum and took the subway down to 23rd Street and Sixth Ave and walked over to the park. I quickly spotted the three large abstract sculptures the bird was reported to be near, and more importantly, a small group of birders watching the grassy area by the sculptures. Joining them, I was informed the Connecticut had been feeding on the grass there for the better part of an hour, but ten minutes earlier had flown up into a Gingko and disappeared. I settled in to watch and wait. A feeding Common Yellowthroat and a Palm Warbler each gave brief moments of hope when spotted working their way through the grass. A Black-and-white Warbler worked the trunk of a near-by tree and a Gray Squirrel that was obviously used to being fed by people was an annoyance while waiting for the Connecticut to reappear. I finally decided to scout around the area in case the bird had moved away from the sculpture area. After having no luck anywhere else I rejoined the others where I had started. After a minute or so I spotted the head of a warbler feeding in the grass near one of the sculptures. The grass was about as tall as the bird so it was not possible to be sure which warbler was in view. Finally, the bird came into a more open patch and revealed itself as the Connecticut Warbler! We all watched it for several minutes before it disappeared behind the sculpture. Dale Dancis and some other birders arrived a few minutes later. Despite another hour or so of intense watching the warbler never reappeared. In another scout around the park I found an Ovenbird and ten White-throated Sparrows feeding in the grass and heard a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Not bad for this little bit of green in lower Manhattan.

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