Migration and nesting news
photo by Lloyd Spitalnik
[Plenty of these around, even on a "quiet" day]
After two great birding days when the joint was rocking, so to speak, yesterday was cold and cloudy and quiet. I'm talking about quiet in birdwatching language, which does not at all refer to the absence of sound. It means that there aren't a lot of birds around.
For two hours I walked around the Ramble with my niece from Cambridge who was in town for her high school reunion. I should say she's from the Cambridges, since she lives in both Cambridge MA and Cambridge UK She is one of the two members of my immediate family who share my passion for birds. I lured her into the park with descriptions of warblers dripping from every tree ---only a slight exaggeration of the scene yesterday and the day before.
We went from Strawberry Fields to the Ladies Pavillion to Bank Rock Bridge to the Castle, locations that had deserved the name "hot spot" for the last couple of days. But today they were quiet. We managed to see a few warblers, and a few thrushes and a few woodpeckers, and we heard a catbird singing. [They have just recently arrived and their complicated song completely changes the aural soundscape of the Ramble,]But it was clear that the crowds of songbirds that had arrived a few days ago had departed and a new wave had yet to come in. So we kept out spirits up by chatting about this and that. We became quite absorbed in our conversation.
That was our mistake. We should have kept our complete attention focused on the trees and bushes. Because the birds were there. You just had to work a little harder to find them. This became clear when I saw a list of yesterday's birds posted on e-birds by David Speiser. Sixteen species of warbler! Obviously he was giving the birds his full attention. Here is his list:
site = Central Park
date = 5/6/05
observers = David Speiser and Brian Hart
Solitary Sandpiper (Balcony Bridge)
Great Black-backed Gull
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Tupelo)
White-eyed Vireo (Weather Station)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler (Azalea Pond with Phil Jeffrey)
Worm-eating Warbler (Loch)
Hooded Warbler (Gill by Laupot and Upper Lobe (females))
White-crowned Sparrow (Weather Station)
At last report the Green Herons at the Upper Lobe were still nest-building. Mission accomplished. Now they are sitting on eggs.