Saturday, October 11, 2008

FLASH! And three photos of fall migrants [one a nester]

FLASH: Amazingly, the Connecticut Warbler is still to be seen at the Pinetum today - Saturday, 10/11/08. You don't need exact directions. Go to the northwest end of the Pinetum and scan the nearby area for a crowd of birdwatchers. I guarantee they'll be there.

Now for the regular migrants still being seen throughout the park:

Two warbler photos of the last few days by
David Speiser

Black & White Warbler - 10/10/08

Yellow-rumped Warbler -- 10/8/08

and a Song Sparrow in the Maintenance Meadow,
photographed by Murray Head on 10/8/08

Note: While no warblers nest in Central Park, several pairs of Song Sparrows do. This bird may be one of the host of migrants passing through the park on the way to wintering grounds, or it may be one of the nesters, also heading south

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ah well...

First came two letters from readers referring to the "owl" picture I posted earlier today;

Under the headline Cannot For the Life of Me, Nan Holmes wrote:

Both my son and I cannot see the owl, though I believe he is there. I would be a poor owler and that is why I am here. Can someone point out what should be (and probably is) obvious to everyone else?

and Karen Anne Kolling wrote:
Is that actually an owl? It looks like some wood to me...

Finally, the death blow to my hopes--Murray Head, the photographer who sent me the photo sent me an enlargement of it [making everything crystal clear] and wrote:

Dear Marie...

I do not think that this owl will "fly-out"... tonight.

When I first looked at the tree... I gulped and whispered "Owl!"

The "Sleeping Owl" actually is a bark formation that gives one the illusion of an owl...
(That's why I said... "At least I though so" in my email )

I do not think that the photo would be able to be duplicated... the tree is there but the exact time of day,angle of the sun, leaf shadows etc... that probably is a one time occurrence.

It is located near the south-west corner of The Great Lawn it's one of the red berry bearing treesor just north of them.

I know from reading your book that you love owls... me too.
Sorry that you were fooled; that was not my intent at all.


Could it be?????

Murray Head took the photo above on October 7, 2008, that is, yesterday. His caption: Sleeping owl in crook of tree illuminated by shaft of light... The Great Lawn

It sure looks like an owl in there. Very exciting. That would be the first owl sighting since August 4, 2008, when Caroline Greenleaf and Bruce Yolton had a final sighting of one of the young screech owls that fledged at The Pool last spring. Bruce tells the whole screech saga on his website -- Http://

PS The owl in Murray's photo looks like a red-phase screech owl. That would mean it is a new one to Central Park. All of the North Woods owls are gray in color.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


PS to yesterday's sighting: The warbler was seen again today- SUNDAY 10/5/08. Phil Jeffrey had a sighting in the Pinetum just a little after noon. Below, an earlier posting

Connecticut Warbler - 10/4/08
A secretive bird of the genus Oporornis, the Connecticut Warbler is rarely sighted in Central Park, and then usually just for a moment as it darts in and out of thick, dense vegetation. Rarely does it come out into the open and pose for photographers, as it did yesterday for DAVID SPEISER

Bravo, David!

PS The bird was discovered around 12:30 at Sparrow Rock by Jack Meyer. It hung around until about 1:15. Then, as Oporornis warblers do, it vanished.

PPS The other warblers in that elusive genus are the Kentucky, the Mourning, and MacGillivray's.