Saturday, April 24, 2010

My former dance partner reports a special warbler

Rebekah Creshkoff [right, with orange booties]
Photo by Ardith Bondi 12/13/04

Rebekah Creshkoff ( Yup, she was the other Cardinal at the Fifth Avenue nest-removal Protest five and 1/2 years ago] sent this note about an hour ago. Her sighting took place this morning [4/24/10] at a little after 8:00 a.m.:

Heard and saw a singing Orange-crowned Warbler along the ridge above Lasker Ridge [in the North Woods part of Central Park] today. It was low in shrubs at one point, so I got to look down on it. When he sang, he raised his "crest" (OK, the feathers on the back of his head) a little bit — and I could actually see their rusty orange color! The color was duller than I expected. And it was nothing like the narrow band on the top of a kinglet's head. Also present were Jim Demes, (who first saw it yesterday), Brenda Inskeep and Tom Perlman .

Rebekah and MW unmasked
photo by Cal Vornberger

PS Here's the Orange-crowned Warbler:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Earthday Offering

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

Common Grackle

Four photos taken in Central Park on Wednesday, April 21, by

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today's bounty, a mystery at the Azalea Pond and a PS from Jack

Savannah Sparrow
Photo by David Speiser

Chris Cooper, a birder as likely to be encountered in the Ramble these mornings as any migratory warbler or sparrow, reports on today's scene via eBirds. His list adds to one posted a bit earlier by Stephanie Seymour, another daily reporter,.

The SW winds overnight boosted both numbers and variety overall, yielding a 6-warbler, 8-sparrow morning (so far, with more folks still to report in, I'm sure). Several of us witnessed Blue Jays going nuts at 9 AM at the N end of the Azalea Pond, with other birds joining in in classic mobbing behavior...but we couldn't spot any target. If you go, you might want to check there for a nightjar or owl.

The 6 warblers:

Blue Winged
N. Parula
Black & White

Seven sparrows and a ?:


8.Dark-eyed Junco [I think it's considered a sparrow...]
8.House Sparrow [I think it's not really a sparrow, but a weaver finch...]


On Monday I wrote that no Yellow-throated Warblers were seen in Central Park in the year 2008. Jack Meyer sent in a correction this morning:

In 2008 there was a very late Yellow-throated Warbler in the tall Cypress at the west end of the Pool (100th st) on May 17. This bird was seen by Starr's group at 7:30 AM and later by Paula Schutte, Patricia Craig & me at 9:15. It seems to me there were other birders there at the time, but this is all I have recorded.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The one that almost got away

Yellow-throated Warbler -- Sunday 4/18/10-- 10:44 a.m.-- Falconer's Rock
Photo by Beth Bergman

The Yellow-throated Warbler is one of the earliest warblers to arrive in Central Park during the spring migration season, and one of the most eagerly sought after. It can be found as early as the first week of April.

To be sure other warblers show up in April-- the Pine, the Palm, the Black & White, for instance -- but they come in larger numbers. Meanwhile the Yellow-throated seems to come alone. In 2009 one individual
Yellow-throated Warbler was found [and photographed by many] between April 12 and April 15. And though an occasional one of this species may check in for a longer stay,[ such as the bird that was seen between April 7 and April 29 in 2005] there are many years when only a single sighting of the bird is recorded.

Some years it is not found at all. Nobody seems to have a record for the Yellow-throated Warbler in 2008, for instance. Of course this doesn't mean that there were no Yellow-throated Warblers stopping over in Central Park that year.. It only means that nobody happened to find one that year. In birdwatching it's always a matter of the right person being in the right place at the right time.

Photographer Beth Bergman was the only Central Park birdwatcher in the right place at the right time yesterday. The only problem was that she didn't know it.

Here's the e-mail letter I received from Beth at 1:30 this afternoon:

Hi Marie,
Yesterday, east side of Falcon Rock, 10:44:31 - 10:45:16 a.m., one singing yellow throated warbler. I've blogged a group with the background. Didn't get correct ID until this morning. Sometimes I don't think. Yellow makes my brain fuzzy-happy, intelligence turns off.