Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Photo by DAVID SPEISER http://lilibirds,com

Regular birdwatcher Junko Zuzuki sent in the following report to eBirds this morning:

Very quick walk through Central Park this morning produced some nice birds. The highlights were: BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Riviera, 8:35AM) and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (E. side of Mall, 9AM, seen singing from the path closest to East Drive.) Others included: Northern Parula Yellow Warbler (Lake side, near Boathouse.) Chestnut-sided Warbler (near Oven.) Magnolia Warbler Black-throated Blue Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Green Warbler Black-and-white Warbler American Redstart Ovenbird Northern Waterthrush Common Yellowthroat Wilson's Warbler (Point, seen from Oven.) Canada Warbler (near Bow Bridge, Ramble side.)

PS Between 7 and 9 this morning a small group of us strolling through the Ramble with Steve Quinn saw every one of Junko's warblers EXCEPT the Blackburnian. As a bonus we also saw the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest , with both of the tiny birds fluttering around it. It is fairly high in an American Sycamore [the only one there!] just north and west of the Bow Bridge. Here's the description of the gnatcatcher nest from The Birder's Handbook:

"Nest: cup-shaped, saddled on horizontal limb or fork; compact, of plant down and similar materials held together with bits of lichen, lined with fine materials. "

Amazingly, that's exactly what the nest looked like. Soft, soft, soft. While we were searching for it a birder on a walk with the NYC Audubon passed by and said that the gnatcatcher nest is the size of a walnut. Well, it wasn't. It was considerably bigger.