Monday, May 09, 2011

First time nester in Central Park - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher with nesting material

This is pretty exciting news:

Ace birdwatcher Chris Cooper just wrote in to e-Birds:

Jeff Ritter, Claude Bloch, Leslie Beebe, and I were delighted to discover today that a pair of BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS are nesting in the Ramble. As one enters the Ramble across Bow Bridge, the nest is located near the top of a large, nearly white-barked sycamore tree tree just a little way up the west side path, on the lake side; at present the tree is very sparse on leaves. Coming from Bow Bridge, the tree aligns behind a dark, branchless, vertical trunk hacked off at the top. The nest resembles a cotton ball that's been slightly smooshed. The easiest way to locate the nest is to watch the birds going in and out of it. They're usually quite vocal. Otherwise, the Ramble area was rather subdued. Junko mentioned the best birds already; other highlights included BLACKBURNIAN W (the Captain's Bench), a very vocal WHITE-EYED VIREO (the base of the Point), CANADA W (Warbler Rock), BLACKPOLL W (Strawberry Fields, Turtle Pond near the Polish Statue), a female RT HUMMINGBIRD (S end of Strawberry Fields), INDIGO BUNTING (Falconer's Hill, thanks to Roger Pasquier), and several imm. male ORCHARD ORIOLES (Falconer's, Strawberry, the Weather Station). --Chris Cooper