Wednesday, April 10, 2013

And then there were FOUR

Yellow-rumped Warbler [male] -- Central Park -- 5/06/08
Photo by DAVID SPEISER -- http://www./

Today Tom Fiore sent in his thorough report of yesterday's Central Park birding:

Tuesday, 9 April, 2013 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

...and then there were 4 (warbler species, that is.) with the addition of rather drab-plumaged Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler to at least a couple of Louisiana Waterthrushes (2 were initially seen early by Paul Sweet's group, part of the AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) series of spring bird-walks in the Ramble areas. Others, including A. Vallely & I, saw one of these "Louie's" shortly afterward, as well as one of the Yellow-rumped Warblers. A modest number of Pine Warblers were about including at least 2 singing males in the Ramble, and by far the most numerous warbler today (as expected) were "yellow" Palm Warblers. For best numbers of the latter, it looked that the best 2 spots to watch at least before10 a.m. were all over the eastern third of Sheep Meadow, and the northern third of the Great Lawn, which respectively held ~35+ and 20+ Palms, with additionals of them easily totaling 25+ more & almost certainly more than 100 Palm Warbler in the park entire, which is not by any means a true fall-out but is a nice number as they make their big initial push.

 As for the scene on the eastern parts of Sheep Meadow, easily 500+ migrants were present on the grass (& a few in adjacent trees within the meadow), consisting of 350+ Slate-colored Juncos, 40+ Chipping Sparrows, the Palms, a few Pine Warblers, 20+ Golden-crowned Kinglets, a few Hermit Thrushes, a male E. Towhee, 50+ Song Sparrows, a smattering of White-throated Sparrow, and (at least) one lurking Savannah Sparrow that I briefly hoped was a vesper (but was not) at the SE highest ground of the meadow, near a few boulders. This eastern part of Sheep Meadow (and sometimes the NE edges) can be good, or more rarely great, for all sorts of birds on the grass, usually not far from the fence line & trees, in the time periods when the all-too-abundant 2-legged & 4-legged creatures are roaming & running all over every other square inch of available solid surface in Central. 

The same can apply to the Great Lawn, & today even some machinery in use on that lawn did not deter many birds from feeding at the parts away from that activity. Almost all of these birds were freshly-arrived = hungry! Another sign of very good migration arrival were up to 50 Yellow-shafted Flickers in the south section of the Ramble before 7 a.m., with at least 25 of them in a ten-yard long stretch of the Gill (tiny stream in the Ramble) at once, flushing out at a stray jogger's pass. There were additionally as many as 200 Y.-s. Flickers moving overhead from first light to sunrise, as seen from around the B. Castle area and accompanied by many hundreds if not 1,000+ American Robins in early a.m. flight.

I was among a very few birders in the Ramble at and just after sunrise that I noticed, and the small fall-out there was quite localized at least at first, with some spots almost devoid of migrants and others quite busy. It seemed most birdy near and southwest of the Gill, but that may have been a short-lived thing. My impression also was that the park's north end got much less in numbers of the a.m. movement, although I never got up to the farthest north areas.

good warm-weather birding,

Tom Fiore,