Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 10 May 2011.

I was wide awake by 5am, so I headed off to Syosett station and got the train/subway to 72nd street and headed into Central Park with coffee and bagel in hand. The first thing that struck me was the amount of birders there. I’d expected to see only a few people out birding, after all it was a work day, so I wasn’t really prepared for the large groups of birders that thronged through the park. I started off around Strawberry Fields before heading off towards The Lake and then over to the Ramble.
 There was lots of stuff to look at, especially for a visiting Brit like me. Magnolia, Black and White, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Blue-headed Vireo, Eastern Towhee (which I thought would be common, but was the only one I saw) Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Baltimore Oriole were seen around Strawberry Fields. After failing to see the Cape May Warbler which was reported in this area I headed off to the lake and walked along the shoreline from the small gazebo. Prairie Warbler was the best bird in this area, but I also saw my first of many Black-throated Blue Warblers and also Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Then if was off to the Bow Bridge and into The Ramble where I spent the next 5 hours. The Ramble was great! Lots of songbirds in some great habitat. The Oven, The Point and The Boathouse were the best area. Chestnut-sided and Wilson’s Warbler, Northern Waterthrush were the remaining warblers to be added onto my list. The Chestnut-sided was feeding on what looked like termite larva in a chopped tree stump at the head of the Oven. The other good bird was a Lincoln’s Sparrow feeding just north of a small bridge half-way between the Bow Bridge and the Upper Lobe. A rather skulky Swainson’s Thrush was also seen nearby. The Azalea Ponds were nice. My first of two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (the other singing at Bow Bridge) was seen here along with plenty of warblers. The Point was one of the most productive areas, being very good for woodpeckers (Northern Flicker, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpecker) and warblers (Wilson’s, N. Parula, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, Black-and-White and Blackpoll). At the base of the point near the Boathouse, a Spotted Sandpiper fed with a Northern Waterthrush on the muddy patches around the sheltered shoreline. A number of White-eyed Vireos were singing throughout the Ramble and a Warbling Vireo was a nice addition to the list before I left.

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