Wednesday, May 4 - Central Park
It rained all day Monday and Tuesday and persistent North winds kept migration on hold. I wasn't expecting much more in terms of migration on Wednesday but at least the weather forecast had a gap in the rain early in the morning, so I went into the Park at 6:30am. It was raining .....
At first the birds were also really quiet, but it did pick up a little and briefly stop raining, before I had to leave at 8:30am to head to work. I had a few warblers - Worm-eating, Blue-winged, Prairie, Cape May - and of course checked every Black-throated Green Warbler VERY CAREFULLY. Best bird of the day was a Yellow-throated Vireo (219) one of a few species that had been present but eluded me all week in the Park. Still waiting for the big wave of migrants .... any day now ....
Thursday, May 5 - Central Park
|The Upper Lobe, Central Park|
Friday, May 6 - Clinton Cove Park
|Seaside Sparrow - Photo: Tom Socci (used with permission)|
(Gets it's own blog post)
Sunday, May 8 - Central Park
This was going to be the day! The winds finally turned South on Saturday afternoon and the rain was finally forecast to stop. Surely the migration would explode North on Saturday night and Central Park would be hopping with birds on Sunday morning? Right? Well ... yes....
Up at 5:30 and in the Park a little after 6am. Good news was that it wasn't raining, but the Park didn't really seem all that birdy and early encounters with birders like Doug Kurtz suggested that perhaps we hadn't had a big migration event. I did start picking up a few year birds though with Scarlet Tanager (229) and Lincoln's Sparrow (230) joining the list near Strawberry Fields. Moving on to The Upper Lobe I added Swainson's Thrush (231) and Great Crested Flycatcher (232), plus a Spotted Sandpiper (233) at Turtle Pond, but none of the species were new arrivals. Had there been migration overnight?
The answer to this question came at about 7:15am when the skies opened unleashing a couple of hours of torrential rain, and all hell broke loose with thousands of migrant birds swarming North through the park. IT WAS ON!
Over the next few hours I got completely soaked (I bird in the rain) but I also saw 22 species of warbler, adding Canada Warbler (234), Blackburnian Warbler (235), Magnolia Warbler (236), Wilson's Warbler (237) and Red-eyed Vireo (238) to the year list. At one point, in torrential rain, I engaged a flock of about 50 warblers near Turtle Pond that contained 14 species ... and dozens of other warblers passed overhead without landing and getting identified ... this is what makes Central Park so awesome in migration.
|Yellow-crowned Night Heron at The Point|
|American Bittern (3 shots)|
I was also lucky enough to bump into a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (240) before I had to leave, but eventually I had to go. Overall, I had 82 species of bird in the tiny area that is The Ramble ... and of course, someone found the Chuck-Will's-Widow just after I left.