Friday, April 30, 2010

Central Park: Warbler City!

 What a day today!  I got my chores done in the morning, and about 11 headed to the park.  Yes, yes, I know, all the birders say that's too late.  But, whatever.  7 AM birding is not happening for me right now.  Anyway, after seeing all the reports of wonderful birds everywhere, I decided to go the the south side of the reservoir, Tanner Springs (which I've never been to), then the turtle pond and castle, then the ramble and lake, then the pond.

At the south-western corner of the reservoir, in that little area of trees by the bridle path, there were several yellow-rumped warblers.  Here is one perched.

And here is the yellow rump!  It looks fake, but it's not - it's hilarious and awesome!

And several black and white warblers, who seemed to enjoy being on the trunk of the tree, like they thought maybe if they tried hard enough they could become wood peckers.  :-)  My first sighting of this bird.

Also saw a few oven birds, my first sighting of this bird.

A red bellied wood pecker came through, that was nice, I haven't seen a lot of wood peckers lately.  Also along the shore of the reservoir I saw a yellow warbler briefly, way too briefly to get a picture!  But I am pretty sure that's what it was, there was streaking on the chest, it looked just like the one I saw in Cayman.

From there I tried to find Tanner Springs and it turns out I did.  At least mostly.  There is a concrete area with a drinking fountain and a bunch of benches looking into a bunch of trees.  Again yellow-rumped warblers and black and white warblers.  And Easter towhee that was too elusive for me.  And this mystery warbler, it looks like it could be a golden-cheeked warbler or a black throated green warbler.

I think others have seen the black throated green warbler so that's pretty likely, the pictures are not conclusive.

To the castle!  On the way there I chatted with a birder, she gave me some pointers, that was nice. At Shakespeare Garden, that circle wraparound thing, I saw this northern parula, he was a trickster but I managed this picture!

There was an egret at the turtle pond preening.  Also, obviously, lots of turtles.  It's really enjoyable to watch them from the castle, you get a much better view than from the ground.

Down to the lake!  After a few mis-steps (it's very easy to get turned around, I love my phone!) I made it to the lake.  At the upper lobe this black crowned night heron was hanging out.  There was a water thrush down there too, but it sensed the presence of a camera and made sure to be behind branches and stuff.  The heron didn't care.  It did fly over to a branch along the little trail side of the upper lobe, it looked to me like it chased someone away, but I have no idea who!

Then a cormorant came flying in, and started fishing.  And caught and ate this fish!  It was awesome to see.  It lost it and re-caught it twice, before managing to get it turned the right way to swallow it.  Success!

In the ramble another red-bellied wood pecker came by, they are busy busy busy!  Another black and white warbler also.  And some yellow rumps.

At the oven, this water thrush was still moody and shy.  A pretty swamp sparrow was hanging out there also.

Jack met me on the bridge, and we sat on a bench eating my sandwich and drinking Diet Coke.  A palm warbler and a yellow rumped warbler came by, so Jack could see them.  Then back to the oven.  Some wax wings came down for a quick drink, and the kinglet entertained us for a while.  So Jack got to see many new birds today, it was great.

To the pond!  One of the geese (there is a pair there) is still sitting on what looks more and more like its nest.  I wonder if they'll lay eggs and we'll get a close up view of the whole process!  The red winged blackbird is in his tree.  And a great white egret was there.  We did manage to find the wood duck, after hearing its little peep from the rushes.  And around the corner was a black crowned night heron!  I hope these are all regulars.

It was really a banner day in the park, I was a little reluctant to leave even after about 7 hours strolling around and sitting to watch birds!  Oh, and I definitely need a new backpack.  This one is fine for short-ish walks but is just not cutting it for all-day (or half-day) birding.

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