Friday, May 7, 2010

Gorgeous day, gorgeous birds

Today I went to Central Park early (well early for me anyway).  I started at Tanner Spring, where I was bored.  I went up to the concrete circle, and did eventually see a mystery warbler there.  Or maybe it's a vireo.  I have no idea.  Anyway, that was it.  To the castle!

I got lost and turned around going to the castle, but did eventually find turtle pond.  I saw this mystery warbler sitting at the end of the pond, on the tree overhanging it.

It looks to me like a blue-winged warbler that is still molting into its breeding costume?  Maybe.  It's pretty iffy actually.  But I couldn't find any other reasonable candidates in my books.

On the path to the castle I saw this gorgeous little yellow warbler, singing his head off!  He was sharing the tree with a common yellow-throat, but I didn't get decent pictures of that one.  I spoke with another birder for a while there, it was nice.

I headed over to the ramble.  After going over the bridge and up the mulch path and heading in, I saw some birders looking intently way up into a tree.  They showed me this magnolia warbler, my first time seeing one!  It was sitting there preening a bit but mostly just singing its head off.  What a treat to get such a long look at a still warbler, even high up in a tree!

As I was walking through, a downie came through and a few ovenbirds teased me.  They are camera shy.  Somehow they can trick the camera into making every picture blurry for no apparent reason.  It's a very weird superpower to have, but I guess you can't choose your superpower, you just have to work with the one you have.

On the way to the point, I saw a black-throated blue.  There must have been an ovenbird nearby because all of its pictures are also blurry.

I went down the dirt path and followed the trail of birders towards the moorhen.  Haha hahaha, these are such fake looking birds!  It was great to see one here.  I got a nice clear view, not for very long though.

At the point I saw this restart, my first time with a good enough view to see what the bird looks like.  Once or twice someone has pointed to a random bird and said "redstart" but they were too fast.  This time I could actually see the bird!

Then the other birders said that it had quieted down and left, and just after they did this oriole came over to say hello.  How gorgeous!  This has happened a few other times.  So some hints for birding: if you see a big group with big cameras, go there.  Something cool is likely to be seen.  If the other birders say it's quiet, let them go, and stay for a few minutes longer.  The birds know, and enjoy playing jokes on the experienced ones who think they know when to leave.  Note to self: remember this when you get more experienced!

This water-thrush was near azalea pond.

It was a great day for me!

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