Sunday, 25 June - a morning of amazing...more amazing and beyond amazing.
Updated: Mar 1, 2020
A morning of amazing...more amazing and beyond amazing. First the more amazing category: the bird that had everyone's attention this morning was a first summer male Kentucky Warbler first found at about 7am (rdc) in the area of the Bird Feeders (also called Evodia Field) in the Ramble. See the short video by Daniel Boer and the photo by Deborah Allen (both above). Thankfully it remained occasionally singing and making chip calls in this area until 2pm - many people got good looks at it. Our group at 9:10am had fleeting looks to superb looks - it depended upon where one was standing when the bird flew in to my taped "chip" calls. It came as close as 20 feet from us. By the end of the bird walk, everyone had had great looks at this bird...This is either the latest spring arrival date or earliest fall departure date for this species in NYC. This bird had the look/behavior of a male looking (wandering) for a mate - and happened to arrive on the overnite winds from the northwest in Central Park. Now the "just" amazing category: a Worm-eating Warbler in the strip of woods that separates Iphigene's Walk from the Maintenance Field first found at 7:15am (rdc), and then with the group at about 9:45am (not great looks - but the bird did pop up for a moment). Finally, the beyond amazing category: at 7:45am or so, two Yellow-billed Cuckoos came flying in and landed near (two feet) each other in the Honey-locust above the Humming Tombstone. One was clearly larger than the other (females are larger than males). When I returned with the group at about 10am, we found one cuckoo in the Maintenance Field (Tom Ahlf), and then we believe the other mad a fly-by appearance at the Humming Tombstone in response to its calls from my tape. Will these cuckoos stay to nest in Central Park? Who knows...but if that happened (or the females put their eggs in the nest of another species) that would be truly beyond amazing. As for other birds today, we had several other warbler species including the Black-and-white female at the Upper Lobe (also seen by Linda LaBella during the week); a continuing male Magnolia Warbler in the area of Warbler Rock; and a couple of American Redstarts - five warbler species in all today...incredible for late June...and mostly due to the overnite (Saturday into Sunday) winds from the northwest. Other highlights included a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers in the Ramble (don't seem to be nesting yet), and Cedar Waxwing pairs perhaps already nesting (one pair or so), while other pairs have not started yet. On the other hand, despite the claims by one confused observer, there are no nesting Wood Thrushes, Eastern Wood Pewees and Brown Thrashers nesting in the Ramble (or anywhere in Central Park). Nevertheless, I will be doing a breeding bird census starting at 5:30am at the Boathouse on Saturday, 1 July and again on Tuesday, 4 July (meets at 106th street and 5th Avenue) - come join me to see for yourself.