30 May 2012: Last Spring Walk

This morning was humid but cooler than yesterday with overcast skies, which made for much more pleasant birding. Starr had a good turnout for her last walk of the spring, in the Central Park Ramble. We had 40 bird species including four warblers (Blackpoll, Chestnut-sided, Wilson’s, and Common Yellowthroat).

Joining us today was Jeffrey Kimball, the producer/director of the upcoming HBO film The Central Park Effect, which prominently features Starr Saphir. Jeffrey is a knowledgeable birder himself and he pointed out a number of birds for the group.

As we stood on the rocks at Hernshead I noted a distant male Wood Duck (presumably the same one that has been hanging around this area lately) near the rock on the opposite shore of the Lake. Almost on cue, this duck began paddling directly toward our group. It came right up to us. It probably has come to expect handouts from large groups, but we were not about to break Park regulations by offering it snacks better suited to humans.

We were glad to hear and then get good looks at another Acadian Flycatcher, which appeared in the Ramble just south of the steps to the Castle. We also saw a Great Crested Flycatcher in the same area. Along with the many Easter Wood-Pewees that we heard and a couple of Eastern Kingbirds, we had a four-flycatcher morning.

The first tree you see upon exiting the Ramble on the steps up to the Castle, on the SW edge of the Castle plaza, once again produced some good birds today: a Chestnut-sided Warbler and singing Wilson’s Warbler.

Our walk ended in Strawberry Fields.

Even though the walks are over until late August (see the home page for Starr’s fall schedule), this blog will continue. Starr will be coming out with some comments on the season, and she also plans to write about her birding travels, the first of which will be a short trip upstate probably within the next week. I may continue to do some writing, too. So please keep visiting the site!


David Barrett