American Tree Sparrow, Great Hill

English: American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arbor...

American Tree Sparrow

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park North End had 48 species including three warblers (Palm, Yellow-rumped, and Mourning) and nine sparrows, the high so far for the season.

American Tree Sparrow, seen on sparrow slope of the Great Hill, is a new bird for both the season and the year (#156).

Field Sparrow, also seen on the Great Hill, is a new bird for the season.

The other sparrows seen were White-crowned, Chipping, White-throated, Swamp, Song, Eastern Towhee and Dark-eyed Junco.

Lenore briefly saw a Mourning Warbler at the Children’s Glade on the Great Hill, but it found cover before most of the group could see it.

Other notable birds were Purple Finch and a late Blue-eyed Vireo.

The group saw three Winter Wrens and an amazing ten Brown Creepers!

Hermit Thrush were also seen in abundance today. Within a minute of walking into the Park I had four and my total for the day was at least 30.

Cape May Warbler, Pinetum

English: Cape May warbler

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble and Pinetum had 52 species including 7 warblers and 6 sparrows. It was a calm, sunny morning with a temperature in the high 50s.

Lenore proceeded directly to the Pinetum to search for Cape May Warblers, which had been reported there the prior three days. The first pass yielded plenty of the usual suspects and a brief glimpse at a possible Cape May, but nothing satisfying for the group. Activity was at least 50 feet high in the tree and prolonged scanning was difficult because it required looking almost directly up.

So we took a break from the search. We went to the Reservoir and saw some Ruddy Ducks and the usual gulls.

On the way back we gave the Cape May one more try and this time — success! The bird was seen by most of the group flying near the top of the tree displaying its yellow front with dark streaks. It is a new bird for the fall season.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrush continued to be very abundant.

Other highlights:

  • Wood Duck (at least two at the Upper Lobe)
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • MOURNING WARBLER (continuing in fenced-in area north of Tupelo Meadow)
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Purple Finch
  • American Goldfinch

[Birding away from the group, I had Pine Siskin and Field Sparrow in the Falconer’s Hill area.]

Mourning and Tennessee Warblers, Ramble


Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 48 species including 7 warblers and 4 sparrows.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Titmice, and both Kinglets continued to be abundant.


  • Wood Duck (3 at Upper Lobe)
  • Pied-billed Grebe (5 on reservoir)
  • Mourning Warbler (immature, north of Tupelo Meadow)
  • Tennessee Warbler (Triplets Bridge, on ground)
  • Black-capped Chickadee

23 May 2012: Birds Are Back!

English: Mourning Warbler, Oporornis philadelp...

Mourning Warbler, female and male (lower)

Starr had what may be her best-ever day for May 23 or later. After nearly a week where wind or rain made for unfavorable migration conditions, the pent-up migration demand was apparent this morning in Central Park.  Did early rain that ended by 7 AM create fallout conditions? Starr’s group had 64 species including 19 warblers.

After a tip from Peter, one of the regular members of our group, Starr began the walk by Summit Rock. A single large tree there eventually produced 13 warbler species, including a female Blackburnian and a Tennessee. Though Red-eyed Vireos are a common bird during spring migration, we had not been seeing very many this year. Today we saw them in this tree, in the surrounding trees, and throughout the Ramble. Blackpoll Warbler was the most frequently-seen (and -heard) warbler today, with Magnolia Warbler close behind. The tree even had a late Black-throated Green Warbler. We saw at least two Canada Warblers in the tree and a Chestnut-sided Warbler, too, both birds that occurred more often today than they usually do.

As we were making our way back to the Ramble past the Swedish Cottage, a text alert arrived: Mourning Warbler found west of the Pool by Central Park West! I ran off to get the bird. Alice Deutsch, who originally found it, was still on the scene and got me to where I could hear it and, shortly thereafter, see it.  Then I ran back to meet Starr at Hernshead.

What had Starr been doing in the 25 minutes I was gone? Just getting her own Mourning Warbler at the Upper Lobe, a shy and quiet bird that she and a couple others in the group briefly saw! That’s not all — Starr also got a Bay-breasted Warbler there, too.

English: bay-breasted warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler (female)

At Hernshead we saw a male Wood Duck swimming nearby, and a Green Heron across the Lake on the west shore.

After returning to the Ramble, we gave the Upper Lobe another try. This time nearly everyone in our group got to hear a partial Mourning Warbler song, and some got to see it briefly popping up. It is a new bird for the season.

On our walk up to the Castle, Lenore found a very late Blue-headed Vireo.

In the tree just south of the Castle, to the west of the path up from the Ramble, we had Least Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird.

At the King Jagiello statue we got great views of a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female, Cap Tourmente N...

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)

Today’s walk lasted over six hours and continued producing birds to the very end, where Starr had a Gray-cheeked Thrush in Strawberry Fields.

Highlights: (* means new bird for the season)

  • Wood Duck (male, Hernshead)
  • Green Heron (west shore of Lake)
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee (seen twice, heard frequently)
  • Least Flycatcher (south of Castle)
  • Great Crested Flycatcher (Tupelo Meadow)
  • Eastern Kingbird (south of Castle)
  • Blue-headed Vireo (in Ramble south of Castle)
  • Gray-cheeked Thrush (Strawberry Fields)
  • Tennessee Warbler (Summit Rock)
  • Mourning Warbler* (Upper Lobe)
  • Bay-breasted Warbler (Upper Lobe)
  • Blackburnian Warbler (Summit Rock and male at Tupelo Meadow)
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler (several)
  • Wilson’s Warbler (Turtle Pond)
  • Scarlet Tanager (heard, Summit Rock)
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female, King Jagiello statue)