Cedar Waxwing, juvenile
Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 48 species including 10 warblers. It was a calm, humid morning with humidity near 100% and some early fog.
There was good species variety though somewhat lower abundance, perhaps due to the wet conditions from early morning rain. The complete species list should look much like yesterday’s.
Highlights: Pied-billed Grebe, once again on Turtle Pond; Scarlet Tanager; Rose-breasted Grosbeak; a flock of young Cedar Waxwings in Maintenance Meadow; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Oven; Wood Thrush; and Pine Warbler.
Pine Warbler, male (Photo credit: Vicki’s Nature)
Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park North End had 46 species of which 9 were warblers. It was an overcast morning in the low 60s after the passage of a cold front the prior evening with light NW winds overnight, during which moderate overnight migration had been observed.
Pine Warbler (both male and female) was a new species for the season. Though generally the first warbler to arrive in Central Park during spring migration, it is one of the last ones to pass through in the fall. As its name implies, this seed-eater prefers pine trees and is not usually found elsewhere.
Northern Shoveler on the Meer was also new for the season. These wide-billed dabbling ducks will be in the Park until late spring.
Other notable birds seen today were: Yellow-rumped Warbler near the beginning of its fall passage; Belted Kingfisher, an infrequently-seen species that visits the Pool and Loch; and Red-tailed Hawk — the group got to watch the hawk eat a pigeon near the Compost Heap west of the Conservatory Garden.
A rare Grasshopper Sparrow (immature) was reported early in the morning at the SE side of the Compost Heap area near the Conservatory Garden fence. Lenore brought the group to this spot later but could not relocate the bird. It was seen later in the day at various points along the southern boundary of the compost area, ranging as far west as near the East Drive.
After the first two nights of southerly winds in over two weeks, we would have expected an exceptional migration day. It turned out to be just an average day, but we still had 41 total species.
At 9:45 we responded to a text message alert from Anders Peltomaa who had spotted a Prairie Warbler at Azalea Pond. We arrived on the scene quickly and within a few minutes the bird reappeared, perching on the fence and then on the ground, giving good closeup views to all. This is the first Prairie Warbler reported in Central Park for the season, and naturally is also the first for our walks — and our best bird of the day. We thank Anders for the timely alert.
We also had our first-of-season Brown Thrasher in the Ramble.
Prairie Warbler (Azalea Pond)
Blue-headed Vireo (3, Turtle Pond and Azalea Pond, excellent views)
Pine Warbler (3)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (15+, seen everywhere)
Palm Warbler (6)