Fox Sparrow, Ramble

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 40 species including two warblers (Yellow-rumped and Common Yellowthroat) and six sparrows. It was an overcast morning, around 58 degrees, with occasional very light rain. Wet conditions and the threat of rain tend to make birds less active.

Fox Sparrow, seen down the steps from Belvedere Castle toward Turtle Pond, is a new bird for the season. Our fall season total is 135 species, not far from the 140 we had this spring.

Lenore heard a small flock of Pine Siskins overhead, but views were difficult. It appears that there may be some resident Siskins now in the Park as more people are reporting them even on days when migration is minimal.

The group had good views of Winter Wren and of a female Purple Finch.

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Blue Grosbeak, Maintenance Meadow

English: Female Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caeru...

Blue Grosbeak

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 51 total species. Temperatures were around 46 at the start after a night of light NW winds.

The group responded to a 10:36 AM NYNYBIRD text alert  of a Blue Grosbeak perched in a crab-apple tree just west of the Maintenance Meadow lawn. The cooperative bird remained there and gave good, close looks to all.

The Blue Grosbeak is a very rare and a worthy sighting anywhere in the New York area. There are only two other reports this season of it in Central Park. This is a new bird for the season for the group. Starr had one in the North End in the spring.

Other highlights from the Ramble:

  • Gadwall (Turtle Pond)
  • Osprey (flyover)
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (15+, seen everywhere)
  • Eastern Phoebe (5+)
  • Red-eyed Vireo (Maintenance Meadow)
  • Black-capped Chickadee (several)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (5)
  • Carolina Wren
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Swainson’s Thrush (just one — large numbers departed)
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Cedar Waxwing (in fruiting trees all over)
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Northern Parula
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • American Redstart
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Palm Warbler (seen frequently)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (abundant)
  • Eastern Towhee (heard and seen frequently)
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • [Field Sparrow (Sparrow Rock — not an official bird; I had it after the walk)]
  • Purple Finch (several, east side of Maintenance)
  • American Goldfinch

We also had Canada Goose on the Lake, not at all an uncommon sighting! And though we may have seen these birds in prior fall walks, they did not make it onto the fall list. So I am adding them today.

Purple Finch, Ramble

Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) male, Cap ...

Purple Finch

Starr Saphir and Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 46 species including 10 warblers. A cold front passed about 36 hours prior, bringing cooler temperatures (low 60s) and moderate northwest winds overnight.

There were two new birds for the season. Starr got a fleeting glimpse of Blackburnian Warbler near the walk’s start. Later, Lenore acted on a tip and found Purple Finch near Evodia Field for all to see.

Starr also had Olive-sided Flycatcher at the Triplets Bridge.

All had good views of Wilson’s Warbler on the path east from Belvedere.

Red-breasted Nuthatch was again heard in the Ramble. The group also got to see Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

28 May 2012: Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

English: Acadian flycatcher in rain

Acadian Flycatcher

We had 40 bird species, including 4 warblers (American Restart, Blackpoll, Magnolia, and Common Yellowthroat), in the Central Park Ramble this morning.

The best bird of the day was a male Purple Finch first pointed out by group member Margo on the south shore of Turtle Pond and positively identified by Starr. (The male Purple finch has a triangular bill and no dark streaks on its breast.) The bird was very cooperative and gave us good views. It is a great sighting for two reasons: the species has been rarer than usual in Central Park this year, with only a five observations noted on eBird; and it is also quite late to be seeing one. It becomes bird #140 on our season list!

Though we had already heard Acadian Flycatcher sing very briefly two weeks ago, today we both heard it and saw it well, with four observations across the Ramble — an unusually large count for this bird.

Toward the end of the walk we saw a Turkey Vulture flying over the Lake. It is late to be seeing one of these.

Turkey Vulture flying in Miami, Florida, USA.

Turkey Vulture