25 April 2012: Best Day of the Week

Spotted Sandpiper , winter visitor

Spotted Sandpiper

Warmer weather and calm winds made for much more pleasant and productive birding conditions in the Central Park Ramble this morning.

We found our bird of the day very early on the walk, just north of the Ladies Pavilion working the western Lake shore: our first-of-season Spotted Sandpiper. Starr also heard a Northern Waterthrush in the same area.

At the Upper Lobe we heard a singing Blue-headed Vireo which later gave excellent views to all in the trees northeast of the Lobe. We would later hear and see another Blue-headed Vireo near the Swampy Pin Oak area.

At Belvedere Castle we saw a handful of Chimney Swifts criss-crossing Turtle Pond, flying lower than migration level.

The eastern shore of Turtle Pond offered good views of a Louisiana Waterthrush.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were again by far the most abundant warbler.

We also heard and saw plenty of Eastern Towhees.

Starr heard Tree Swallows (east of the Castle, and a new bird for the year) and all got great views of a pair of Barn Swallows skimming the Lake.

After trying to find a Brown Thrasher that we were hearing in the Ramble, we later got a brief but good look at one. Some of us also had a Field Sparrow around the same time, a bird that uncannily flew every time Starr mentioned its name.

At the end of the walk in Strawberry Fields, Starr heard and — after a complete loop of the area — found for all to see two Black-and-white Warblers. The day ended with 5 warbler species and 45 bird species in total.