Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Central Park - 31.8.13

Record shots of the Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Veery and Baltimore Oriole.
After yesterdays great birthday walk around the park I went along again in the hope of some more lifers around the parks famous ramble. We met up at the boathouse on the eastern side of the lake and while chatting to John I noticed 4 birds distantly over his shoulder. I got them in the bins and was pleased to see they were Chimney Swifts. Quite quickly I saw a bird fly from a dead branch catch an insect and fly back. I alerted the group and they were happy to ID it as an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER apparently not that common a bird in the park. Either this bird or another 2 were seen throughout the walk. As the walk got under way another flycatcher was seen then heard giving a lovely Pee-Wee sound. There in front of us was my first ever EASTERN WOOD PEE-WEE. The birds then came thick and fast with both male and female Black and White Warbler followed by my first ever RED-EYED VIREO one of 3-4 on the walk. In a group of trees and bushes 2 more lifers were seen with a WARBLING VIREO which we heard another couple singing later on and just below it myself and 1 other birder picked out a SWAINSON'S THRUSH. A few yards away a female CANADA WARBLER showed well. In the tree next a gorgeous black and red male American Redstart flitted over. A Least Flycatcher was followed by 3 House Finch by a stream. They were then joined by a stunning male Baltimore Oriole and an equally stunning male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER which was nice to see after missing the male by a second or two the day before. A Parula Warbler then gave a single burst of song but frustratingly wasn't seen. A Carolina Wren showed briefly in the same flowering shrub with my first ever VEERY. We then walked on a little further before a small group in front of us alerted us to a stunning LAWRENCE'S WARBLER. This bird is the hybrid offspring of Golden-Winged and Blue-Winged Warbler and had been seen the previous day but nonetheless was a cracking looking bird and well worth seeing. This started off another mad few minutes with a BLUE-GREY GNATCATHER overhead and a WORM-EATING WARBLER nearby. I then picked up a distant movement and found I was looking at a lovely YELLOW WARBLER. Unfortunately it  flew before anyone else could see it. It must have been 15 minutes before I saw my next lifer when a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER dropped onto a tree in front of us but just as I was going to get a photo it flew off. On the last leg of our walk back to the boathouse I picked up what I thought was a small thrush a few feet ahead of us but once I had it in my bins I realised it was another lifer for me in the shape of an OVENBIRD. The final birds of the day were two Magnolia Warbler chasing each other through the trees.

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