Date: 5/22/18 6:11 pm
From: Thomas Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Central Park, NYC 5/22 including 23 Warbler spp. + various later-season migrants
An official sign, with the logos of the Dept. of Parks / New York City, and the Central Park Conservancy (who are tasked with that park’s day-to-day management and much of its’ planning) prominently-posted within the below-noted park, contains the following among listed regulations of that park (full quote) - " “Amplified Sound Without a Permit is Prohibited Throughout Central Park at All Times.” (end quote from that official signage.) *PLEASE take note & know that this, as a NYC PARKS regulation specific to that park is a legal directive*, not just a recommendation.
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Tuesday, 22 May, 2018 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

A male Mourning Warbler, at the Gill, a stream in the heart of the Ramble, was found during the Linneaen Society of New York’s final Tuesdays-in-May walk, led by longtime Linnaean member & guide, Richard Lieberman, and seen by many, as well as by later observers there - with no use of sound-making devices. One ‘finale' to this excellent & long-running walk-series, by both this walk-leader, & that venerable field-naturalist’s organization. Additionally, in the park’s north end, I re-found a Mourning Warbler, in the Peter Sharp garden area of the Great Hill, which was possibly the same as found the other day by a group led by Ken Chaya with the NYCH20[org.] nature-walk participants. Further, I also found 2 female Mourning Warblers more or less together & briefly seen simultanously, in the n. woods area some 150+ yards east of the prior-noted location. These 2 female Mournings were at first, not that skulking & gave fairly nice views, but the lighting at 6:20 a.m. was not quite enough for my point-&-shoot, & further I do not use flash on birds that I attempt to photograph. In the instance of one later-discovered male Mourning Warbler, near the W. 81 St. Transverse (east of the park’s W. Drive) a number of people made fine photos of the orcasionally cooperative male Mourning there. In addition there was a further report, by at least one & possibly seen by several, of yet another Mourning at the bridle path south of the CP reservoir not far from the Central Park NYPD police parking zone. Some of us went to at least briefly search for that reported individual, later in the day Tues.

Thus there were a minimum of 5, & perhaps 6 [+] Mourning Warblers present in Central Park just on Tuesday/22nd, & it is reasonably likely more than that number were actually present, park-wide. To be slightly redundant, this is not a “rare” warbler species in migration in the northeast, it is simply an easily-overlooked one, among the skulkers & males may or may not give a geat deal of song in the migration stop-overs; of course the equal no’s. of females migrating, as with all other warblers of female sex, do not give song, but both sexes of all warblers do offer “chip” & other call notes, which if learned & discerned well, can at least help to locate them, esp., in some cases the shyest of species.

Mourning Warbler is also a rather late-moving spring migrant & individuals, esp. females, may be found well south of the more-northerly breeding areas, into June in almost any year. (The species is sometimes noted in the north as early as the first half of May, but the bulk of this species in spring migration is typically moving thru later in that month, & also into June.) I am aware of a potential “high count” of Mourning Warblers, 7 individuals carefully observed and recorded in a prior year in the modern era, & was a party to that effort to find a rather high number of that species, by “targeted bird-finding in an essentially all-day, park-wide effort; there also have been any number of times with multiple sightings-locations of the species in one day, over just the past 25 years in Central Park & with many observers having had this occur, although of course not at all “commonly”. All of the findings of the Mourning Warblers seen in Central Park on this day 5/22 were made with no use of amplified sounds.

In addition to the above warbler species, 22 further (additional) warbler species were found by multiple observers throughout the park, & some species were again fairly numerous, with nonethless a clear turnover of the make-up of sexes and perhaps (first-year) ages of some migrants, as well as a further trend to more of such later-spring migrants (besides the Mourning influx) as Blackpoll Warbler (and even more females of them), and Gray-cheeked Thrush, as well as a number of other indicators such as some migrant species now being nearly cleared-out from at least anyone asked’s sightings & my own wanderings of the park-entire.

A number of other less-common migrants were again seen in more than just one location, including Philadelphia Vireo (one at the Blockhouse, another near the SW portion of the reservoir, & possible other sightings of this once-rare-in-spring species); & Summer Tanager (with a female noted at the Blockhouse/N. woods area, and another female Summer Tanager farther south in the Ramble later, ably found by the American Museum of Natural History’s group with their always-great leader[s]); and multiples of Olive-sided Flycatchers with a minimum of 4 in four very discrete-separated areas of the park; one or more of these also heard calling ('pip-pip-pip' calls) in addition to excellent views of all of these. The flycatcher “parade” also was ongoing & some singing or calling helped to (again) ID a number of the Empidonax (genus), as well as E. Wood-Pewees - the latter, perhaps mostly heard-only overall. The near-lack of migrant sparrow species was a bit notable this day, while (resident, nesting) Song Sparrows belted out songs, as the females were on nests.

And on such a rainy-east winds day, as this Tuesday was, there were many hundreds of swallows (and Chimney Swifts) working low over not just the reservoir, where modest numbers were, but also over lawns & some trees in the Great Lawn, N. Meadow, Meer, & even parts of the smaller lawn areas of the park; by far most of the swallows were Barn, but multiples of Tree, N. Rough-winged, & at least several Cliff as well as Bank Swallow[s] were noted, one Cliff being seen by a number of seekers into the afternoon, but 2 others still moving over an area just to the north, and generally all or most of these being at barely over tree-top or lower elevation above the ground or waters.

Good ethically-minded birding,

Tom Fiore


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