Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager is a fairly rare "overshoot" species in Central Park, since the breeding range is entirely to the south and south-west of NYC. Sometimes the birds travel a little too far - in fact judging from multiple sightings within the park and around NYC this has been a big year for overshoots. This is a first spring male - it has substantial elements of adult male plumage but the primaries are still green from the original first fall plumage. I actually saw another first spring male Summer Tanager about a week later, making this an exceptional spring for them, and the only year that I've ever seen two in NYC. Most years I don't see any.

This individual was "fly"catching bees in the oaks on the south side of Turtle Pond, giving excellent views to those who stopped to watch.

Cape May Warbler

I tracked this male down by its unobtrusive singing, and it was kind enough to pose for a few photos before it wandered off. In the last few years Cape Mays have been rather less uncommon than have been the case historically, although it's not clear what is causing the trend. Nevertheless an adult male in full alternate plumage is a striking sight.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blue-winged Warbler

Another male warbler, this time Blue-winged Warbler. A little bit of yellowish veiling on the wing bars and the somewhat pointed tail feathers make me think that it's a first year bird. It's also perhaps a notch below the very yellowest Blue-winged that one encounters in spring. It was pretty vocal. This photo was taken around the same time as the Blackburnian Warbler shot in the previous post.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

An adult male. April 30th (rather early for a day with multiple singing Blackburnians).