White-winged Dove and White-rumped Sandpiper

I hope that everyone is following @BirdCentralPark on Twitter, because that is where the action is: daily bird reports, photos, and videos. With 19,000 followers now, @BirdCentralPark has become one of the largest birding-focused accounts on Twitter. I put a lot of time into providing high-quality content on it and on our other borough-based accounts: @BirdBronx, @BirdBrklyn, and @BirdQueens.

This website still attracts a healthy amount of daily traffic, though, so for the sake of completeness, I want to mention two new life birds from 2019.

The first, White-winged Dove, occurred months prior, on April 14. An experienced birder reported this mega-rare vagrant after 3 pm at Evodia Field in the Central Park Ramble. It stayed there the rest of the afternoon, feeding on the ground with many Mourning Doves beneath the bird feeders. Though this was an excellent habitat for White-winged Dove, the bird was not observed there, or anywhere else in the area, in the following days—a one-day wonder.

WRSA_Aug10

White-rumped Sandpiper, Inwood Hill Park, August 10, 2019

The other life bird showed up mere days ago, first on August 9. The rising tide quickly submerges the Spuyten Duyvil mud flats at Inwood Hill Park, so that by the time I received an eBird notice of a White-rumped Sandpiper there, it was too late to reach the flats in time to see it. I tried later in the afternoon anyway, as sandpipers have been congregating on the rocks, but had only a flyover Lesser Yellowlegs.

With moderate migration taking place the night of the 9th, I held little hope that I would re-find the White-rumped Sandpiper there the next day at noon low tide. As I was on my way to Inwood Hill from Sherman Creek, though, another birder did exactly that. I ran over to her and quickly confirmed her find, and issued the alert on Twitter.

I had been waiting a long time to get that bird, nearly five years. One had been found on 4 October 2014 near the same location, at the adjacent Muscota Marsh. The finder did everything he could to help me get it, even personally calling me. But I was in downtown Manhattan, and I did not pick up the alert in time. Even if I had picked it up right away, I would have had to leave dinner quickly to arrive before the bird went out of view.

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