Cerulean Warbler, Central Park

A male Cerulean Warbler was first reported over the Gill yesterday (April 22), but very few people saw it and it was not known to be re-found after its initial sighting.

The bird was seen again early this morning and alerts immediately went out, allowing over sixty birders to see it during its extended stay in the trees northwest of Bow Bridge at the southern edge of the Ramble.

Though I went out to view it mid-morning, I got much better views when it appeared over the Oven at 6:25 p.m. with the setting sun illuminating it. Spectacular!

I wrote about the Cerulean Warbler extensively in my book. Not only is it one of the six rarest regularly-occurring warblers in the area, it was also Starr Saphir’s favorite bird, and one that inspired her color choice in outerwear. So seeing it brings back memories of her.

I had just finished viewing another Wilson’s Snipe found at Turtle Pond, along with a Spotted Sandpiper, the first-of-season for me. I also had my first-of-season Prairie Warbler earlier in the day. So it was a good birding day, even though migration has so far been hugely disappointing, even worse than last year, which was the worst year veteran birders could remember.