A breeding-plumaged male Painted Bunting was photographed in St. Lawrence 
County, NY on Tuesday, May 7th. See: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55985451 

Prothonotary Warbler and Cerulean Warbler found Wednesday May 8th at a location 
in Suffolk County NY by Doug Futuyma are obviously great sightings. There also 
is a report of a male Prothonotary at a location in Nassau County, NY the same 
day. Also notable for Suffolk County on May 8th was a sighting of Red-headed 
Woodpecker in habitat suitable to potential nesting.  These are all potential 
breeders in that county although a Cerulean Warbler attempting to nest there 
would be *exceptional*.  However, that latter species may show a trend to 
moving &/or expanding its breeding range to the north & east of currently 
understood limits. Please exercise the utmost caution & restraint around all 
possible nesting or breeding areas.

This has been noted to some other lists: there have now been at least 3 
documented Townsend’s Warbler sightings in the northeast this spring, with 2 of 
those 3 being in NY state, the 3rd in eastern Massachusetts.  That species also 
has been seen in multiple locations in eastern Colorado and at least once in 
western N. Dakota this spring. These sightings in addition to the Townsend’s 
Warbler which overwintered at Trenton, New Jersey (which was last reported 
March 11 of this year). A species well worth keeping eyes -& ears- open for as 
spring goes on.

It was notable that just as a very rare for the region (!) Common Greenshank 
had been seen at Timber Point, Suffolk County NY, a Wilson’s Plover was also 
being documented at Ninigret Pond (Charlestown) on Rhode Island.  And, yes, ye 
olde Black-necked Stilt at the same Nassau County NY site as in recent days.  
See note, w/ link, at the bottom of this post on a rare-there LESSER Nighthawk 
documented in Ontario, Canada.

May 4th - 8th, 2019 (Saturday to Wednesday)
Manhattan & New York County all in N.Y. City

A male Evening Grosbeak came in to the bird feeder array in the Central Park 
Ramble during Wednesday May 8th, and was photographed & seen by multiple 
observers. While quite unexpected for May there, this is not an unprecedented 
occurrence in this month and in this park in the month of May. It has been some 
years (about twenty+) since the species was seen this far into spring there.  
Also seen to Wed., 5/8 in Manhattan were some Pine Siskins and Purple Finches.  
Multiple Red-breasted Nuthtaches have been found in recent days, in accordance 
with their semi-regular spring movements.

Other migrants of strong interest on Wednesday in Central Park included an 
Eastern Whip-poor-will roosting in the Ramble, with multiple observers, and a 
Kentucky Warbler near Central Park West, southeast of the West 81st Street 
entrance & (crosstown) Transverse Road, also with multiple observers, this at 
least the 2nd Kentucky Warbler of the spring in Central (an earlier one was 
photographed in the same park’s north woods).  [also N.B., the flight of 
Kentucky Warblers reached to at least s.-coastal Maine, with one of that 
species seen in Portland Maine also on Wed., 5/8 & there have been other New 
England sightings of the species in the last few days.]  

At least 2 dozen warbler species were seen in Manhattan just on Wed. 5/8.  How 
much of this was fresh arrival, and how much simply involved more ongoing 
efforts by many observers, is not entirely clear. There has been movement, and 
much of that nocturnal (& some diurnal) migration has included plenty of 
fly-over moving on beyond Manhattan & some well beyond N.Y. City - but that 
also is the norm for much of migration in May.

There have been a perhaps-unprecedented number of Summer Tanagers observed in 
Manhattan alone this spring (to say nothing of the multiples from the rest of 
New York City!) with at least 8 different individuals by now, & more likely 
into double-digits, and this is by only May 8th and just for Manhattan island. 
This species is possibly going to be discovered breeding more & more in N.Y 
state than it has previously been known to.

A bright adult male BLUE Grosbeak in Central Park on Monday, 5/6 had at least 
100 observers - this at the same bird-feeder array in the Ramble which 2 days 
later was hosting a bright male Evening Grosbeak!

On Sunday, 5/5 at least 4 Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen, along with a dozen or 
more Laughing Gulls, at Governors Island, in New York harbor & politically a 
part of New York County (as is Manhattan); these sightings & many many others, 
such as 22 Common Terns, from NYC Audubon guide Gabriel Willow, with other 
observers also there on the day.

Mourning Warbler sightings so far in Central Park have included at least 2 
individual males, at least one of those singing a bit - from Tuesday, 5/7, and 
an earlier male Mourning on Sunday, 5/5.  The species has been found in low 
numbers somewhat earlier than typically in at least several locations in NY 
state by now.  This has completed the spring-arrivals list of all 
regularly-occurring migrant warbler species found annually in Manhattan, 
although of course many more individuals of a variety of species already found 
this year will still be passing through this month, & some late stragglers even 
to June. This excludes Yellow-breasted Chat, which is in a somewhat-undecided 
taxonomic category lately (for now, the family Icteriidae was raised to include 
only that one species, called monotypic, but this could change again) but 
includes 34 species of the warblers of the Americas.  

Recent Cerulean Warbler sightings from Central Park include one female well 
photographed in the north end of that park on Sunday, 5/5; this bird also had 
multiple observers.

A sighting of Prothonotary Warbler has been confirmed from Central Park on 
Saturday, May 4th. A Yellow-throated Warbler was again reported at the Central 
Park Ramble from Monday 5/6.

Flycatchers appearing in the last several days have included Olive-sided, & 
some additional Empidonax [genus] with at least a few of the latter giving 
calls indicating Willow Flycatcher, as well as ongoing Least Flycatcher; also 
more regular have been Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, and Eastern 
Wood-Pewee. There were also still E. Phoebes moving thru into Wed. 5/8.

Gray-cheeked Thrushes, in minimal numbers so far, have joined the 
earlier-to-arrive Catharus [genus] thrushes including Hermit, Wood, Veery, and 
Swainson’s, the latter thrush increasing greatly since a week prior.

Bobolinks have come through, some photographed, with some at least as early as 
Saturday, 5/4 and plenty more moving thru in days since. This includes multiple 
individuals passing through Central Park, as well as a number of other sites 
both on Manhattan island, and adjacent isles also in New York County.   
Sparrows seen in Manhattan still include moderate numbers of White-throated 
Sparrow & other species, but aside from White-crowned & Lincoln’s Sparrows, 
many species have been diminishing lately. Eastern Towhee (a rather rare 
Manhattan breeder) also has continued in now-diminished numbers.

Several Common Loons had appeared on the Central Park reservoir this spring, 
and at least one now in breeding plumage has continued there.  Bufflehead in 
Central Park thru May 8th is not unprecedented, but is getting a bit late for 
the location. Also present at the C.P. reservoir were at least several 
lingering Ruddy Ducks.  A Golden-crowned Kinglet lingered or straggled through 
to at least Friday, May 4th, in Central Park. Now quite late, both Brown 
Creeper, and Winter Wren were still being seen to Wed., May 8th at Central 
Park.  Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have lingered on to at least Wed., 5/8 in 
multiple N.Y. City locations, & may occur there even later into May.

Some Cedar Waxwings were moving even in April this spring, but more have begun 
to show up since Saturday, 5/4, in & flying over Manhattan.  In addition to the 
Eastern Whip-poor-will, at least a few Common Nighthawks have been seen in & 
over Manhattan this week. It is worth a note that there was an occurence of a 
(sadly, deceased) LESSER Nighthawk discovered at the Long Point Banding and 
Research Station (LPBO) in Ontario, CANADA - see the brighter red entry from 
May 8 (log): 

Also seen in numbers lately, and particularly so on Wed., 5/8 have been 
American Lady butterflies (Vanessa virginiensis) with many dozens seen, at many 
disparate locations; many of these have been trending or clearly moving in a 
northerly direction. Also seen have been Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa 
cardui), but in far lower numbers, at far lesser frequency, as well as a number 
of other butterfly species that show migratory trends, and some that do not. 
Many other arthropods have been observed in & around N.Y. City of late; trees & 
shrubs have had big gains in leaf-out in less than a week’s time, and many 
which have April & May blooms locally have completed or nearly completed 
blossoming, as have most of the local "early spring" native flowering plants.

good May birding,

Tom Fiore


NYSbirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L
3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01

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