The Yellow-headed Blackbird was continuing to be seen at Albany airport’s west 
side (Albany County, NY), by observers on-scene there into Sunday afternoon - 
May 16th.

Sunday, May 16th -

The female Prothonotary Warbler in Central Park, first reported on eBird in the 
morning, was seen by many as the day continued, at the northern end of The 
Lake, with the closest park entrance being that on West 77th Street & Central 
Park West. A lot of the views were had from “Oak Bridge” which sits astride the 
northern narrow arm of the lake.  This appears to be the first sighting of this 
species for Manhattan this year, and perhaps just the 2nd in N.Y. County (an 
earlier one was also photographed at Randall’s Island this spring). 

A minimum of 25 other warbler species were also being found in Central Park, & 
many all across Manhattan in its dozens of parks larger & smaller.  Among those 
many, Bay-breasted Warblers in double-digit numbers (including that many within 
Central Park alone, as well as many in other locations) were delighting a lot 
of observers.  This continued a several-days-long trend of that species’ 
increase in the county.  At least a few warbler species now running ‘late’ (for 
here) added to the diversity being found, including Pine & Palm Warbler[s].

There have been some Gray-cheeked-type Thrushes showing in multiple locations 
in N.Y. County, & at least a few of these could - potentially - be Bicknell’s 
Thrush (which is not actually a mega-rare migrant in this area, but is 
rarely-identified with complete certainty away from the species’ pockets of 
specialized habitat for both breeding, & winterng (the latter all in the 
Greater Antilles of the Caribbean).  Audio of any full song for these closely 
related species (Gray-cheeked &/or Bicknell’s) is a useful way of discerning 
the ID to species-level, on migration-passage observations. I have heard what 
sounded to my ear as Gray-cheeked singing, while observing a few of them, and 
counting as that species on my own list, this month - all in just the last few 
days in Manhattan. Being out at both 5 am & 8:30 pm can help.  (N.B., a 
Bicknell’s Thrush has been reported as singing from Prospect Park with over a 
dozen observers, on Sunday, 5/16 - and also of interest at Prospect Park in 
Brooklyn (Kings County, N.Y. City) have been sightings of Mourning Warbler with 
multiple experienced observers/photos.)

Among notable sightings for Saturday, May 15th were a Purple Martin seen by a 
small group of keen & sharp-eyed observers, at Central Park (with thanks to A. 
Burke for the spotting), as well as a well-described Yellow-throated Warbler at 
the small Canal Park in lower Manhattan (thanks to A. Evans for that report). 
And there certainly were many many other great sightings all around the county 
for these past several days into Sunday.

We’re working towards the 33rd warbler species of the spring for N.Y. County, 
with one species so far being unconfirmed, albeit possibly having moved through 
in some of the recent excellent migration (that would be Golden-winged 

Lots of other excellent finds for Sunday 5/16 which among the many, include 
both species of Cuckoo (Black-billed the low-volume migrant this day, while 
Yellow-billed Cuckoos were nearly-common and some were calling well in at least 
3 parks in manhattan on the early morn’), Olive-sided Flycatcher (seen as well 
as heard), at least 3 species of singing Empidonax (Acadian, Willow, Least) and 
even E. Phoebe still around (but scarcer now -here- than Great Crested 
Flycatcher or E. Kingbird, & E. Wood-Pewee that’s been increasing as expected 
now), all six of our regularly-occuring Vireo species (Philadelphia the latest 
of these to be passing thru), additional finds of Summer Tanagers (of both 
sexes), and a whole lot more.

Perhaps a write-up with more of these many migrants on another day.

good peak-spring landbird migration to all,

Tom Fiore


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