Today, I had planned on heading back out to Stracker Pond at Forest Park, in the hope of getting another look at that mystery warbler (see my October 11th post on the Warbler Watch Walk). Instead, I ended up in Central Park chasing down a Connecticut Warbler that was reported among the Pinetum area.
I left Queens a bit late and mused whether it was going to be a wasted trip since the bird had already been seen for a few days and the chances of it still being around was less with each passing day. Nevertheless, I erased all negative thoughts from my head and focused instead on reading up on the habits of this bird, so I would be prepared for my search.
Once I got to the Pinetum in Central Park, I ran into a few other other birders; coincidentally, some of them had attended the Robert Moses Walk the day before and they all expressed their satisfaction about the trip. The birders, spread out around the Pinetum and I tried out some phishing, which only brought in Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers. Then suddenly a bird flew into the pine tree near the benches closest to the walkway. I got excited because it looked like it was the prize, but tempered my enthusiasm because the look was not clear. I took my eyes off the bird for a brief moment to call over one of the other birders for a second opinion and the bird took off to the left of me and I lost it.
Sighing, I looked over to the left and where I thought it had landed when another birder who was right in the vicinity turned around and said, I think I got it. I quickly moved to the pathway towards the birder and he then said he had lost it after he had turned to call me. I continued scanning the ground and lo and behold first the head, then the elusive Connecticut Warbler came into view. I made sure the other birder next to me had the bird in his binoculars and then turned around and waved the other birders over. What great looks we had! In observing the Connecticut Warbler, one got a sense on why it is so hard to see; the bird moved fast and kept low to the ground. This was a lifer for me as it was for many of the birders present. My only regret was not having my camera with me.