PR Diaries: Parque Central in San Juan, PR with Estuario, 12/22/19

We used to see this green lush park during our drive’s from Guaynabo to San Juan or vice versa. With the park there also seems to be the nice walkway around the mangroves. We were not sure what this is but always wished to go there !! So, when we saw Estuario trip plan and looked at the location, I was over joyed. So, This is the trip with Estuario to Central Park (Or Parque Central) in San Juan. We did start birding in the specific part of the park known as “PARQUE DE LOS NIÑOS Y DE LAS NIÑAS TAMBIÉN” Enjoy!

6:00 AM in the morning, probably wake up time for most people, we were getting ready for a birding trip. Super excited we started early. We met our friends Coral, Eliezer and Carols once we reached there. This is a nice park with all the green area for birding as well as other facilities like swimming, tennis etc. While waiting for more birding friends to join, we spotted many nests of Monk Parakeets in the tall poles of the park facilities. Most of the poles have big nests of Monk Parakeets. As we were enjoying Parakeet sites, we were met by heavy some rain and took shelter under one of the buildings.

It took sometime but sky cleared up and we started our walk following the back trail.

It was fun walking on the wet patches of gravel pathway that was surrounded by the tall trees. We first got greeted by a Northern Parula. They are small, migratory warblers that breed in the continental U.S. and winter in the neotropics. Near them, there were a few Prairie Warblers. Those were surprise birds, as we usually don’t get migratories in that park. We then saw a Green Heron hiding in the branches of the mangroves. I have seen a Tricolored Heron before, but not a Green Heron. So this was my first sighting of Green Heron. As we walked forward, we heard Puerto Rican Woodpecker and the saw a little bird flittering around on the tall tree. That turned out to be Yellow-throated Warbler. It is a rare bird there. Most of the above are all rares to the park except the Green Heron and . Other regular one’s we saw were Grackles, Pigeons and Gray Kingbirds.

From there, Carlos spotted a Yellow-crowned Heron hiding again in the Mangrove. This was followed by the sighting of a Black-faced Grassquit. As we were walking we came to the junction, that was once opened for the walk on the water along the mangroves. This is not open anymore due to the water taxi accident that damaged the portion of that walkway. We hope that it gets fixed soon but you never know. There we saw a Pearly Eyed Thrasher and a Red-legged Thrush. While staying there and chatting, we heard something. It was a Northern Waterthrush. At first I couldn’t see it, but then I spotted it initially on the ground behind the closed doors of the walkway. Then it went into the tree. Thanks to my dad for the picture. 

Northern Waterthrush (view in circle)

From there, we saw a few Monk parakeets again but nothing much. I had a lot of fun talking with the people over there. I talked a lot with Carlos Ortíz, who is a photographer. He loves birds and he knows a lot about birds. When we reached the parking lot, we saw this grackle going in and out of a trash can!

Greater Antillean Grackle

We interacted with birding friends for sometime exchanging our findings and knowing about each other and then left for the day.

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time!

Bird checklist for the trip is here.

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