Thursday, December 18, 2014


CLAY COLORED SPARROW continues , well seen when undisturbed on the lawn slope of MaryLand Monument to the mugwort edgings, ranging down even to the path.Patience required. Severeal birders observed.

@themeowking: Clay-colored sparrow continues at MD monument field. Holding off the dog owners and their companions as long as I can!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fwd: Ridgewood Rez brief


-----Original Message-----
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Wed, Dec 17, 2014 3:29 pm
Subject: Ridgewood Rez brief

Pretty cold and quiet today, a coopers hawk and the usual cast, but of note is the return of the redhead ducks. About 12 of them (thats more than last year!)

Picture not really worth sharing but ok for documenting,

Our Brooklyn (Kings ) Christmas Bird Count circle.

In the search box ( magnifier)   enter "Brooklyn,Kings" then zoom out a little to see the map and circle

( Note  except for the Prospect Park Boathouse walk at noon, the Kings CBC is now closed )


CLAY COLORED SPARROW a Maryland resident

Prospect Park

With hopeful aspirations for Saturdays count, this morning's CLAY COLORED SPARROW (CCSP) cooperated well when its quiet at the spot if favors now.( It was the original site of its appearance)

First reported by Gus Keri, then Kathy Toomey, the CCSP was seen well on the lawn close to the mugwort edges on the right side of and below  the Maryland Monument ( if you are facing up the slope). using the mugwort patch and brush for cover, it does come out if one stays a nice distance , is patient, or there is no human activity. I was able to see this bright sparrow excellently  near the hydrant. At one point it was even on the pedestrian path with an AMERICAN GOLDFINCH.

The CCSP is now officially a CBC count week bird that started today into Tuesday with Saturday's Kings CBC the official day.

( Ok enuf said.....I'm not saying anything more due to my superstitious nature)
Clay colored sparrow working along mugwort .edges right side mary hydrant
Kathy t says CLAY COLORED SPARROW on lawn between MD Mont & hydrant.slope lawn count week bird
Gus Keri found Clay Colored Sparrow. I'm looking at it now by Md. Monument. Per Kathy T text.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good News CCSP and Bush Terminal winter hotspot

Good news regarding the CLAY COLORED SPARROW that I feared fled the coop after its favorite spot was disrupted by Parks Forestry crews removing the tree on the Peninsula meadow.Furthermore,  another rarity made headlines at the fast growing renown winter hot spot Bush Terminal Park that only opened last month.

After seeing the dismaying sight of Parks forestry crews removing the giant fallen Linden tree the CLAY COLORED SPARROW (CCSP) was staying close to, late this afternoon, Klemens Gasser the original finder of the rare sparrow found it again at the first locale. From a bush near the Maryland Monument , the CCSP was calling and observed. So this is good news. If seen tomorrow, the rare sparrow would make the Count Week CBC period. So , fingers crossed.

Also found by Klemens, a flock of 15 MONK PARAKEETS flew over the Picnic House.Klemens is on a good roll.

Meanwhile , Bush Terminal Park is stealing a little thunder. Bobbi Manian visited that budding park that opened in early November and found a GLAUCOUS GULL on a piling observed from the stone pier. This pier is a short walk in from the main entrance of the park just inside the 43rd chain link entrance. The GLAUCOUS was  being harassed by a FISH CROW. Also, the continuing EURASIAN WIGEON stays put .

see Bobbi's checklist and photos

Bush Terminal will be making its debut in the Kings CBC this Saturday. After many decades closed off from the public due to its industrial restrictions, what might have Brooklyn birders missed all this time on the Bush Terminal coast?

ClayColored Sparrow continues in the bushes at Maryland monument; calling.per klemens

@BobbiInBrooklyn: Glaucous gull at Bush terminal. Annoyed by fish crow.


Unfortunately as I feared, the fallen tree Linden Basswood where the Clay Colored Sparrow was hanging around at has been removed this morning by the Parks Forestry Department. ( It has to be moved as it was down for 3 weeks and becoming an eyesore).

Keep looking , hopefully the CCSP is still around.... and let me know

yes I know its upside down...but the world went bottoms up....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fwd: CCSP photos from this afternoon

Clay-colored Sparrow

-----Original Message-----
To: prosbird
Sent: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 4:33 pm
Subject: CCSP photos from this afternoon

Hi Peter,
    These were taken at around 3:30 this afternoon. The CCSP was feeding on the lawn between the fallen tree and the sumacs at the peninsular meadow.

Paul Chung

Fwd: ccsp

-----Original Message-----
To: prosbird
Sent: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 4:30 pm
Subject: ccsp

hey Peter,
here's one not so great pix of the ccsp.  but i think you already posted others that were better.
see you sat. cbc


-----Original Message-----
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 4:51 pm
Subject: CCSP

Simon and I went to the peninsula meadow after work, and easily found the Clay Colored Sparrow feeding in the field, along with some Song and Chipping Sparrows, CCSP allowing very good views.  We stayed until around 4:30, when the light had mostly faded.  

Glad it stuck around (and hope it continues to), 

CCSP locale update,other notable birds

A visit back to the Peninsula meadow shows the area undisturbed by the NYC Parks Forestry Dept despite my seeing several trucks. Apparently the grass turf in this hard to reach area is too soft for the very heavy vehicles. This bodes well for the Clay colored Sparrow (CCSP) if it intends to stick around.

Dan Frazer reported seeing the bird again and as a bonus saw two COMMON RAVENs flyover at the meadow.

Other than the CCSP,a mostly quiet day with some ducks hanging about. HOODED MERGANSER and BUFFLEHEAD were spotted on the Lake.


Prospect Park Peninsula

This morning's CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (CCSP)  provided very favorable views on the Peninsula meadow by the fallen giant Linden (Basswood) tree. Working along the timber tree perimeter , the CCSP frequented the meadow along with some CHIPPING SPARROWS for good comparison ,the sparrow being seen by  Karen O'Hearn and Chris Laskowski who texted me on my cell.I observed it near the very young Persimmon tree between that fallen Basswood and the Sumac grove, though closer to the basswood timber.

I was fortunate to see the sparrow in very good light,  its bright whitish  breast complexion with warm buffy overtones among other indicative field marks. Later Sean Sime viewed the bird but I was told much farther down the meadow near the back forest /fence line. The CCSP is in a winter plumage by the way.

Unfortunately , the Parks Forest Department will be moving that large tree , down for two weeks now this afternoon maybe tomorrow as well.Hopefully the rare sparrow will have deaf ears and stay put for the upcoming Kings CBC. I'll keep you posted.


On another far more usual note, for the first time I've seen an uncommon woodpecker here, a HAIRY WOODPECKER caught me by surprise at the Vanderbilt Street park entrance. First landing in young  red maple tree, it flew closer to the entrance by a planted Pine tree. A first for some ......


From Joshua Malbin yesterday report

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Dec 14, 2014 10:24 AM - 12:42 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
36 species

Canada Goose  7
Mute Swan  9
American Wigeon  1     female, boathouse.
Mallard  118
Northern Shoveler  195
Hooded Merganser  1
Ruddy Duck  57
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  21
Ring-billed Gull  215
Herring Gull  15
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Mourning Dove  52
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  7
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Blue Jay  13
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  5
Winter Wren  1
American Robin  6
Northern Mockingbird  1
Chipping Sparrow  3
Fox Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  8
Dark-eyed Junco  13
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  3
House Finch  14
Purple Finch  2
American Goldfinch  13
House Sparrow  28

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Clay colored sparrow seen on.peninsula meadow by fall tree along edges. Tree teady to b removed soon

Latest Prospect record for Clay Colored Sparrow

A search of my internal office  records reveal yesterday's CCSP as the latest ever. Previous was 11/10/1963 by famed Olney Raymond.

No search of the Cornell Ebird recs yet.

Pics of Clay Colored Sparrow

Photo taken by Keir Randall

The rare CLAY COLORED SPARROW sighting has been confirmed by the regional Cornell Ebird monitor Doug Gochfeld

The warmer colored overtoned sparrow ( especially on breast) on the right in the photo is the CCSP bird. Compared to darker grayer Chipping Sparrow on the left, Note missing eye lore on the right bird and barely detectable white head median on a streaky head. Also the post ocular line is brown /lighter, not black/darker in Clay.a helpful mark in support of other marks.

Again , kudos to Klemens Gasser and Will Pollard present for finding this bird....fiingers crossed for the Kings CBC

Klemens digiscoped pics

I uploaded another photo to Flickr


note brownish rump ( barely detectable here) click to enlarge

Note white median head stripe on streaky to enlarge

Note whitish auricular with contrasting mustached stripe ( lowest line by throat), more contrast than Chipping