Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prospect October 17th "upstaged" Sparrows on their super day

In what was , in my opinion , the best sparrow day in Prospect this fall regarding numbers, dominated by the ubiquitous presence of WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (WTSP), their day instead was upstaged by Prospect Park's first ever long overdued WESTERN KINGBIRD.  Go figure.... ( Sparrows must be muttering Rodney Dangerfield's famous line "we get no respect  ")

This morning, before I loaded my work vehicle with tools, the numbers of sparrows in the work storage area by 9th street steered and sharpened my attention. Standing still, leaning on my vehicle, the good numbers of sparrows started to surround me, as if I was playing a part in Alfred Hitchcocks' The Birds. Among the numerous WTSP, 2 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were tame enough to come close along with an infusion of HERMIT THRUSHES, very evident parkwide. Throw in some WINTER WRENS , at least 7 I spotted today which Cornell Ebird says is too high !

Throughout the day, trying very very hard not to get distracted as I worked [ Believe me, IT WAS HARD! ;)  ] , on my free time, I managed to spot 10 species sparrows. Here they are ( in no particular order): WHITE-THROATED, WHITE-CROWNED, FIELD,SONG, DARK-EYED JUNCO, EASTERN TOWHEE, SAVANNAH, SWAMP,LINCOLN, CHIPPING. At one point, at Breeze Hill lone pine in the triangle lawn , I watched 7 species sparrows that included two WHITE-CROWNED, a SAVANNAH, and 2 FIELDs. Then after work, before I got the call from Rob, together in the Sparrowbowl, a FIELD, a LINCOLN and another WHITE-CROWNED. I say, it was a great day for diversity. The best spots , well for WTSP, everywhere ! But for the other species: the east path from Grand Army plaza to the Vale cashmere; Breeze Hill ( of course), Sparrowbowl, adjacent to the Tennis House, and the southern edge of the ballfields. It was the last location about 350 pm that the bell was rung  by
  WESTERN KINGBIRD (WEKI), spotted by Rob Jett, along with Bobbi Manian, who fortunately had her camera with her. For your view, check Bobbi's facebook gallery of the special bird  (Link inserted below).

The WEKI was spotted flying across the Ballfields , then flying up to the top of a large elm tree ,  by Field #6, before after 5 minutes ( and I got there too late by moments), before the WEKI flew south into the Cemetery. We looked in vain from there to Center Drive  up to Lookout Hill. Lets hope it stays tomorrow with word gone out tonight. Good Luck and do text me asap please if u see the WEKI.

Oh, guess I almost forgot about the flyover PINE SISKINs......

An evening report from Kathy Toomey  on the latest Sparrow new for this day : VESPER SPARROW seen on Breeze Hill lawn area...sorry Vesper, you can't top that WEKI today..

11 species sparrows reported today...


Bobbi Manian's gallery of WESTERN KINGBIRD

Rob Jett's post to NYS BIrds Listserve


Peter's list

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Oct 17, 2012 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Protocol: Random

2.5 mile(s)

47 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan X

Wood Duck 7 Upper Pool

Mallard X

Great Blue Heron 1 Upper Pool

Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 f/o Nethermead

Cooper's Hawk 2, inc one eating hermit thrush, feathers drifting down , CTr Dr

Accipiter sp. 1

Ring-billed Gull X

Herring Gull X

Rock Pigeon X

Mourning Dove X

Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2

Downy Woodpecker 1

Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 9

American Kestrel 1 f/o Cemetery

Eastern Phoebe 2

Blue-headed Vireo 5

Blue Jay X

Black-capped Chickadee 1

House Wren 1

Winter Wren 7
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2

Hermit Thrush 55 park-wide
American Robin X

Gray Catbird 1

Northern Mockingbird 1

Magnolia Warbler 1 Sparrowbowl  (late according to Cornmell's Ebird)
Blackpoll Warbler 2 Terrace Br

Palm Warbler 2 Breeze Hill

Yellow-rumped Warbler 4

Eastern Towhee 2-Propsite, Lookout Hill

Chipping Sparrow 11 Ballfields

Field Sparrow 3--2 Breeze Hill, 1 Sparrowbowl

Savannah Sparrow 1 Breeze Hill

Song Sparrow 35 parkwide  ( conservative #)

Lincoln's Sparrow 1 Sparrowbowl

Swamp Sparrow 8 parkwide

White-throated Sparrow 500  everywhere !

White-crowned Sparrow 5--2 Propsite, 2 Breeze Hill, one south ballfields

Dark-eyed Junco 10

Northern Cardinal 1

Red-winged Blackbird 15

Common Grackle 5

Purple Finch 3--1 male Nethermead Br, 1 female Breeze Hill, one south ballfields

American Goldfinch 12

Pine Siskin- 20  ( also obs RJett, BManian)

House Sparrow X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (


From Kathy Toomey :

I went for a short walk in Prospect Park from about 5 to 6:30 pm

around the lake and over to Breeze Hill. There were mostly Song

sparrows and White throats, but as I was about to walk away, I saw a

Vesper sparrow, Field sparrow and mature White crowned sparrow in the

same area. Later I saw an immature White crowned close to the picnic

tables by Lamp post 249. Thanks to Bob Machover and Sandy Paci for

providing good looks at a Vesper sparrow on last Saturday's trip to

NJ, which enabled me to easily recognize the Vesper here in Brooklyn.

date = 2012/10/17

site = Prospect Park

observers = Kathy Toomey

Pied-billed Grebe

Great Cormorant

Northern Shoveler

American Black Duck

Canada Goose

Wood Duck on the lake, near some gulls

Ruddy Duck

Mute Swan


Sharp-shinned Hawk

American Coot

Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

American Crow

Blue Jay

House Wren

Winter Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

Hermit Thrush

European Starling

Palm Warbler

White-throated Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Field Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

House Sparrow