Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prospect Lake brief, Raven out there

A very brief look at the lake which now has opened quite abit , about 75 % of the main body , saw the returning and loyal RED-BREASTED MERGANSER drake; A few HOODEDS , 17 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 27 AMERICAN COOTS  obviously are all happy  for wide open water. Some ice remain along the south sector of the lake but  just a surprisingly small group of gulls. Nothing special . Its another day for the good one.

Chris Holden dropped a line tonight  regarding Ravens, and he saw one flyover over Maimonides Hospital , just as "far as the crow flies " ( pun) from Greenwood Cemetery down Ft Hamilton Parkway. Winter time: raptors, corvids and winter finches..can beat the winter blues that way....


wildlife survey at Queens County Farm

email from Rob Jett:

see attached for details:

Congrats , new baby

Keir Randall and Linda had a baby girl born yesterday. Her name is Marley Jane Randall.

Congrats to Keir and Linda !


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Downtown aerial battle

Over the intersection of Atlantic Ave and Court Street, an aerial battle was taking place between a RED-TAILED HAWK and what I presumed is a feisty guy, an AMERICAN KESTREL ( usually I would expect an audacious Merlin, but in this case, good to see a Kestrel showing courage)

The lucky observer and reporting it was Dennis Hrehowsik.

So..lately, a Red-tailed versus a Raven,now a Red-tailed versus a Kestrel..whats next ?  Red Bat ? ( judging by body size  decrease)


Ravens everywhere ?

Like an Edgar Allan Poe mystery, the mystery for today is whether there are two COMMON RAVENs in the area.

At 1009, Matthew Wills texted me of a COMMON RAVEN over the southeast corner of Prospect Lake.

Moments later, a text from Bobbi Manian informed me that a Greenwood Cemetery COMMON RAVEN  was heading Prospect's way. Unless one bird is Flash Gordon, it looks like two Common Ravens are patrolling  the skies around here.  Like Matthew says: Keep watching the skies !

Raven just passed low heading SE corner Lake

Bald Eagle photos at Marine Park 1/29

Making an exception for an out of region report, here below are "had to show" photos taken by Bobbi Manian at Marine Park's Salt Marsh Trail, which has been a boon for birding for nice birds when surprise happens:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prospect Jan 29th, the good corvid flying around

Coming back from an early afternoon Brooklyn Botanic Garden seminar, I ran into Karen and then Bobbi Manian at Lamppost #249  along Well Drive. In the ensuing conversation with Bobbi, she mentioned her great find of a low flying BALD EAGLE in Marine Park, from the salt marsh trail, the big eagle coming from behind her and passing in front of her.

While a few minutes went by, my attention caught on of a large sized corvid over us and I watched it for about 10 seconds before I realized what it was, exclaiming "RAVEN ! ". A calling COMMON RAVEN in low flight with its iconic wedge shaped tail was soaring in circles over us both , which I was also able to get Karen's attention from afar and a very interested passerby as this rare corvid made several circles above. A great  serendipitous find at the right moment !

Bobbi snapped some pictures which I hope I will post here later.

Just a note. I just got a new phone and twitter notifications is temporarily delayed until I figured it out..


Addendum PS.   see attached pic

Jan 29th Raven over LP 249, photo by Bobbi Manian

From Ania Greszik:

Hi Peter,

I wanted to pass along that the Common Raven was still present in Greenwood Cemetery as of late this morning. It first made its presence known with low croaking from afar (music to my ears!), and as it grew nearer, so did the Red-tailed Hawk it was following. Both were quite vocal at times and performed quite the aerial display! At times they were joined by a second hawk. They were soaring and tumbling around the 9th Ave entrance, heading towards the radio tower where they rested for awhile before heading back to the cemetery. The raven flew off towards the cemetery interior, but the two RTHA stayed around the Florio Path area, one of them carrying a large twig to a fir nearby...nest building already? 

Unfortunately, I didn't locate the Eastern Meadowlark.

Here are the best shots that I was able to get:

From Rafael :

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY
Jan 29, 2013 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
Observer: Rafael G Campos
3.0 kilometer(s)
Comments:     Nice warm day, but most of the water was frozen (eg lake, pools, lullwater)
35 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  X
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  X
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)  4
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)  1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Fox Sparrow (Red) (Passerella iliaca iliaca/zaboria)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  15
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  8
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X
Brooklyn is great birding!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Brooklyn Bird Club membership drive;eve programs

This month starts the new year for membership. For the membership price just under a movie theater ticket, you can show your support for the Brooklyn Bird Club which offers  trips, a newsletter and vibrant evening programs ( check the Meetings page) and great people to hang out with!

simply go to

and speaking of BBC eve programs, here is the newest scheduleof  topics and the first program date 2/21 :

Good Kings County birding,

Test message new phone

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jan 27th Greenwood Cemetery "top spot"

Greenwood Cemetery is " sizzling" with a report of EASTERN MEADOWLARK seen by Chris Holden at the Floreo ( or Floria?)  Path which I recalled from last week having good birds ( pipit and eastern bluebird?) if I am not mistaken. Eastern Bluebird is another report, from Bobbi Manian, at the Myrtle and Ridge Paths; With Raven also reported today, GWC looks like the hotspot to go. -kb

PS there is an American Tree Sparrow at the Well Dr dirt mound ..

Raven versus Red Tailed Hawk

Matthew Wills reported a RedTailed Hawk and Common Raven battling over Greenwood Cemetery this morning. A rare species yet reported with increased regularity, COMMON RAVEN is about the same size as the hawk it tangled with.

Winter may be slow, but those special moments can be rewarded with sightings as today's. You just need the willpower to get out there and enjoy the cold.( Note: no evidence that the Raven is from Baltimore, football fans) --KB


post from Matthew:

Witnessed an aerial ballet/battle between a red-tailed hawk and common raven over Green-Wood Cemetery this morning at 10:35. Lasted 5-7 minutes, with the birds circling around each other and the hawk being the main aggressor, dive-bombing the raven. They worked their way south with a few vocalizations from the raven. This was my first sighting of a raven within the bounds of Brooklyn.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Prospect Jan 26th, a gorgeous winter day and its moments

Most Prospect 's winters would not be what I call exceptional except for this year. With the added element of the winter finch irruption, whatever appearances by these special visitors add to typical offerings like raptors.A triple play of three raptor species along with appearance of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and PINE SISKINS made this cold day much more enjoyable.

Ryan Bass texted me upon entering the park from Bartel Pritchard Square  seeing 9 PINE SISKINS in a young Sweetgum sapling on the right side of the drive.Later, while up on Lookout Hill, along the perimeter of Butterfly Meadow, 3 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS greeted him of which he was able to snap a photo of one. See his photo on the link after this post. Also seen was uncommon WINTER WREN up in that area.

ON my part when I entered the park with intentions of refilling the feeders while Rob Bate was away, I was happy seeing three raptor species today. The first of these three was pointed out to me and Ryan at the feeders by  Max, a COOPERS HAWK perched by the trail head that goes down the slope. Its the adult that  has been hanging out  for quite a while now , all settled in for the winter ( and that's good for us, but high anxiety for birds ); Ironically  as I was explaining to Max what sort of raptor it was , that it was an accipiter and what it eats and how it hunts , just as I was finishing the sentence that "it eats birds" the COOPERS abruptly took  off straight down after a Mourning Dove. I must be telepathic...

Second and third of the raptors occurred at the Nethermead,initially  as I watched a soaring , circling RED-TAILED HAWK. And when I turned around, perched above the cross slope pedestrian path , on Center Drive,  always my favorite, a MERLIN.This small falcon stayed perched for awhile that I observed it in my scope, the pretty bird bathed in winter light of the setting sun.

The Lake is totally frozen, except for a tiny waterhole by  the west shore, only about 25 feet wide, kept open by the constantly moving ducks and coots. It would be till Monday or Tuesday when temps warm up to 40's that we might see more open water. For now, only a small contingent of Gulls get my interest ,my hoping for that good one despite the drudgery of checking gulls

The feeders by the way  are active, 6 PINE SISKINS the best to watch along with the usual suspects, something to give thanks for regardless of midwinter doldrums.

A last mention that I thought was something to chirp about  , a HERMIT THRUSH on Breeze Hill atop the Cleft Ridge Span, the bird hanging out with a Robin. Of course, they are thrush cousins...  --KB

Ryan's Bass' photo of WWXbill --->>

From Ryan~3 WWXBILLS Lookout Butterfly; 8 Pine sisk bartel sq ent sweetgum

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Prospect Lake belated report of Canvasback

Thanks to Keir's checking up on a report submitted by Pam Lloyd to Cornell's ebird from last Friday the 18th , a photo during Keir's searching was forwarded to me last night which showed a hen CANVASBACK on Prospect Lake.

This is a rare species for the park, the last sighting on Feb 27, 2007, observed by Scott Whittle

see the photos on the links below:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A private winter trip

I took a private 4 day trip over the weekend to Rhode Island with Mary and Sandy.  I couldn't resist showing off the fruits of our fantastic winter journey. The photos were taken by Sandy Paci

Prospect Jan 23rd...bbbbrrrrrrr....

Bitter cold has frozen about 80 % of Prospect Lake, leaving some open areas in the middle and one along the west shore; on the latter, 16 HOODED MERGANSERS huddled together with the Ruddy Ducks and Northern Shovelers with Canada Geese in the mix. The RED -BREASTED MERGANSER  took advantage of one of the lake middle areas, a solitary figure happy I presume to have the feeding spot all to itself.

Winter's grip  does not have an effect on WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, two females seen feeding in the leaves and broken small twigs in Butterfly Meadow's middle section, along with 4 PINE SISKINS, a nice sighting to watch from the warm confines of a heated work truck ( with the vents  going full blast ).

One more note to mention: when looking at the sweetgums trees by the West Island shelter, all the Black-capped Chickadees took off into the phragmites ,making me wonder why. Of course, a moment later,an adult COOPER'S HAWK flew in and landed in one of the Sweetgum trees.I would take off rather than get eaten by a winter testy hawk.


Peter lists

Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY

Jan 23, 2013 9:00 AM - 9:25 AM

Protocol: Stationary

15 species

Canada Goose 125

Mute Swan X

American Black Duck X

Mallard X

Northern Shoveler 30

Bufflehead 4

Hooded Merganser 16

Red-breasted Merganser 1

Ruddy Duck 55

Pied-billed Grebe 1

Great Blue Heron 1

American Coot X

Ring-billed Gull 500

Herring Gull X

Great Black-backed Gull 1

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Jan 23, 2013

Protocol: Incidental

9 species

Cooper's Hawk 1 west isl shelter sweetgums

Red-tailed Hawk 1

Black-capped Chickadee 6

Tufted Titmouse 1

White-throated Sparrow 25

Northern Cardinal 2

White-winged Crossbill 2 Butterfly Meadow

Pine Siskin 4 Butterfly Mead

American Goldfinch 2

View this checklist online at

2 WWXBILLs & Pine siskins feeding in Butterfly Mead center among twigs & leaves

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Prospect WWXbills in the mead

Bobbi Manian reports winter's continuing delight of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, first I heard this species visiting the Butterfly Meadow on Lookout. They are on the move, true to their nomadic nature.

The other observation to note, by my own,  is that this has been a very good winter for HOODED MERGANSERS on Prospect Lake, higher numbers above average, with 21 today , 9 at West Island.

Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Jan 22, 2013

male WWXbill BUtterly Mead, photo by Bobbi Manian 1/22

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY   

Jan 22, 2013 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

33 species

Canada Goose X

Mute Swan X

Mallard X

Northern Shoveler 2

Bufflehead 2

Red-breasted Merganser 3

Ruddy Duck 20

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Red-tailed Hawk 3

American Coot 10

Ring-billed Gull X

Herring Gull X

Rock Pigeon X

Mourning Dove 20

Belted Kingfisher 1

Red-bellied Woodpecker 4

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1

Downy Woodpecker 4

Blue Jay 5

Black-capped Chickadee 10

Tufted Titmouse 5

Red-breasted Nuthatch 5

American Robin 5

Fox Sparrow 1

Song Sparrow 2

White-throated Sparrow 4

Northern Cardinal 5

Red-winged Blackbird 7

House Finch 15

White-winged Crossbill 5 atop Lookout in trees around Butterfly meadow and feeding in the meadow.

Pine Siskin 5

American Goldfinch 10

House Sparrow X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Jan 21 PP report; GWC bluebird photo, rept

Just back from fantastic personal winter 4 day trip to Rhode Island
Here are reports from yesterday:

date = 2013/01/22

site = Prospect Park

observer = Kathy Toomey, short late afternoon walk

Great Blue Heron

Northern Shoveler


American Black Duck

Canada Goose

Red-breasted Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Mute Swan


American Coot

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher, heard

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Blue Jay

Tufted Titmouse

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Winter Wren

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Pine Siskin

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow


Bobbi Manian reported Eastern Bluebird and American Pipit in Greenwood Cemetery, previous location reported by Dennis;   EASTERN BLUEBIRD photo below by Bobbi    

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Waterfowl Counts PP & GWC jan 20th

The totals are below, thanks to Dennis Hrehowsik and Mike Yuan covering prospect park & Orrin Tilevitz covering Greenwood Cemetery.THe totals merged both locations. Here is what we saw. Canada Goose 163 Mute Swan 10 American Black Duck 3 Mallard 146 American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 Northern Shoveler 41 Ring-necked Duck 1 Bufflehead 5 Hooded Merganser 18 Common Merganser 1 Red-breasted Merganser 1 Ruddy Duck 95 Pied-billed Grebe 2 Double-crested Cormorant 1 American Coot 33 Other 4 (2 domestic ducks 2 Muscovy) Total Birds: 525 Species : 15 + 2 other taxa

GWC Eastern Bluebird photo; lists

From Orrin Tilevitiz

3 reports from Dennis:

A very windy afternoon at greenwood. Highlights included a lone American Pipit and turkey vulture flyover. Begin forwarded message:

From: Date: January 20, 2013 3:35:08 PM EST : eBird Report - Green-Wood Cemetery, Jan 20, 2013 Green-Wood Cemetery, Kings, US-NY Jan 20, 2013 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 17 species Turkey Vulture X Red-tailed Hawk X Ring-billed Gull X Red-bellied Woodpecker X Yellow-bellied Sapsucker X Blue Jay X Fish Crow X Black-capped Chickadee X Tufted Titmouse X Red-breasted Nuthatch X White-breasted Nuthatch X American Robin X American Pipit X Song Sparrow X White-throated Sparrow X Dark-eyed Junco X Northern Cardinal X


After completing pp water fowl count with mike yuan a chat stakeout was rewarded with a brief glimpse of the bird in flight behind green lookout shipping containers.other highlights were common merganser hen near pink beach area of lullwater. also a trio of very vocal/active hairy woodpeckers near summit of lookout. Dennis

Begin forwarded message:

From: Date: January 20, 2013 4:15:15 PM EST : eBird Report - Prospect Park, Jan 20, 2013 Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Jan 20, 2013 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 42 species (+1 other taxa) Canada Goose 163 Mute Swan 10 American Black Duck 3 Mallard 146 American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 Northern Shoveler 41 Ring-necked Duck 1 Bufflehead 5 Hooded Merganser 18 Common Merganser 1 Red-breasted Merganser 1 Ruddy Duck 95 Pied-billed Grebe 2 Double-crested Cormorant 1 American Coot 33 Ring-billed Gull X Herring Gull X Great Black-backed Gull X Rock Pigeon X Mourning Dove X Northern Saw-whet Owl X Red-bellied Woodpecker X Downy Woodpecker X Hairy Woodpecker X Blue Jay X American Crow X Black-capped Chickadee X Tufted Titmouse X White-breasted Nuthatch X Carolina Wren X American Robin X European Starling X Yellow-breasted Chat 1 Fox Sparrow X Song Sparrow X White-throated Sparrow X Dark-eyed Junco X Northern Cardinal X Red-winged Blackbird X House Finch X Pine Siskin X American Goldfinch X House Sparrow X

Dennis~FWD: American Pipit. floreo path and grove ave GWC
Dennis~FWD: Ring neck duck Upper Pool Prospect

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jan 19th quick note

Rob Jett reported EASTERN BLUEBIRDs in Greenwood Cemetery Landscape & Oak Avenues.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jan 18th Prospect

IN WIFI android tablet format due to being away from Brooklyn ***************************************************************

From Rafael: Peter:

Despite the low temperatures, PP was more or less active. The feeders had a good number of Pine Siskins, and I got close views of the drake Red-breasted Merganser (photos taken). Two Hooded Mergansers were seen at the upper pool. And a Merlin flew over the Peninsula

***********†******†************************************************************** Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY Jan 18, 2013 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Protocol: Traveling Observer: Rafael G Campos R 2.0 kilometer(s) 34 species


 Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) X Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 2 Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) 2 Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 1 Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) X American Coot (Fulica americana) 10 Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) X Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) X Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) X Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) X Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) 2 Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2 Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) 1 Merlin (Falco columbarius) 1 Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) X Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) X Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) X White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2 American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 3 European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea) 1 White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) X Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 6 Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 9 House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) X Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) X American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) X House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X Brooklyn is great birding!! ****************************************************************************
THE DAILY CHAT behind Well Drive green containers , Obsver Bobbi Manian

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prospect Jan 17th

The Daily Chat : Spotted behind Well Dr green containers, Dennis Hrehowsik


From Keir :
< Subject: PP 1/17/13 Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 18:08:22 +0000 Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Jan 17, 2013 8:25 AM - 9:15 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s) Comments: Breeze Hill, east slope Lookout, west edge of lake only 34 species Canada Goose 11 Mute Swan 7 Mallard X Northern Shoveler 14 Common Merganser 1 Female continues - head bobbing, swimming around Musician's Island/rink area Red-breasted Merganser 1 Male in middle of lake Ruddy Duck 26 Great Blue Heron 1 Red-tailed Hawk 1 American Coot 6 Ring-billed Gull 250 Herring Gull 4 Great Black-backed Gull 1 Mourning Dove 16 Belted Kingfisher 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Downy Woodpecker 4 Hairy Woodpecker 1 Blue Jay 7 Black-capped Chickadee 8 Tufted Titmouse 4 Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 White-breasted Nuthatch 1 Winter Wren 1 American Robin 9 American Tree Sparrow 1 Song Sparrow 2 Swamp Sparrow 1 Northern Cardinal 6 Red-winged Blackbird 6 House Finch 18 Pine Siskin 4 American Goldfinch 4 House Sparrow 25

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prospect Jan15th late afternoon WISN

WILSON'S SNIPE along phragmites south shore Breeze Hill seen by Kristin Costello ,word from Dennis Hrehowsik. Snipe was seen probing through the black plastic liner ( to cover phragmites) ,where there were holes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Prospect Jan 14th

All three species Mergansers still present on the Lake (for duration "togetherness"  has to be a record or something ?)


Report from Rafael:


The following is the birds recorded during my second visit to the park this year.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY
Jan 14, 2013 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Observer: Rafael G Campos
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
35 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  11
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  1
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  1

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  X
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)  1
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  3
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  4
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  3
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)  1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  6
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Brooklyn is great birding!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

AnnM~FWD: YB Chat at green containers well house. American Tree Sparrows near west islands. Ann

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prospect Jan 12th: lake gems and redpolls, winter land species

The Daily Chat: Lamppost 249 Picnic Tables (Well Drive) , observer Matthew Rymkiewic;shipping containers , Ryan Bass

 On Prospect Lake on my quick scan after todays' "Mulchfest" , COMMON MERGANSER seen diving in the West Island sector with RED-BREASTED MERGANSER drake nearby. Interestingly , no visible signs of Hooded, the most common species for the Lake. A lone BRANT was very oddly standing on the west shore.See my bad cellphone photo  at the end of the post.



From Keir :

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Jan 12, 2013 9:12 AM - 2:21 PM

Protocol: Traveling

3.0 mile(s)

Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.1

48 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 238

Mute Swan 7

American Black Duck 3

Mallard 122

American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1

Northern Shoveler 5

Bufflehead 2

Hooded Merganser 5

Red-breasted Merganser 1

Ruddy Duck 57

Pied-billed Grebe 1

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Great Blue Heron 2

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 Vale

Red-tailed Hawk 1

American Coot 15

Ring-billed Gull 133

Herring Gull 11

Great Black-backed Gull 5

Mourning Dove 9

Belted Kingfisher 1

Red-bellied Woodpecker 4

Downy Woodpecker 5

Hairy Woodpecker 1

Merlin 1 Long Meadow, favorite snag near Tennis House

Blue Jay 9

American Crow 1

Black-capped Chickadee 12

Tufted Titmouse 13

White-breasted Nuthatch 1

Brown Creeper 2 Lookout & south of Rose Garden, path to compost heap by zoo

Winter Wren 1 Singing, Maryland Monument steps

Carolina Wren 3

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 South of Rose Garden, path to compost heap by zoo

American Robin 23

Northern Mockingbird 1

European Starling 1

Cedar Waxwing 13

American Tree Sparrow 5 Maryland Monument steps, probably more.

Fox Sparrow (Red) 2

Song Sparrow 3

Swamp Sparrow 2 Maryland Monument steps.

White-throated Sparrow 45

Northern Cardinal 24

Red-winged Blackbird 7

House Finch 12

Pine Siskin 4

American Goldfinch 22

House Sparrow 25

From Ryan Bass:

Hi Peter,
Coming in from South Slope, steps away from the Bartel-Prichard entrance, I had (30) DARK EYED JUNCO feeding beneath a Sweetgum tree. Some were actually feeding in the tree itself, which I found a little odd for this ground dweller, but perhaps not with all the pedestrian traffic. Upon further inspection, I realized there were (2) AMERICAN GOLDFINCH and (2) COMMON REDPOLL mixed in. This is an infrequently birded area in the Park... but it confirms that the CORE (and the XBills for that matter) can show up anywhere - they are truly a hit-or-miss species.
The lake turned up the hen COMMON MERGANSER. It was hanging around the drake RBMERGANSER - so the size comparison was notable.
By the shipping containers on Wellhouse Drive, I met up with another birder and we found the YBCHAT around 3:00 pm.
The area of the lake near Wollman Rink (between Peninsula and Breeze Hill) was very productive, there were (18) HOODED MERGANSERS there, all huddled up. eBird indicates that this is a high count for this date/location. A drake LESSER SCAUP was present as well.
Full list:
Brant on shore
Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY
Jan 12, 2013 3:15 PM - 3:35 PM
Protocol: Stationary
14 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  X
Mallard  X
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Bufflehead  1
Common Merganser  1
Red-breasted Merganser  1
Ruddy Duck  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Great Blue Heron  1
American Coot  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X

View this checklist online at

FWD: From Matthew R - Chat continues behind picnic tables.(well dr lp249)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Prospect Jan 11th

To celebrate the Yellow-breasted Chat present so long in Prospect I am introducing  a new feature called " The Daily Chat" The Daily Chat: base Lookout Hill Switchback Trail 2:20 pm Andy Biederman *************************** Another note is a COOPERS HAWK that I spotted streaming over from the Litchfield Villa, into the west woods bordering the park dept garage. (Note also not enough appearances to have its own DAILY) :-) --KB
Photo by Peter Colen, AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 3 of ten seen today on the Peninsula meadow edge lake side

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prospect and environs Jan 10th: a day for raptors

Stealing attention from the "showy " Yellow Breasted Chat and a single Common Redpoll,  among Prospect's rarities recent output, raptors took the day's honors.

Most exciting in the morning was Linda Lamm's report of a flyover BALD EAGLE in the Prospect Heights neighborhood, on Flatbush Ave's east side not far from Prospect Park. Keir Randall mentioned Linda's great find.So, a note to look up as eagles do migrate during Januaries , oftentimes, water bodies freeze upstate forcing these northern resident raptors southward.

Then , as I was looking just after noon for COMMON REDPOLL (CORE)  after Keir's report of a single bird (CORE)  in a sweetgum  along Center Drive near Quaker Cemetery, I observed a free for all  chase of one MERLIN chasing a second MERLIN over the Three Arches Nethermead Bridge, going over the meadow , back towards the Ravine , then over the bridge towards the Binnen Pool. Nice to see that drama and fun to watch.

Last among the raptor "fest" ( for a winter day, not a dull moment these days), after my tweet alert regarding the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT-- seen by Bob O'Neill -- on the slope between the Lamppost 249  and 2 green shipping containers on Well Drive, Doug Gochfeld texted me of a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK at that same particular spot. ( oh, another raptor the Chat has to worry  about !).

I am thinking with the Chat's vibrant cooperation of relaying a simple mention of its daily whereabouts. It's too showy....and adventurous as well with the expansive ground it covers.

DougG~FWD: Adult RedShlder Hawk at Well drshipping containers now.
YBChat Rept by LP 249 leftof Well dr shipping containers; 2 Merlin ovr 3 arches

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another NAWA or this one travels?

See Doug's report of Nashville Warbler from the NYS birding list serve. Makes me wonder about the one seen at the swtchback trail...already gone ?

 Subject: Brooklyn Nashville Warbler Date: Wed Jan 9 2013 15:30 pm

Adding another individual to this year's (or recent years', even) trend of wintering warblers, we just had an unexpected Nashville Warbler in our small backyard a mile south of Prospect Park. It hung around for a couple of minutes before flying to a neighbor's yard, out of sight.

Good Birding -Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY. --

Canvasbacks video

From Keir, filmed at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Four Canvasbacks were a highlight this morning at Brooklyn Bridge Park between piers 4 & 5. Several visits / patience are sometimes needed for this species at this location but today they were very cooperative best Keir Randall Brooklyn

Early good waterfowl reports; todays PP report inc YBChat

At Brooklyn Bridge Park , pier 5, a quality duck not often seen in this area though most reliably along the northern brooklyn waterfont is CANVASBACK , reported this morning by Keir Randall.

On Prospect Lake, John Ascher reports the SNOW GOOSE back. This bird is erratically on the clock.

I spotted the drake RED-BREASTED MERGANSER on the latter. No sign of the Common Merg. At least 12 HOODED MERGANSERs


early PM report

The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT resurfaced, appearing first at the base of the switchback trail but re spotted by Rob Jett around 245 pm behind the Terrace Bridge green shipping container , then moving into the lullwater north a short distance where i happened to be fixing fence, lucking in with my first sighting of my "nemesis 2013" 1st season warbler.It was seen feeding on bittersweet vine berries on the slope adjacent to the Terrace Bridge, then flying back down towards the underpass.

Winter finches still the same story , present with WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and PINE SISKINS according to Chris Elliot.

Also of note  the three Mergansers are still present on the lake, the continuing saga of these three species fpr birders to enjoy.


Report from Chris Elliot:

Hi Peter,

Walking in Prospect this morning, I had a number of the interesting species recently reported, continuing. There was a lot of activity, perhaps because of the warmth, especially large roaming songbird feeding flocks.

* Common (1), Red-breasted (1), and Hooded Mergansers (12! above the surface at once) - all in a group near ladder 18 and the phragmites at the base of the Peninsula, northwest corner of Prospect Lake;

* White-winged Crossbills (3), which I almost didn't see because they were feeding on the ground in a large, mixed flock including dominated by White-throated Sparrows, but including Fox Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, Downy Woodpecker, and American Goldfinches, in the woods just west of and across the street from the Zoo,  see photos ---->

* Yellow-breasted Chat (1), where it's been seen recently at the base of Lookout Hill, visible (perching twice on snags and calling) from the base of the Switchback trail, just to the southwest

* Pine Siskins (6) along the east Lullwater path north of the feeders

* Peregrine Falcon (1) diving on gulls near the Lake, as it has been recently


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

mystery warbler on Lookout Hill switchback trail

Attached are photos from Peter Colen
Slightly fuzzy shots but determinative of what we believe is NASHVILLE WARBLER. Bright yellow underparts, gray hood, eye ring. Click on photos to enlarge.

Prospect Jan 8th, numbers down but still there is rarity

The park seems to quiet down noticeably , but quality remains high for a winter date, as three rarities were reported with the few birders out today, one of the rarities an "out of season" bird very likely resolved.

First a note regarding winter finches: this morning Janet Zinn reported up to 9 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS feeding in the sweetgum over or near the compost pile near the north fence of the zoo, this species still a hot item herein PP and great to see persistently hanging around. Janet reported some WWXbills came down to the ground to a water puddle in the compost area and bathe. Any birder cannot get enough of this species knowing that they may be back years from now. Also in the same area, Janet spotted a low flying TURKEY VULTURE, not rare because you can get occasional winter flyovers but definitely very uncommon.

On a very good note, we may have the warbler mystery solved. During the weekend, Rob Bate spotted a yellowish warbler that eluded identification at the base of southern Lookout Hill to the left of the "switchback trail" . Today, Peter Colen spotted the bird, most likely the same bird, a third of a way up the switchback trail, enabling in getting a decent photo of the bird. Showing Shane Blodgett who happened to be in the park, the "mystery warbler" was identified as a NASHVILLE WARBLER, a terrific find and a first for a winter Prospect [I am sure of it] . Its likely the bird from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from early December , counted on the Xmas Bird Count. A rare sighting and great to see another new rarity to chase, especially a warbler. These birds keep normally quiet Winters interesting.

Oh, I should mention that COMMON MERGANSER likes where it is on Prospect Lake, as reported by Peter Colen.

More later, --KB

PS. Shane Blodgett in a late note Reports the YELLOW BREASTED CHAT on the slope above the Well drive green shipping containers , same general spot Keir reported last time.So, good news there that not only its sticking to there but also survived Cooper Hawk snacking.
JanetZ~FWD: Wwcbill flock at sweet gum by compost pile behind zoo

Monday, January 7, 2013

Terrific Loon species identification site

Attached is a link to a really great site in identifying Loon species..shortcuts to basic field marks for quick identification. Its winter, a season for loons   :)

Prospect Jan 7th now theres 2 !

Today a lull.No reports mentioned of rare birds from recent days except for the Lake. It appears perhaps a " twin sister " has come to visit the current best duck on Prospect Lake

This morning a second hen COMMON MERGANSER has joined in. Reported first by Rob Bate, I saw both COMMON MERGANSERS, each on opposite sides of the lake: along the south shore east of Three Sisters and the second diving next to the shore of the Peninsula Meadow by ladder#18. They both look quite identical.

Waterfowl Census jan 20th

Though still two weeks away, I am inquiring anyone willing to help count Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery waterfowl as well as the all day Rockaway western peninsula and Dead Horse Bay, the former severely devastated by hurricane sandy which coverage is up for determination who covers it ; issues though concerns park access permission plus likely ranger escort due to still closed parks officially and security issues, more later on this. The target date is sunday Jan 20th.

< Sunday, January 20th, The Waterfowl count Region 10 (Long Island) Coordinator: Ron Bourque, email Focus: water birds and ducks survey of Brooklyn and Queens west locations Contact for team setup: Peter Dorosh, Email or TEXT Message 347-622-3559 />

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Prospect January 6th: BBC walk results, rarities continue

The new year's first Brooklyn Bird Club Prospect walk is a good omen for 2013 with good birds reported, 18 participants getting looks at those rarities whether for species or for the date.52 species included among the quality birds WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL,COMMON MERGANSER, TURKEY VULTURE,PINE SISKIN RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (awaiting photo from Peter Colen) . It was Dennis Hrehowsik's inaugural leader walk and the BBC expresses its gratitude to Dennis for his time.

Misses unfortunately for the group  were other continuing great birds seen by independent birders of COMMON REDPOLL, SNOW GOOSE,and the ever expanding YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

COMMON REDPOLLS in singles or twos were reported at the Nethermead Arches sweetgum ( Steve and Heidi Nanz, Mary Eyster), these bird high up, 7 in the Ambergill with WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLs by  Keir Randall, with low level looks, and a report from Peter Colen , with Monica Berger of two Redpolls seen on the ice or in the sweetgum in the Vale of Cashmere .

The SNOW GOOSE  was seen in the mid afternoon between the Three Sisters Islands and Duck Island, very close to the layover COMMON MERGANSER in the overcrowded with waterfowl Lake , surrounded by 402 CANADA GEESE and abundant gulls resting on the ice ( no rarities) . Speaking of the Lake, a RING-NECKED DUCK drake is now present in the northwest sector .And yes, three merganser species today makes it a delight.

Last , regarding the elusive YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Keir Randall spotted the warbler behind the Well Drive green shipping containers , just north of the picnic tables, in the slope scrub. This new site makes it harder to pin down this adventurous  bird, making it frustrating for birders to focus on one particular spot as the Chat did over a month ago on Breeze Hill.  We just have to walk more. A note to mention: a COOPER's HAWK reigns over the area, seen perched southwest of the Maryland Monument , and later flying over the Well house for another perch ; Oops, not good for a bright yellow Chat.We have to keep our fingers crossed.

From Dennis Hreshowsik, report from his BBC walk

18 birders met on an overcast morning that gave way to a beautiful sunny afternoon. highlights were ww x-bills in the midwood spotted by kevin, ring neck duck spotted by mike yuan and the continuing common merganser on prospect lake for a pp merganser sweep. we were also treated to a show of aerial acrobatics as a peregrine falcon hunted the flock of gulls huddled on the frozen lake. other notables were swamp sparrows on look out chip trail, hermit thrush where nethermead meets base of lookout and a late day turkey vulture fly over at nelly's lawn. thanks to all for a great day of birding.

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 6, 2013 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
Comments:     BBC walk
52 species

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  X
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Ring-necked Duck  X
Bufflehead  X
Hooded Merganser  X
Common Merganser  1     continues on prospect lake
Red-breasted Merganser  X
Ruddy Duck  X
Pied-billed Grebe  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Turkey Vulture  1     Flyover, Nelly's lawn. white trailing edge of wing, red head and wobbly flight clearly visible
Sharp-shinned Hawk  X

Red-shouldered Hawk X  Flyover Lookout Hill south
Cooper's Hawk  X
Red-tailed Hawk  X
American Coot  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  X
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  X
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  X
Downy Woodpecker  X
Hairy Woodpecker  X
Peregrine Falcon  X
Blue Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch  X
White-breasted Nuthatch  X
Brown Creeper  X
Winter Wren  X
Carolina Wren  X
Hermit Thrush  X
American Robin  X
European Starling  X
Eastern Towhee  X
Fox Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Swamp Sparrow  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Northern Cardinal  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
House Finch  X
White-winged Crossbill  12     feeding on the sweet gum in the midwood near battle pass
Pine Siskin  X
American Goldfinch  X
House Sparrow  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

From Keir:

(Note , click on the blue color links for pics)

Yellow-breasted Chat, Prospect Park 1/6/13
Yellow-breasted Chat, photo taken by Keir Randall
Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Jan 6, 2013 11:37 AM - 3:32 PM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

Comments: <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.1

38 species

American Black Duck 6

Mallard 39

Northern Shoveler 26

Ring-necked Duck 1 Drake on lake near L249

Bufflehead 1

Hooded Merganser 15

Common Merganser 1 Hen continues on lake, peninsula side.

Ruddy Duck 38

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Red-tailed Hawk 3

American Coot 13

Ring-billed Gull 400

Herring Gull 12

Rock Pigeon 9

Mourning Dove 24

Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1

Downy Woodpecker 4

Blue Jay 5

Black-capped Chickadee 16

Tufted Titmouse 6

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

Winter Wren 1

Carolina Wren 1

American Robin 4

European Starling 6

Yellow-breasted Chat 1 In scrub on Lookout Hill east slope, behind green containers on Center Drive.

href="" title="Yellow-breasted Chat, Prospect Park 1/6/13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="Yellow-breasted Chat, Prospect Park 1/6/13">

Song Sparrow 1

Swamp Sparrow 2

White-throated Sparrow 8

Northern Cardinal 5

Red-winged Blackbird 2

House Finch 16

White-winged Crossbill 12 Feeding in sweetgums above Ambergill, some coming down to drink.

href="" title="White-winged Crossbill, Prospect Park 1/6/13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="White-winged Crossbill, Prospect Park 1/6/13">Common Redpoll 7-- 1 seen drinking from Ambergill then as I was leaving the area I heard a loud 'churr' call and found 7 feeding in a sweetgum on the north slope of the Ambergillhref="" title="Common Redpolls, Prospect Park 1/6/13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="Common Redpolls, Prospect Park 1/6/13">Pine Siskin 4

American Goldfinch 8

House Sparrow 18

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Peter's list

Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY
Jan 6, 2013 2:14 AM - 2:49 AM
Protocol: Stationary
17 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  1
Canada Goose  402
Mute Swan  7
American Black Duck  X
Mallard  X
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Ring-necked Duck  1
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  17     
Common Merganser  1     
Ruddy Duck  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Cooper's Hawk  1     along Well Drive
Ring-billed Gull  1200
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  9

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

FWD: @railbabbler: YB Chat in scrub behind green container just North of L249
AnnM~FWD: Red Poll, White-winged Crossbills Rick's Place. Ann & Isabel
Dennis~FWD: 12 ww x bills in midwood battle pass

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prospect Jan 5th,BBC walk; still good birds

Tomorrow is a Brooklyn Bird Club walk:

Sunday, January 6th, Prospect Park 
Meet 8 am at Grand Army Plaza park entrance (Stranahan Statue) 
Trip Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik


Good fortune continues to treat well birders seeing the rare same day triple merganser species spectacle of COMMON, RED-BREASTED and HOODED on Prospect Lake. COMMON MERGANSER hen was seen mostly at the east side of Three Sisters Islands, at one time diving right at the shoreline wall at the point opposite the Peninsula thumb. But it moves around abit, your best views from the south shore with the sun behind you. RED-BREASTED drake was seen mostly in the lake middle , in front of the 3 islands ( my nickname the "cookie-jar" for that spot). HOODED was seen almost anywhere but they tend to stick close to the Three Sisters.

The YELLOW BREASTED CHAT moves around alot between the Lookout Hill switchback trail and Breeze Hill , particularly today.  Seen first by Ed Crowne on the Switchback trail at 10 am, it was found by Rusty Harold after noontime along the top edge of Breeze Hill opposite or across from the feeders. A further search  by other birders proved futile  for this elusive bird ( well,it is a CHAT)

But the best "new" sighting and potential very good bird was an unidentified warbler spotted very briefly in the woods at the bottom of the hill to the left of the switchback trail ( if you are looking up the trail)> Look for three very small pines  by the lawn triangle and behind in the invasive honeysuckle  growth about 50 feet from the pedestrian path , the mystery warbler, bright yellow in the brief look by Rob Bate, might be a expected Orange-crowned(possible western variety) but with strange sightings and late birds, anything is possible for a rare bird. Hopefully someone will find and text me promptly.Near this spot  on the other side of the path , a WINTER WREN was observed , uncommon this time of year despite its current season name .

Other sightings include the usual WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS (8 seen by Chris Holden) working the Vale Cashmere pool area, centering around the exotic pine with the tight round cones; PINE SISKINS , around 7 at the very active feeders; PEREGRINE FALCON perched halfway down the BBgarden fire radio tower ( hiding behind the floodlight ? or antennae dish)

Gull flocks was moderately large given the ice they rest on in the Lake..Nothing unusual which I spent time scanning except for a Ring-billed with a orange round tag number 654 on its left wing; Its worth checking the flocks for this highly migratory gull period. ( You never know)

Lists later.
COMM MERGANSER still presnt ProsLake per dennis

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bad phone photo of Common Merganser

I took this photo (from cheap phone)  after work to show just how close the hen COMMON MERGANSER came to the west shore by ice rescue ladder #15. It was diving quite abit.  Its in front and right of the white buoy , left of the Mute Swan..

Three merganser species seen today by birders. 16 HOODED MERGANSERS at least . (most of them at Three Sisters Islands)

from Chris Elliot, PHOTO COME
COMM MERG still presnt just a few feet from west shore by rescue ladder #15
13 AMER PIPITS now at Ballfields field 2 behind 2nd base

Prospect Jan 4th, Lake specialties + good birds

The 2013 Merganser trifecta is complete. In just 4 days, all three merganser species are accounted for , so "getting those out of the way " was quick and easy. This morning Shane Blodgett reported COMMON MERGANSER (COME) , a hen seen well along the northwest shore and Peninsula meadow side.The COME was still being seen as of my lunch hour, very close to the shore, diving and feeding.

If the rare merganser wasn't enough, throw in a LESSER SCAUP too ! Russ saw the scaup with Keir near in reporting this very uncommon species along the northwest shore, with RUDDY DUCKS.

AMERICAN PIPITS are broadening their horizons, now  also using the Peninsula Meadow ( Shane Blodgett), 13 birds obviously moving around.. Shane also reported WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLs in the Ravine sweetgum along the Ambergill, and as well , 14 PINE SISKINS in the feeders.YBChat  also was seen at the feeders by Russ.

A good winter day birding for some birders today.

PS. COME still present as of 4 pm. Pipits at Baseball Field #2 outside the "diamond" . See later posts.

Keir Randall:

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Jan 4, 2013 8:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

33 species

Canada Goose 300

Mute Swan 5

Mallard 20

Northern Shoveler 45

Lesser Scaup 1 A drake sleeping with Ruddy Ducks on Prospect Lake near L249 (thanks to Russ Alderson). No white spur on side, very pointed head shape. Photos.

Bufflehead 1

Hooded Merganser 16 Counted in one sweep of lake.

Common Merganser 1 Found by Shane Blodgett. Hugging the Peninsula meadow shore of Prospect Lake. Female type - chocolate brown head with crisp demarcation to white chest, white chin patch, one big tuft on crest. Photos.

Ruddy Duck 35

Pied-billed Grebe 1

Great Blue Heron 1

American Coot 12

Ring-billed Gull X

Herring Gull X

Great Black-backed Gull 4

Rock Pigeon 1

Mourning Dove 6

Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

Downy Woodpecker 4

Blue Jay 4

Black-capped Chickadee 6

Tufted Titmouse 8

American Robin 3

European Starling 12

Song Sparrow 2

Swamp Sparrow 1

White-throated Sparrow 16

Northern Cardinal 1

Red-winged Blackbird 1

House Finch 16

Pine Siskin 1

American Goldfinch 2

House Sparrow 30


From Russ Alderson:

Thanks for the ID on the Scaup, Kier.

I saw the Chat near the Breeze Hill feeders this morning around 9:30. It was actually in the big tree near the viewing area for the feeders, flew across the drive and disappeared in the brushy area.

Hen COMM MERG & drake LESS SCAUP close 2gethr n northwest sect Pros Lake shore.reptd earlier still pres

The morning scoop Jan 4th

Shane~FWD: 13 AMPIPIT on Peninsula MeaD 11 WWXbills n Sweetgum betw Esdale and Rock Arch Br-14 PISISKIN feeders

also YB Chat at feeders

Lesser Scaup at lake with Ruddy Ducks neat Lmappost #249 ( Well drive picn tables)
FWD: @railbabbler: Common Merganser found by Shane B showing well on prospect lake, peninsula meadow side

Eastern Bluebird and American Tree Sparrow records

As promised in yesterdays report to search the records, Eastern Bluebird seen of late is the latest ever for Prospect Park.

The latest ever  was 12/7/1964 seen by Olney Raymond.

The earliest was 1/28/2001 seen by Bernie Brennan, quite a legendary Brooklyn birder as well.

Those are the only two sightings ever for December or January ( no sightings in February)


For American Tree Sparrow, the highest total for a single day in December or January ( winter months) was 7 on 1/24/1958  Olney Raymond followed by 6  occurring 12/28/1999 in the Ravine ( Rob Jett)

The highest all time happened  3/13/1999  , 20 birds on the Nethermead ( PDorosh, Marie Dooling, Steve Nanz) followed by 19 seen 9/25/1967 , reported by Olney Raymond.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prospect Jan 3rd, good stuff still coming along

What we have been seeing the past few months or even the last few days never gets tired for any birder to see. Pine Siskins, White-winged Crossbills, Yellow -breasted Chat, American Pipit: take your pick, any bird mentioned here makes it a GOOD day in Prospect. Given these rare species, one never know when how often they will be seen  or the next time that bird appears. Take the crossbills : they irrupt only so often-- sometimes a decade or even longer between appearances. So enjoy them while they are here now. Even the Chat--a twice yearly migration bird-yet it's so furtive that they are hard to find in dense live brush , given their secretive nature. But now, with winter brush more subdued and flattened or expired, the bright yellow Chat is easily seen when it pops out.

Today, the best highlights are the AMERICAN PIPITs, here several days already on the lawns  of either the Nethermead or the Ballfields on the west side of Quaker Cemetery. First reported by Mike Yuan ( with Dennis H), 12 birds on the Nethermead lawn near the Quaker Cemetery this early morning, they made a trip to the Ballfields side before seen again on the Nethermead around 115 pm. 15 birds were spotted then. I was able to spot them very close, as did other birders.

On the south slope of Lookout Hill, 2 EASTERN BLUEBIRDs made appearances above the Wellhouse, this species  so tardy in the season for these parts. Its likely the latest ever record for this species. 

Not far from the Bluebirds, the still continuing YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT sticks to the slope near the Maryland Monument. Noreen McAuliffe who reported the discovery was also fortunate finding WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in the Vale of Cashmere. See her detailed report and list below.

Feeder action is heavy with PINE SISKIN and a hoard of other winter birds making a chaotic scene. It's a great spot to watch birds in a normally dull winter period ( but not in Prospect !).

With the sparrows, there are good numbers of species around but AMERICAN TREE SPARROW is in strong force now. I spotted 5 eating grit on the path junction  leading to the Lullwater cove platform, or overlook. This is along the southeast side of the Nethermead. AMTS are reported in other places as well; It looks like 7 today (assuming Mike and Dennis'  5 at Terrace Bridge is the same flock I saw later) . I think overall, this species is above average  in the park now( I have to check the records). And for sparrows, what about the EASTERN TOWHEE at the feeders, a bird that has stuck around for at least a month now in that general area of Breeze Hill.

Prospect Lake is partially frozen but RED-BREASTED MERGANSER with HOODEDS and some BUFFLEHEADS are in view; many gulls rested on the Lake which I tried to find something different with my bins but a scope is better , one I don't carry around at work; perhaps I should improvise and attached a mini to my hat.

The birding is good which makes winter not so dull.

From Keir Randall:

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 3, 2013 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
36 species (+1 other taxa) 
Canada Goose 75 
Mute Swan 5 
American Black Duck 1 
Mallard 18

American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 
Northern Shoveler 12 
Bufflehead 1 
Hooded Merganser 3 
Red-breasted Merganser 2 
Ruddy Duck 26 
Cooper's Hawk 1 
Red-tailed Hawk 1 
American Coot 4 
Ring-billed Gull 240 
Herring Gull 12 
Great Black-backed Gull 1

Mourning Dove 7 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 
Downy Woodpecker 3 
Blue Jay 12 
Black-capped Chickadee 12 
Tufted Titmouse 7 
White-breasted Nuthatch 2

Carolina Wren 1 
Eastern Bluebird 2-- 2 males on Lookout, path above Wellhouse towards L249 end.
American Robin 4 
European Starling 14

Fox Sparrow (Red) 3 
Song Sparrow 2 
White-throated Sparrow 30 
Northern Cardinal 13 
Red-winged Blackbird 3 
House Finch 26 
Pine Siskin 14-- 6 at feeders and 8+ in a sweetgum near Rick's Place 
American Goldfinch 9 
House Sparrow 20

From Mike Yuan :

With Dennis H.

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 3, 2013 7:20 AM - 8:35 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments:      <br />Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.1
25 species

Ring-billed Gull  3
Herring Gull (American)  2
Rock Pigeon  5
Mourning Dove  9
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  8
Tufted Titmouse  6
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
American Robin  1
European Starling  12
American Pipit  12     Nethermead meadow across from Quaker Cemetery
American Tree Sparrow  5     Terrace Bridge
Fox Sparrow (Red)  2
Swamp Sparrow  1     West of Switchback trail
White-throated Sparrow  6
Northern Cardinal  3
Red-winged Blackbird  1
House Finch  11
Pine Siskin  3
American Goldfinch  2
House Sparrow  3

 From Noreen McAuliffe:

Hi, Peter,
    When I was watching the AMERICAN PIPITS on the Nethermead, a Red-Tailed Hawk landed in a tree right above them and watched the pipits too.   The pipits were unconcerned, maybe banking on the red-tail being full on rat.  I hope they’re not so blasé if they see a Merlin or a Cooper’s Hawk.

    YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT near the Maryland Monument, to the west of the switchback trail, where the paved path coming up from Well House Drive comes together with the path from the monument in a Y shape.  The Chat started out on the uphill side of the path, near a patch of purple brambles, then flew over the trail to perch in a tree on the downhill side, then back to the purple brambles.  Its yellow throat/breast looked lovely in the winter light.  My chat conspiracy theory:  it’s the same bird that overwintered in Bryant Park last year, but this winter has discovered the charms of Brooklyn.

    Just in the small fenced planting below Maryland Monument, three sparrow species:  Song (2), Fox(1), and AMERICAN TREE(2).  There were other interesting-looking sparrows on the hill near the switchback trail that may have been more American Trees, but I didn’t get good looks at them.

    4 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in the Vale of Cashmere, 1 adult male, 2 adult females, and what looked to be 1 immature (gray with streaks, with much smaller, less distinct wing bars).  They came down to eye level in the sweetgum that hangs low over the path (near Nellie’s Lawn), then flew down to the ice.

Take care, 

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 3, 2013 12:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
28 species

Red-tailed Hawk  2
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  X
Downy Woodpecker  X
Blue Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
Winter Wren  1     Near Lookout switchback trail
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  15
European Starling  X
American Pipit  14     Nethermead
Yellow-breasted Chat  1     Observed west of Lookout Hill switchback trail
Eastern Towhee  1     Near Breeze Hill feeders
American Tree Sparrow  2     Fenced planting in Maryland Monument meadow
Fox Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Northern Cardinal  X
House Finch  X
White-winged Crossbill  4     in the Vale of Cashmere, 1 adult male, 2 adult females, and what looked to be 1 immature (gray with streaks, with much smaller, less distinct wing bars)
Pine Siskin  3     Breeze Hill feeders
American Goldfinch  4     1 in Vale, 3 Breeze Hill Feeders
House Sparrow  X