COMMON REDPOLL (CORE) continues its domain so far, even if only a small number of birds, perhaps a roving small flock making rounds , staying put as Prospect's dominant numbers of Sweetgum trees attract these winter finches.Today, reports of CORE emanated from the Lullwater Bridge 5 birds ( Russ Alderson), the Vale of Cashmere, 1 bird ( Peter Colen) as well as one in Greenwood Cemetery ( Orrin Tilevitz). The birds are very nomadic as I had been unable to pin them down despite diligent searches of the sweetgums. It depends on where the ball drops..
Those sweetgums are Prospect winter's best right now, as WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS stuck around as well. Along the woods trail (just above the bridle trail) that parallels the Quaker Cemetery west fence, three sweetgums held 8 WWCrossbill species. They were seen quite well from the park drive though I had to watch not getting run over !
But AMERICAN PIPIT isn't hard to find as the Ballfields hosted these birds in good numbers, holdovers from New Years Day. A late morning report from Rob Bate of 18 birds on the lawn between field #1 and 2 -- the west side-- closest to the horse loop, enabled my success. From yesterday to today, any lawn field will do after the most active human disturbance before 9 is over and less human activity is around appeals to these open space inclined species
Most certainty a surprise though my suspicions of one the same time last year of a single bird, a SNOW GOOSE was with Canada Geese on the Rink shoreline lawn near the Duck Island round shelter ( or Summerhouse it is technically called). This rarity for Prospect is a hit or miss yearly, most times high flyovers in right seasonal days when they move and spotted. Its rare to see one on the ground.
The lake is good , holding well with several ducks to look for. Today it's numbers. BUFFLEHEAD-- all hens-- numbered 6 birds , a good number for the lake. 12 HOODED MERGANSERS easily outnumbered the lone drake RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.
And for the whimsical, one I really wished I had a camera ! Searching the sweetgum just inside the Quaker Cemetery main entrance, I spotted a male EASTERN BLUEBIRD at the base of a medium sized shrub. But where it flew next and perched upon had me thinking the bird was trying to tell me something. Just along the entrance road, there is a small hexagonal post with an inspiring message in 5 languages, that this Bluebird perched on top of.What was the message ? "May Peace Prevail on Earth" One message we should perhaps listen to what the Bluebird says....( and for me would have made the perfect Christmas/Hanukkah card...and a new career as a photojournalist ?)
Note: photo links below from Peter Colen
Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Jan 2, 2013 Protocol: Incidental 15 species Red-tailed Hawk 1 Hairy Woodpecker 1 Quaker Cemetery Blue Jay 1 Black-capped Chickadee 7 Quaker Cemetery Tufted Titmouse 3 Eastern Bluebird 1 Quaker Cemetery European Starling X American Pipit 18 Ballfields betw fields #1 & 2 , first report Rob Bate Song Sparrow 3 West Isln lawn White-throated Sparrow 15 West Isl lawn Dark-eyed Junco X Northern Cardinal X White-winged Crossbill 8 in Sweetgum, south west fence Quaker Cemetery American Goldfinch 1 Quaker Cemetery House Sparrow X
Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY Jan 2, 2013 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Protocol: Stationary 16 species (+1 other taxa) Snow Goose 1 Rink lawn, reported by RBate Canada Goose 296 Mute Swan 10 American Black Duck 3 Mallard X American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 Northern Shoveler 185 Bufflehead 6 Hooded Merganser 12 Red-breasted Merganser 1 drake Ruddy Duck 35 Double-crested Cormorant 1 Great Blue Heron 1 3 sisters isl Red-tailed Hawk 1 Ring-billed Gull 900 Herring Gull X Great Black-backed Gull 4
From Ryan Bass :
From Peter Colen:
The first 2 pics in below url are pics of redpolls (which I was wondering if I would ever get), the next 2 are crossbills hanging around on the ice (until I got there). The next pic is 1 of a pair of tree sparrows.