Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prospect March 17th VATH "marches "on

I saw a parade today. Not the famous one over in Manhattan but the much smaller one along Prospect Park West Ave, the St Patrick's Day parade in early afternoon. While I was watching it, the VARIED THRUSH continues to march on to its own drum in Prospect, seen this morning along Quaker Ridge Center Drive habitats.

Reports circulated with the continuing beat of VARIED THRUSH (VATH) seen along Center Drive bridle path , from Nethermead Arches towards the cemetery, the first sightings by or near the Arches yew tree, then later morning midway from the Arches to the cemetery. (or just east of the cemetery) . Perhaps the pattern is this for this ultra rarity :  Morning by the Center drive, later afternoon by the Ambergill pool. It must be hot during the day . It seems the VATH likes to forage along the Quaker Ridge south slope ( near the bridle trail) , then move on towards the Ambergill Pool by noon and after. That looks like the hypothetical pattern.   ( unless the bird tells us or agrees to carry GPS)

By the way, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and PINE SISKINS were heard and seen at that VATH location 

Below are reports about the VATH , one each  from Kathy  and Dennis, then two from the NYS Birds listserve, one observer was Tom Burke, the Rare Bird Alerts compiler, and member of the New York State Avian Records Committee that decides the validity of rare bird sightings. So, for the Prospect VATH,  it looks very promising the record will eventually get accepted in due time . I do encourage you to not assume someone sent in documentation , but do yourself submit the NYSARC report anyway. Check my blog's older posts for the online entry link and attached photo sources like Rob Bate, Keir Randall or mention photographers you know who took a VATH photo. Or ask me who.

In other news for prospect, 5 REDBREASTED MERGANSERS continue to grace the lake waters, along with the COMMON MERGANSER hen sisters; also a drake RING NECKED DUCK and HORNED GREBE present makes the lake a must see spot for "prospectors". NORTHERN SHOVELERS and RUDDY DUCKS keep good numbers with over 50 birds for each species.

COMMON REDPOLLS were reported at the BBC garden located at the Vale of Cashmere south entrance, which I went to look for this species not knowing about this report until later. This is a rare bird that I have yet to see this winter. I guess I can't get them all.

Meanwhile in Greenwood Cemetery, EASTERN MEADOWLARK continues at the Hill of Graves .See yesterdays post for the location. Observers were Rob Jett who tweeted it in, and later Orrin Tilevitz. There's are maps on my side menu.



From NYSBIRDS listserve

Subject: Varied Thrush Prospect Park Date: Sun Mar 17 2013 11:52 am 
From: gbensonny AT 

East of Quaker Cemetery. Off Center Drive. Also present a few 
White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins and a bright European Goldfinch

Gail Benson and Tom Burke.


Subject: Prospect Park Date: Sun Mar 17 2013 14:34 pm From: scamillieri 

The Varied Thrush was seen East of the Cemetery off of Center Drive 
from 12:52 through 1:40 when I left. Other notable birds seen were:

Pine Siskin -at feeders and a few individuals near the Varied Thrush

White-winged Crossbill- small moving flock above area where the Varied 
Thrush was.

Eastern Phoebe- FoY near Audobon Center

Fox Sparrow -near Audubon Center.

Not too bad for a first time trip to Prospect Park.

Sean Camillieri


From Kathy Toomey :

date = 2013/03/17
site = Prospect Park
observers = Kathy Toomey and Emily Goldstein

Varied Thrush      at about 9 am, on slope near Three Arches Bridge
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Northern Shoveler
Canada Goose
Ring-necked Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser       hen, pretty sure of id, on the Lake with 6 red
breasted mergansers
Ruddy Duck
Mute Swan
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Hermit Thrush        pointed out by Rob Bate, by waterfall in Ravine
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Pine Siskin
House Finch
Common Redpoll       two females, near the BBC plantings by the Vale
American Goldfinch


Dennus Hrehowsik report
Observer  Kristin Costello


great day of birding in prospect today. highlights included varied thrush in between gate to quaker cem and nethermead arches off bridle path spotted this time by tom b around 1:30. while looking at the thrush which was less cooperative and more skulky than recently i heard white wing x bills. i told the mixed flock of local and out of town birders i was with but no one wanted to take their eyes off our visitor from the west. kristin and i located the birds and were treated to a grouping of two brite red male ww x bills and one sub adult male with three pine siskins. continued merganser sweep on lake, several am tree sparrows, two eastern phoebes working the lullwater as well as male wood duck and female ring neck showing nicely there.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Mar 17, 2013
To: deepseagangster@

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Mar 17, 2013 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
49 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  3
Wood Duck  1
Mallard  X
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  1
Northern Shoveler  16
Ring-necked Duck  1
Bufflehead  2
Hooded Merganser  4
Common Merganser  2     2 hens continue on lake
Red-breasted Merganser  4
Ruddy Duck  28
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Horned Grebe  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
American Coot  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  9
Red-bellied Woodpecker  4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Downy Woodpecker  4
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  5
Black-capped Chickadee  12
Tufted Titmouse  9
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
Brown Creeper  5     two near nethermead, one near ambergill one on chip trail. one in vale.
Winter Wren  1
Carolina Wren  3
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  X
Varied Thrush  1     continues, seen around 1:30 halfway between gate to quaker cem and nethermeade arches, spotted by tom burke.
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  X
American Tree Sparrow  7
Fox Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  4
White-throated Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco  2
Northern Cardinal  7
Red-winged Blackbird  25
Common Grackle  1
House Finch  7
White-winged Crossbill  3     two full breeding males one sub adult male near gate to quaker cem with 3 pine siskin.
Pine Siskin  8
American Goldfinch  2
House Sparrow  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (


From Ebirds Yahoo groups

Eastern Meadowlark photo from Peter Colen

Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:11 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Peter" pcolen!i=2412763805&k=j3DSvZf

Rob Jett spotted this meadowlark today at the "Hill of Graves" where it has been possibly the whole winter. A life bird for me.

Peter Colen