Sunday, September 15, 2013

Best fall day plus one, diminshing returns

The day after the fall migration 2013 best day saw diminished numbers, perhaps from best observation only 40% of yesterday's numbers. Most of the diversity evaporated but a few good species to note.

Today's Numbers were dominated by COMMON YELLOWTHROATs (CYT) and RED-EYED VIREOs (REVI) , from low to high, both these species took much attention away from other birds I thought might be different. A twitch of the weed and its a CYT; a twitch of the leaf and its a REVI. No complaint but better than nothing ,those awful slow days we are not accustomed to. And a note on ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS: besides one immature at Lamppost 249, 5 were spotted in the northwest Pin Oak of Butterfly Meadow, which Klemens G and I observed.

The good stuff were seen by a few birders. PHILADELPHIA VIREO ( PHVI) for example , seen twice. My sighting almost flew smack into me on the carriage road of Lookout Hill, just under the large Mulberry tree up the road from the Maryland monument stairs. It flew from across the road, towards me, and suddenly perched on a tall flower or rubus bush, stopped , stared me down , then flew right by me to the mulberry tree. Close encounters of the Vireo kind.... The second PHVI was reported by Keir, low in a fruiting tree at the Carousel, by the zoo.

Then a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, rarer than its counterpart, was reported by Bobbi Manian, on the middle slope path of southern Lookout Hill, just above the Wellhouse. A nice species to see, if close enough, the red ring iris a very cool field mark to note.

Yesterday, in a late email today, Kathy Toomey said a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was behind the Well Drive green shipping containers, apparently the same bird perhaps hanging around on that slope from earlier in the week..Keep watch for this reclusive species. It might pop out anytime.

Of today's observation, just a few pockets of good activity  to report. From my birding, Lamppost 249 ,  Butterfly Meadow northwest side, the north Midwood by the bench, along Center Drive offered the better spots. But everything is chaotic or chancy; we  just cannot ask the birds where they want to hang out.

One last thing , as no one seems to be checking the lake with all the songbirds getting our attention. Before I left the park before 11 am ( too tired from yesterday), 7 NORTHERN SHOVELERS were seen , under the swirling flights of mostly if not all juvenile TREE SWALLOWS and older BARN SWALLOWS.  Good day after to enjoy some continuous birding.

Oh, forgot one more thing  ( like that famous TV detective Columbo says). I saw people gathering under a tree just west of the west shore Lake rustic shelter . As I got closer, I saw what their gaze focused on : a RED TAILED HAWK has a struggling and still alive pigeon, on a limb; the scene might be gruesome to some folks, but a whimsical scene unfolded as a daring  "nutty" squirrel was playing games with the hawk, moving all around the limb , even under the hawk with its pigeon clutch ( by now I think dead), egging on the big raptor. Hey squirrel, it's not nice to do that lest you might be the next meal !

date = 2013/09/16
site = Prospect Park
observers = Peter 

Great Egret 
Northern Shoveler 7
Canada Goose 33
Mute Swan 3
Red-tailed Hawk with pigeon clutch prey
Rock Pigeon 
Mourning Dove 
Chimney Swift 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2' one at Tunnel Arch , feeding Jewelweeds, 1 behind Welhouse
Downy Woodpecker 
Red-bellied Woodpecker heard north Midwood
Northern Flicker 2-north Midwood; Lookout Hill
Willow Flycatcher Traills subspecies
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Philadelphia Vireo Lookout Hill cariage road, 
Blue Jay 6
Tree Swallow Lake ~12
Barn Swallow Lake ~ 8
Black-capped Chickadee 
House Wren 2; LP 249, Lookout
American Robin 
Swainson's Thrush 2
Veery 1
Gray Catbird 
European Starling 
American Redstart 7
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Blackpoll Warbler north Midwood
Ovenbird 2
Canada Warbler Lp 249
Black-throated Green Warbler 2 LP 249
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 13
Chestnut-sided Warbler 3
Northern Parula 2
Magnolia Warbler 5
Scarlet Tanager 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 at LP 249; 5 Butterfly Meadow
Northern Cardinal 
American Goldfinch ~ 14 Butterfly Mead
House Sparrow 

note only 12 species warblers... ( from mini fallout to fall OFF)