Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blustery Frigid day..stiff birds, brave birders

This bone-chiller blustery day could be summed up by a bird that epitomized the BIG CHILL: a GREAT BLUE HERON.

When Mary and I went to Greenwood Cemetery after a brave trip to Red Hook Ikea area , with waves crashing upon the piers, when we came back to GWCemetery, we walked by a frozen stiff Great Blue Heron at Dellwater. As we walked by it, it was just a mere ten feet away , standing under a Hawthorne tree, not wanting to fly when in warmer spells it would certainly flush and fly away. I just happened to spot it  out of the corner of my eye and whispered to Mary and pointed that way ( my left ).The poor thing was so cold....

That heron epitomized the type of day it was. Strong winds impacted all bird life except for the few pockets that offered shelter , like the Dell water and Crescent water, protected by high slopes and ridges. AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES dominated this area, numerous times we seeing them on the branches that touched the water, with likely air dry ness  forcing them to the water to drink. They  kept going  from spot to spot. Mary spotted a female PURPLE FINCH among the AMGO at Dellwater branches . Another very interesting moment we never saw before, a flock of about 12 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS landing on floating leaves mass in Crescent water and bathing !  It was fascinating to watch them do this a few times.

At Dellwater, a RED-TAILED HAWK seemed to like us.A juvenile followed us all around; at one point while we stay by a crypt door out of the wind, the hawk flew towards us from the water  other side and landed on a limb above us. After 5 minutes it took off, towards us ! Then a sweeping maneuver, its showed its belly and headed for the Crescent water. Cold days brings some  great moments.

Down at Ikea Red Hook, all we could find was Mallards , Black Duck and GADWALLS and a pair of AMERICAN WIGEON. As expected ,the ducks were on the protective side of the pier /bulkhead but very interesting to see here at Ikea was that they were all sitting on large floating plastic booms. They stay out of the water with it being so rough ( as we observed whitecaps on the NY Harbor). Nothing else would be that nutty in open water.

I received only one report from Prospect, Keir's with reports of RUSTY BLACKBIRDs and BLUE-HEADED VIREO as some quality birds.

After this day, good to get out of the wind !

Keir's list

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 24, 2013 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
25 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 30
Mute Swan 3
Mallard 25
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1
Northern Shoveler 20
Ruddy Duck 45
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 4
Ring-billed Gull 5
Herring Gull 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1 Presumably a continuing bird. Foraging low at the SW end of Terrace Bridge (opposite the Maryland Monument).
<a href="" title="Blue-headed Vireo, Prospect Park 11.24.13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="Blue-headed Vireo, Prospect Park 11.24.13" /></a>
Blue Jay 3
Tufted Titmouse 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 4
European Starling 1
Song Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 15
Northern Cardinal 5
Rusty Blackbird
2 Together in a tree at the edge of the Nethermead near Binnen Pool.
<a href="" title="Rusty Blackbird, Prospect Park 11.24.13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="Rusty Blackbird, Prospect Park 11.24.13" /></a>
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 7
House Sparrow 15

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Peter and Mary's list

date = 2013/11/25
site = GWC

Great Blue Heron FROZEN STIFF!
Canada Goose 
Ruddy Duck
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Blue Jay 
Northern Mockingbird 
White-throated Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
Dark-eyed Junco 
Northern Cardinal 
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Purple Finch female
American Goldfinch 25
House Sparrow 

date = 2013/11/25
site = Red Hook Ikea
observers = Peter , Mary
American Black Duck 
Canada Goose 
American Wigeon Ikea
Great Black-backed Gull 
Ring-billed Gull 
Herring Gull