Sunday, November 3, 2013

The good wind brings forth good things

Greenwood Cemetery and Prospect Park were lucky beneficiaries of quality birds today's cold brisk good wind brought forth . Overcast  skies didn't discourage the birders in both the prime green spaces that generated rare birds that makes the day tolerable and satisfying.

First in Greenwood Cemetery where I birded with Mary Eyster and Sandy Paci, all three of us intent on heading for the "unofficial" hawk watch site at the Kiamie Crypt, located just east of the Civil War monument.But before that spot takeover, while we were admiring the RED-TAILED HAWK juvenile perched in an oak near 5th Ave cemetery boundary, a big raptor to our right (over Landscape Ave) caught my attention , coming from the Castle arch direction, stuck around while flying through the area particularly over the crematorium at one time, giving us enough time to study the large accipiter "gesalt" features. After seeing it swing by very near us at the Red Tailed Hawk oak  (after the Red tailed left it and went after it ), I declared it a NORTHERN GOSHAWK , with it grayish front a key mark supporting the wing shape and Gos accipitae characteristics especially with that long tail.

The "oak" spot was very active with sparrows, the open area south of the Crematorium and Columbarium niche crypts, with Magnolia Ave a heighten area of 7 species sparrows we spotted. WHITE-CROWNED led the parade of the usual SWAMP, SAVANNAH, SONG , JUNCOS, WHITE-THROATEDS and CHIPPING. The hedges along this road harbored many birds.

At the Kiamie Crypt hawk watch, a terrific show. Besides 2 high up RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS & 4 TURKEY VULTURES had the much lower company of a perched AMERICAN KESTREL  being harassed by a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK,and two RED TAILED HAWKS . But it was a crouched  low ground hugging  AMERICAN WOODCOCK under a yew tree 100 feet from the Kiamie that I was astounded that Sandy was able to spot. She was taking pictures of birds, namely sparrows that she saw a big beady eye as a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW looked on and realized it was a well camouflaged , secretive WOODCOCK !  Sandy took terrific photos that I will post Wednesday when she downloads the pics at her job.

Sylvan Waters was also very active with overflying SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, a COOPERS HAWK, an OSPREY but most noted with a very good number of GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLETS among the grounded pine needles near the magical elm tree on the north side of the Lake. A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in a pine and PALM WARBLERS on the ground were spotted at this magic elm tree site. WOOD DUCK in the lake offered a good sighting.Will Pollard reported PINE WARBLER and FIELD SPARROW in the area as well.

Meanwhile over at Prospect Park, the "big bird" is a juvenile RED-HEADED WOODPECKER , spotted by Linda, reported byKeir , the bird in the oaks along the south side of the Picnic House. Several birders saw this bird and at last report, it was seen storing acorns in an oak at the south edge of the Picnic House parking lot. Hopefully it will stick around.

Also reported in the park, a VESPER SPARROW on the south Nethermead snow fence and RUSTY BLACKBIRD at the Upper Pool back shore , both species reported by Rob Jett.

Its always great to get these cold north winds, especially after a warm slow day like yesterday. The direction of a wind changes the whole picture and creates real excitement.

Addendum :  Late reports received also reported 10 species Prospect Park sparrows and flyover COMMON LOON , LESSER SCAUP ,AMERICAN WOODCOCK and MARSH WREN.  A truly terrific day in the park

date = 2013/11/03
site = Greenwood Cemetery
observers = Peter D, Mary E, Sandy P

Great Blue Heron 
Turkey Vulture 4 over Battle Monument Kiamie Crypt
Canada Goose Flyover flocks, Sylvan Waters
Wood Duck Sylvan Waters
Ruddy Duck 
Cooper's Hawk 
Red-shouldered Hawk 2 over Battle Monument Kiamie Crypt
Red-tailed Hawk over Battle Monument Kiamie Crypt, one juv chased Goshawk
Northern Goshawk Circling soar, flyby, then flythru woods south of Columbarium /Crematorium, young adult
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
American Kestrel Kiamie Crpyt
American Woodcock Kiamie Crypt yew
Herring Gull 
Rock Pigeon 
Mourning Dove 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker 
Eastern Phoebe 4
Blue-headed Vireo 
Blue Jay 
Brown Creeper 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 20 Sylvan Waters elm tree /ground north side
American Robin 
Swainson's Thrush 
Hermit Thrush 
Northern Mockingbird 
European Starling 
Yellow-rumped Warbler 
Swamp Sparrow 
Chipping Sparrow 
White-throated Sparrow 
Savannah Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco abundant
Red-winged Blackbird 
Brown-headed Cowbird 
House Sparrow 
Palm Warblers

From Joshua:

Didn't get the Red-headed but overall a beautiful day. 10 sps of sparrows including Fox and Vesper, plus the Marsh Wren.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joshua Malbin
Date: Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM
Subject: BirdsEye-Prospect Park-2013-11-3
Observer: Joshua Malbin
2013-11-03 09:49
Prospect Park
Protocol: Traveling
2 Miles
315 Minutes
Observers: 1
All birds reported? Yes
    45    Canada Goose     
    X    Mute Swan     
    4    Wood Duck     
    8    Gadwall     
    X    Mallard     
    60    Northern Shoveler     
    2    Lesser Scaup     
    2    Bufflehead     
    9    Hooded Merganser     
    50    Ruddy Duck     
    5    Pied-billed Grebe     
    1    Double-crested Cormorant     
    2    Great Blue Heron     
    1    Cooper's Hawk     
    3    Red-tailed Hawk     
    17    American Coot     
    1    American Woodcock    Sparrow bowl, flushed and flew into the woods between Picnic House and the road.
    4    Ring-billed Gull     
    X    Rock Pigeon     
    9    Mourning Dove     
    1    Red-bellied Woodpecker     
    1    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     
    2    Downy Woodpecker     
    1    Hairy Woodpecker     
    1    Northern Flicker     
    3    Eastern Phoebe     
    2    Blue-headed Vireo     
    X    Blue Jay     
    1    Black-capped Chickadee     
    1    White-breasted Nuthatch     
    1    Brown Creeper    Breeze hill. 
    2    Winter Wren     
    1    Marsh Wren    Sora reeds.  (Peninsula lakeshore , first phragmites)
    1    Carolina Wren     
    7    Golden-crowned Kinglet     
    8    Ruby-crowned Kinglet     
    X    Hermit Thrush. Probably the most common bird in the park.   
    16    American Robin     
    3    Gray Catbird     
    1    Common Yellowthroat    Breeze hill. 
    1    Yellow-rumped Warbler     
    1    Eastern Towhee      Peninsula.
    10    Chipping Sparrow     
    1    Field Sparrow      Tennis House.
    1    Vesper Sparrow    Nethermead, near fenced off area. Found by Rob. 
    2    Savannah Sparrow     By music pagoda.
    1    Fox Sparrow    Peninsula. 
    20    Song Sparrow     
    4    Swamp Sparrow     
    X    White-throated Sparrow     
    55    Dark-eyed Junco     
    X    Northern Cardinal     
    55    Common Grackle     
    X    House Sparrow       

From Keir:

Red-headed Woodpecker, Prospect Park 11.3.13
Note "black circle"

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Nov 3, 2013 8:00 AM - 12:15 PM Protocol: Traveling 2.5 mile(s) 39 species Canada Goose 18 
Mute Swan 6
Gadwall 2 Upper Pool 
American Black Duck 1 
Mallard 22 
Northern Shoveler 32
Lesser Scaup With Ruddy Ducks off of L249 
Bufflehead 2 
Hooded MerganserTogether on lake Ruddy Duck 45 
Common Loon 1 Flyover, Long Meadow 
Pied-billed Grebe 4 
Double-crested Cormorant 2 
Cooper's Hawk 2 
Red-tailed Hawk 2 
Ring-billed Gull 12 Herring Gull 8 
Red-headed Woodpecker 1 In the oaks between the Picnic House and the picnic tables on Long Meadow. First spotted (by Linda L!) working low on the trunk and then seen collecting acorns from the ground. Immature - light brown head, big white patch on secondaries. <a href="" title="Red-headed Woodpecker, Prospect Park 11.3.13 by keir randall, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="Red-headed Woodpecker, Prospect Park 11.3.13" /></a> 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 
Downy Woodpecker 2 
Eastern Phoebe 3 Long Meadow, Breeze Hill, Vale
Blue Jay 2 
Winter Wren 2 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7
Hermit Thrush 21 
American Robin 17 
Gray Catbird 1 
Common Yellowthroat 1 
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2 Field Sparrow 1 L249 
Song Sparrow 13 
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 24 
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 21 
Northern Cardinal 8
Common Grackle 71 
American Goldfinch 2 
House Sparrow 26 
View this checklist online at http://ebir