Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blustery BBC GWC & Prospect Park Nov 2, 2014

This blustery day with gusts exceeding 35 miles presented some real challenges  for the BBC club hawkwatch at Greenwood Cemetery. But without the northwest wind , we could not have seen some quality birds and decent hawk watching that combined with Prospect gave the group 10 species raptors.

Hawkwatching from the Hill of Graves, our hawk count was 19 birds from the time slot 8 am to 10:30 am. Among the usual birds, the best was a juvenile BALD EAGLE heading in the direction of the marathon on 4th Ave. Another spectator ? ( by the way , Rob Jett reported two COMMON RAVENS over 4th Ave and 6th street so yes spectators at the marathon.WE had our own RAVEN spotting along Ocean Ave ridge in the cemetery.). Resident RED-TAILED HAWKs were at one point attacked by a MERLIN, of 3 we saw, along with 1 COOPERS HAWK and 5 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS. As we exited the site , at the humongous statue "Common Virtue", a PEREGRINE FALCON buzzed by us.

With hordes of DARK EYED JUNCOS and WHITE THROATED SPARROWS near the east cemetery entrance, we inadvertently flushed an AMERICAN WOODCOCK  by Jasmine and Border Avenues ( also a note from Janet Schumacher, one Woodcock in the Brooklyn Botanic garden's native Flora section today).

 The rest of the raptor show was fulfilled at Prospect park. There , two very good birds: an adult  gorgeous RED-SHOULDERED HAWK over the ballfields , at field one, heading southeast, and a rarity for the gender I recalled almost never, male NORTHERN HARRIER "gray ghost" over the Nethermead /Lookout Hill line, spotted by Monica Berger after we watched 5 TURKEY VULTURES. AMERICAN KESTREL filled the falcon genera, just prior the Red-shouldered.

Stepping away from raptors, a brief look at ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in a pokeweed stand at Maryland Monument  kept the rarity  momentum going for my group.

From south Lullwater to the lake, a report of 9 species ducks. Birders in two different groups, including mine spotted over 90 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 6 WOOD DUCKS, GADWALL drake ( south lullwater), 7 BUFFLEHEADS ( lake) and a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS ( lake ) along with the budding RUDDY DUCK population.

Also very interesting to see given its lateness, withing the cattail/phragmite patch by the Breeze Hill shoreline pink beach, a skulking GREEN HERON . A PIED BILLED GREBE peeked at

FOX SPARROW, FIELD SPARROW, SWAMP SPARROWS were all present accompanying the numerous juncos ,SONGS ( at Peninsula sumacs) and WHITE THROATED SPARROWS in the fields as reported by both BBC walk groups

Cold blustery forces do yield good birds if one is brave enough to get outside and face those gusty winds.

Prospect List

---------Green-Wood Cemetery, Kings, US-NY
Nov 2, 2014 8:00 AM - 10:35 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Hawkwatching Hill of Graves
31 species

Canada Goose  12     f/o
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Sharp-shinned Hawk  5     
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  4     3 resident
American Woodcock  1
Herring Gull  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X
Mourning Dove  X
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  X
Merlin  3     
Peregrine Falcon  1
Blue Jay  X
American Crow  X
Common Raven  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  X
Hermit Thrush  X
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  X
Chipping Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco  200  +   large flock
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Common Grackle  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Purple Finch  1
House Sparrow  X

View this checklist online at