Thursday, December 31, 2015

Community gardens saved

Yes, they are small, but do provide refuges for birds and migrants

First Sunday Bird Walk - January 3, at 10 AM

 From Michele Dreger:

Happy New Year to all! 

The First Sunday Bird Walk is this weekend.  We will meet at the Boathouse in Prospect Park at 10am.  Of course we will look for the Painted Bunting but dress warm because we will be close to the lake looking out on the water. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Just a reminder, the February walk is also scheduled for 10am.  We will resume the 8am walks on the first Sunday in March.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year 2016.

Michele, Eni, Vinnie, and Neal

Interesting early am Raptor; EUWI returns

This morning at 6:50 am as I was about to enter Prospect Park from the 16th Street /Windsor Place access, a quite large raptor, with a longish tail and a sizable wingspan flew over  me not more than 50 feet.Dark for me due to the early light , it flew down Prospect Park Southwest Ave for a good fast 200 feet before veering left back into the park.

Because it was sudden and unexpected, I could only gather one or two clues besides the large shape,the wings appearing tapered. It could be a large accipiter, sometimes as they fly past, look falcon like regarding the wings as the raptor manipulates its flight.( I doubt the other species I had in mind, but not saying so here due to its high unlikelihood) . I went down the park road perhaps thinking it perched. No luck as I needed to get to work by 7 am.I can only speculate perhaps it was a Goshawk.Hopefully the bird sticks around for clarification and maybe photos...

Running into a friend whom I won't mention, the source said a non birding friend saw such a large raptor a day or so ago in the park... Yes, it could be the Red tailed hawk, but for me , it certainly was not so this morning.So..a heads up , be watchful.

Meanwhile at Bush Terminal park, there is certainty as an old friend from winter 2014-15 returns, EURASIAN WIGEON (EUWI) . Reported by Bobbi Manian, maybe the rare duck will "winter-rise" for awhile . :). SURF SCOTER is also being reported there as well, though most times its not within the coves.Both species nevetheless very good finds here.

The Prospect BLACK-HEADED GULL continues today , according to the Ebird Trax report.
Subject: Brooklyn bunting & gull
From: Rob Jett <>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:17:06 -0500
X-Message-Number: 3

Both the Painted Bunting and Black-headed Gull were present in Prospect Park this afternoon. The bunting was found napping on a branch at the base of a dense patch of wildflowers. It eventually became active, feeding mostly in the leaf litter at that section on the north side of the rink.

The gull was primarily on the water at the west side of the lake. At one point it took off towards the southeast shore where someone was feeding the swans, geese and gulls bread...hopefully a healthy multigrain choice.

Good birding,


@BobbiInBrooklyn: EURASIAN WIGEON back at Bush Term!!!

Large accipter caught me by suprise at 16th /windsor Pl park entr.maybe goshawk.flew to Lookout hill.650 am..dark morn.heads up!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Iceland Gull records in Prospect

A search revealed that Iceland Gull in Prospect has been more frequent than expected in the last few years. From 2013 onward, 3 records have surfaced before the Dec 26th bird found by Klemens Gasser

Before the Dec 26 ( ironic Same date) 2013 record, it was 12 years before the one in 2001 bird.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

today's Snow Goose

From Rob Bate

Also note 588 Canada Geese counted today, amassed movement observed.

Canada Goose with neck band; rarities update

Reported by me today of a goose on the lawn by Duck Island


Bird Banding Laboratory

Dear Peter Dorosh,
Thank you for submitting the encounter information for a bird with a marker!
A confirmation email has been sent to you.
The BBL internal marker reference ID for this report is: 67637.
Please allow at least 2-4 weeks for us to locate the original marking information for your report. If we are successful, you will receive a Certificate of Appreciation in your email if it was requested. If we have questions, we will contact you. To contact us, please email and include the internal marker reference ID in your email.

The SNOW GOOSE was seen midafternoon flying in with the Canadas unto Prospect Lake. ( RBate)

Rob also reported the continuing BLACK-HEADED GULL, same spot as usual , water off west shoreline Prospect Lake.


Update on the banded Canada Goose

Karen O'Hearn had already reported on the goose I spotted yesterday. Heres the certificate below, a bird from Quebec

Tuesday AM; Its Snow

The single SNOW GOOSE stayed over, playing "shortstop " at Field 3, at the west end of Prospect Park's Long Meadow. It was vastly overwhelmed by at least 230 CANADA GEESE sharing the field along with larger number of gulls, Ringbills.

Meanwhile, it looks the Redhead was a day wonder ( I wonder where it wander?).No sign of it  per my quick scan , and later Karen Ohearn's. However , within the Peninsula, I spotted a distant 6 hen ( or immature male possibly) HOODED MERGANSERS. So on the fourth day... yes I know not rare and the number is off....

PAINTED BUNTING  continues to defy logic, seen again at the rink....please someone buy it a plane ticket for south climes before it snows up here....

Snow Goose stayed,Prospect Ballfield #3 playing shortstop.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Fwd: redhead & gadwall

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G 
-------- Original message --------
Date:12/28/2015 10:25 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: redhead & gadwall

hi Peter,

here's a pretty lousy pix of redhead.  he favored the middle of the lake.

Redhead records

According to Cornell Ebird , the last Prospect Lake or Park sighting for Redhead occurred November 27th in 2007 ,6 birds. Spotted by S Whittle. A long time ,8 years ago.

Here's the records

A Colorful Vagrant Lands in Brooklyn - WSJ

the twelve days of christmas ?

I am tempted to rephrase the words of the song the Twelve days of Christmas. That is , substitute the subjects of the lyrics with good birds seen in Prospect Park the last few days; of course the numbers wouldn't be there, but one species will do.

On the first day of Christmas ,my true love said to me, an Iceland Gull in ap -pear -ing

On the second day of Christmas, my true love said to me, 22 Snow Geese

On the third day of Christmas ,my true love said to me, 3 views of  REDHEAD!

What's tomorrow gonna be???

Yep, Prospect continues to gift the birders as a rare REDHEAD DUCK showed up this afternoon  on Prospect Lake.I got Karen O'hearns tweet as I was driving home from the holiday weekend, on Ft Hamilton Parkway. As soon as I got home,I rushed to see the Redhead,my favorite duck.

The Redhead was in the north side close to the Peninsula meadow shoreline,hanging out with a single GADWALL and multiple NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Nearby at the east shore of Three Sisters Islands,the long continuing pair of Drake RINGNECKED DUCKS dove constantly. A very good duck collection on Prospect Lake this afternoon for me,I'm happy to receive some terrific bird gifts.

Also, you can't beat seeing the BLACKHEADED GULL in its usual western Prospect Lake spot,thanks to Kathy Toomey spotting it. And a big thanks to Karen O for the Redhead alert.

Also of note, Dan Frazer spotted a lone SNOW GOOSE on the ballfields,now closed off, at the west end of Long Meadow. And yes of course the PAINTED BUNTING persists at the rink green roof,according to Kathy T..

And on the fourth day of Christmas.............

Redhead n bhgull

Redhead duck drake with Gadwall north shore prospect lake 100 feet from Peninsula mead shoreline;Blackheaded gull in west paet Lake,200 feet offshore;pair RINGNECKED DUCKS diving at east 3 Sisters islands

Redhead duck

Lone Redhead prospect p lake per karen

Snow goose prospect ballfields

Dan Frazier tweeted :@robsbirder: Snow goose on prospect ball fields re: Daniel Frasier

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fwd: snow geese flyover

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Wireless Phone

-------- Original message --------
Date:12/27/2015 8:10 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: snow geese flyover

hey Peter,

spent a few hours watching the lake today.  black-headed gull was showing, but best was a flyover of 22 snow geese.

Snapshots of Nature: Christmas Bird Count 2015

Pabu continues

Subject: Pabu Brooklyn
Date: Sat Dec 26 2015 8:35 am
From: deepseagangster AT

The Brooklyn pabu is showing well north slope of lefrak rink in prospect park if you are planning a Boxing Day twitch. No birders except my father and me.

Iceland gull facebook post

A Facebook post by Klemens Gasser on Dec 26th reports an ICELAND GULL on Prospect Lake.The rarities continue well for Prospect.

According to the post,the Iceland seen Dec 26th around 9:14 am,later clarified by Shane Blodgett as a Kumliens adult, was with or seen the same time as the BLACKHEADED GULL.

Photos would nice to post here.

Check your gull flocks ( & kudos to Klemens)

Ravens prospect

@robsbirder: 2 Ravens in the ravine

Saturday, December 26, 2015

@KarenOhearn: 3 red breasted mergansers pp lake

The City Birder: Brooklyn Christmas Bird Count Overview

Bhgu dec 26

Subject: Prospect Park - black headed gull - yes
Date: Sat Dec 26 2015 9:04 am
From: chyxgrl AT

Observed at 10am with Mike Z west side of lake.
Sent from my iPhone

Pabu continues

Subject: Pabu Brooklyn
Date: Sat Dec 26 2015 8:35 am
From: deepseagangster AT

The Brooklyn pabu is showing well north slope of lefrak rink in prospect park if you are planning a Boxing Day twitch. No birders except my father and me.

Friday, December 25, 2015

@robsbirder: PAINTED BUNTING is here for Christmas. North slope by wall

Christmas greetings

    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 

The Kingsboider extends warm Christmas wishes and the best of festive holidays
May your days be bright,merry and birdy.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xmas day full moon,first since 1977, next in 2038

Thursday, December 24

• Full Moon tonight (exact at 6:11 a.m. Christmas morning EST). The full Moon nearest the winter solstice rides higher across the night sky than any other full Moon of the year. It's highest of all around midnight, "giving luster of midday to objects below." (Moreover, tonight's full Moon is closer to perigee than average.) The Moon will be shining north of Orion's main pattern, near the top of Orion's dim club.
Friday, December 25
• Merry Sol Invictus! In late Roman times this date was celebrated as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun — when the Sun began to recover from its long decline with the hopeful promise, in the cold and the dark, of a new spring and summer to come.
• This evening the Christmas Moon, just a day past full, hangs in the east in Gemini. Look for Castor and Pollux, the heads of the Twins, to its left. Very high above Castor and Pollux shines the constellation Auriga, with bright Capella.

Home for the holidays PABU decides tto stay

Rob Bate tweets a mid afternoon  report that the PAINTED BUNTING still resides at the rink. I guess the bird doesn't want to go, deciding to stay " home" for the holiday. Ho hum....

This morning the BLACKHEADED GULL was seen offshore West shore Prospect Lake,as usual. An early bird, seen at 8:55.

There's also a report of the continuing ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER.

If anybody is birding Christmas day, well,let me say if all three rarities are seen, goodies from the Xmas stocking.

Subject: PPPABU (Prospect Park Painted Bunting)
Date: Thu Dec 24 2015 15:26 pm
From: robsbate AT
Believe it or not you can go looking for the Prospect Park Painted Bunting
and not come across one birder! Still people are looking for our superstar
visitor and they can no longer rely on the usual field mark "just look for
the cameras and birders." I have created a google map to help as a guide
to his latest locations.----
His most reliable location for the last week and one half is a small patch
of wildflower and poke weed growth in a narrow patch between the horse
trail and the most north-easterly paved path coming down off the roof area,
a roped off area that includes a small path between these two main paths.

PABU has also ventured across the paved path from this area and has been
feeding on Poke berries next to the stone wall running due north. He
doesn't move much so look carefully!

Rob Bate
- See more at:

update Painted Bunting

From the NYS Birds listserve

( Hopefully the warm spell has nudged it southward..we positively hope it has now corrected itself migrated southward when its good conditions for flying... ). I've seen enough did its job as a great ambassador for birding and conservation efforts.

Subject: Re: Prospect Park Painted Bunting - just flew west towards ice rink.
From: matt klein <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:09 -0500
X-Message-Number: 3

Bird was present just north of its usual area from 11 till just before noon when it flew west. As of now bird has yet to have been refound. 


KingsBoider noon update : I ran into an acquaintance who mentioned she didn't see the Bunting all morning..Maybe it sounds like it REALLY flew the coop?  We'll see....

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Snapshots of Nature: Christmas Bird Count 2015

Nice writeup by Jen about the xmas  count in prospect park

Adieu Keir Randall

The Kingsboider says farewell to Keir, great birder, fun guy and terrific person as he and his family moves to Texas. A great asset to the Brooklyn birding community.

So long Keir,a great pleasure knowing you. Below is his message he tweeted

@railbabbler: Brooklyn Birding farewell...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


From twitter and Facebook posts, the PAINTED BUNTING and BLACKHEADED GULL continue their usual display. So what else is new?

For any one not ( hard to believe unless visiting from another planet) aware where, the PAINTED BUNTING is mostly at the north end of the Lefrak Rink green roof; the Black headed Gull lingering within the west section or shore of Prospect Lake,though I gathered isn't present all the time.Be patient.

Warm days ahead, so holiday treats in store with these great Prospect Park rarities.

Lesser Canada Geese Prospect

A good number of LESSER CANADA GEESE descended upon the closed off Prospect Ballfields at the west end of Long Meadow.Small bodied birds with intermediate sized bills makes it difficult for a birder to distinguish any Cacklings , which despite my hard worn studying didn't produce any to my satisfaction. The Cacklings would have to have stubby short bills. Several Lessers did approach the cackling size with darkish breast that had me hoping but I didn't bite with a misidentification.

During my lunch hour, most of the flock fed and rested between Field 4 to 7 on the south side of the Ball fields. I was able to see well enough with my bins, but a scope helps for close look at the bills.There is a mix of the usual Canada larger forms as well. But its possible I might have missed one in the rain... ( & bins are hard )

here's a primer

Left is Cacklings, right is usual Canada per Sibleys

photo source :

@robsbirder: PABU continues north slope Lefrak