Thursday, March 10, 2016

Return of the Woodcock

We are entering the period of the early migrants, as signs of  species coming around this time .One example is the American Woodcock among others.

This morning , PPA coworker David Chadwick informed me that he flushed a " roundish" bird along the path edge by Arleen's Pines and thought woodcock. It went downhill below Butterfly Meadow. I went looking for it without luck.But I returned at lunchtime after a quick look inside quiet Quaker Cemetery. After fixing a fence surrounding the Pines, I took a quick walk into the woods edge across from the northeast corner of the pine grove and the AMERICAN WOODCOCK flew off , just ten feet from the road.It flew rightward  unto the slope near its original spot. Not wanting to flush it again , I went around to the path below but couldn't find the well camouflaged bird; at least I thought so. Heading back towards my parked Toro work vehicle , the woodcock was actually at the road edge near my Toro and flushed  into Arleens Pine Grove.A distance away I watched the still bird under one of the pines, but it saw me watching and took off again, into the Butterfly Meadow landing about 50 feet south of the solitary pine inside.It was now hard to find among the old flower stalks and grasses.

Prospect Park wasn't the only place with a woodcock sighting. A tweet from Rob Bate reported one at Greenwood Cemetery Sylvan Waters hillside.Its more likely finding this species there where its quiet than Prospect where its more human impacted.Its been awhile I heard of woodcock seen in Prospect.

Also a good luck bird in my earlier visit to Butterfly Meadow,three soaring BLACK VULTURES over Butterfly Meadow. A good amount of time up there, they headed northwestward.

Inside Quaker Cemetery, several other  birds of interest to report. DARK EYED JUNCOS, single numbers of FOX SPARROW and RUBY CROWNED KINGLET all appeared during my very productive lunch hour.