Sunday, January 31, 2016

slow times, but things are around

As we enter a period known for slow birding, a few things are around.Today, Prospect Park was the beneficiary of two of three good birds, sandwiching a rarity at Bush Terminal Park.

 Prospect had first call.Bobbi Manian and Dennis Hrehowsik spotted a Drake COMMON MERGANSER on Prospect Lake. It stayed though only briefly.There's bound to be more likely in the coming month. The end of the day bird is the BLACKHEADED GULL found by Klemens Gasser; it appeared also late afternoon yesterday , both sightings at the usual western shoreline of Prospect Lake. Based on latest reports, it appears the gull now comes in late afternoons.

Sandwiched by the two Prospect rarities, a group found GLAUCOUS GULL, a first or second cycle bird at Bush Terminal park south cove, the big gull on the rickety pier. It fled but later refound at the Army terminal pier 4 at 58 th street and 1 st ave ; the lucky obersvers were Karen OHearn, Chris Laskowski and Nina Bai . They also observed hen COMMON GOLDENEYE  and several BONAPARTE'S GULLS sitting on the placid water at Bush Terminal Park.

Glaucous Gull report

Jen Kepler posted a report and pics on  her blog of the army terminal pier 4 bird.

Black headed gull prospect lake west shore by gazebo,but moving along shore

Glgu at pier 4 ,58th st

@KarenOhearn: Glaucous gull now at pier 4 army terminal. Assuming it's the same one from bush. In water Southside of pier

Gllaucous bush term pk

@KarenOhearn: Glaucous Gull has returned to bush . Terminal park. Next to rickety pier at middle cove


@BobbiInBrooklyn: Common merganser drake prospect lake

Winter wren

Uncommon winter  wren Prospect Ravine path 200 feet south of Esdale Br

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Subject: "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Date: Jan 29 2016 18:42 pm
From: sean AT

To follow up on Doug Gochfeld's earlier post, the adult "Kumlien's" Iceland
Gull (ICGU) was present this evening at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The bird was initially spotted today by Karen Ohearn. It is important when
scanning the pilings to occasionally change vantage points as the gull was
hidden from view initially.
The large gulls were coming in to roost at 4:15 and the ICGU was seen soon
after. This seems to be the daily routine, although yesterday the large
gulls began to come to roost much later and majority of birds actually came
in after 5pm as light was fading and viewing conditions were less than
optimal. The ICGU was not seen yesterday despite multiple observers
looking. For comparison, today there were over 300 Herring Gulls on the
pilings by 4:30 and yesterday at 4:30 there were approximately 75.

A few images are imbedded in the following checklist.

Good birding,

Sean Sime
Brooklyn, NY

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Wireless Phone

Friday, January 29, 2016

Photo Glaucous gull

 Karen O'Hearn at Army Terminal Pier 4 in her note below to Facebook Brooklyn Urban Birders:

Josh Malbin found this Glaucous Gull at 58th street pier today.  And what do you know - it happened to be hanging with my old friend C47, who I saw last year on Feb. 20th in this exact spot.   I'm almost as excited about that as I am about the Glaucous.  Herring Gull C47 is 11+ year's old!

photo by Karen

Update: Im passing along a note from Joshua Malbin regarding the Herring Gull band C47, one next to the Glaucous Gull

Joshua Malbin Passing along a comment about C47 from the North American Gulls group, from Julie Ellis, who banded it on Appledore Island in Maine: "This one has been seen many times both on and off the island. After being banded as a chick in 2005, it was first observed again on Appledore in summer 2008 roosting on a building. Every year from 2009-2013, it was seen on Appledore and in coastal NH. In Jan 2014, it was seen near a sewage treatment facility in NY and in Feb/March 2015, was seen in Brooklyn then near Inwood. So, it seems to visit NY in winter!"

ArmyTerminal Pier 4 Glaucous Gull

Karen O'hearn reports the GLAUCOUS GULL at Army Terminal Pier 4 in Sunset Park nabe
; relevant is this post from Joshua Malbin to NYS Birds listserve..Nearest train is R line to 59th St, walk west several blocks. Look for Sea ( something ) ferry sign.Entrance is to the right and before the Army Terminal complex checkpoint.

Bird was first found by Joshua 
Subject: Glaucous Gull in Brooklyn
Date: Fri Jan 29 2016 11:19 am
From: joshuamalbin AT
Earlier there was a first- or second-year Glaucous Gull at Brooklyn Army

Terminal Pier 4. It was there around 10:30 and hung around for 45 minutes.

We lost track of it then, but I think it is likely to still be in the

general area.

a good start to the morning

A great day's start when you see a COOPER'S HAWK fly down Prospect Park Southwest Avenue.At about 6:50 am,as I crossed over to the park for the Windsor Ave/16th St entrance, the COOPERS appeared out of the park at that area, and the accipiter cruised quickly down the street a mere 50 feet above. It continued all the way to Vanderbilt Street where I presumed it flew over the tenements. What birder couldnt ask for more than that experience?


from Kathy Toomey

From: Date: January 28, 2016 at 9:17:59 PM EST To: Kathleentoomey Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Jan 28, 2016

Prospect Park, Kings, New York, US Jan 28, 2016 2:50 PM - 4:40 PM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 26 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 3 Mute Swan 5 American Wigeon 1 American Black Duck 4 Mallard 96 American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 Northern Shoveler 41 Ruddy Duck 9 American Coot 37 Ring-billed Gull 200 Herring Gull 3 Mourning Dove 10 Red-bellied Woodpecker 2 Downy Woodpecker 5 Blue Jay 8 Black-capped Chickadee 1 Tufted Titmouse 4 White-breasted Nuthatch 2 Winter Wren 1 American Robin 6 European Starling 8 White-throated Sparrow 6 Northern Cardinal 6 Red-winged Blackbird 25 House Finch 1 American Goldfinch 1 House Sparrow 2

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

See the Millions of Places Migrating Birds Have Gone—in One Gif | Audubon

Ice at BBpark

From Joshua Malbins post to Brooklyn Urban Birder Facebook group

Adult Iceland Gull was there today at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1. The gulls start coming in to roost after about 4:15 p.m.


9:30.donna evans reports an immature BALD EAGLE over Greenwood ave & E 7TH St,flying east to prospect Lake.

Monday, January 25, 2016

tree sparrow movement,bbpark rarities

Yesterday's AMERICAN TREE SPARROW has moved on to the feeders as I expected it would with food scarce in this snow covered ground period. The news I read on Facebook , by Rafael Campos

Will Pollard found the continuing ICELAND GULL along with CANVASBACKS ,unspecified numbers that appear down there at Brooklyn Bridge Park irregularly.

The coastal park is sure making a name for itself.

@billmiky: Iceland gull and canvasbacks continue at Brooklyn Bridge Park

With Mercury's Arrival, Five Planets in View - Sky & Telescope

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowshoeing & good birds

The record setting blizzard motivated some personal snowshoeing, that also creates the fun part of birding while on those "rackets". With the primary enjoyment today the snowshoeing experience, I did nevertheless picked up some good birds.

As by coincidence all that snow did bring in a snow species : 2 SNOW GEESE. Resting on the ice at the outer fringe of the sizable Canada geese flock, both tucked in sleeping Snow Geese eventually woke up. After my first tweet, about several minutes later they took off. They figured the snow ended, they might as well beat it, Canada's too honky and noisy.

Among other water fowl ,special was a lone hen AMERICAN WIGEON gliding among the NORTHERN SHOVELERS. I didn't see any sign of the RingNecked Ducks I saw on yesterday's challenging snowshoe hike.

The other good bird on my hike occurred at south Breeze Hill.Despite numerous winter revelers passing by, midway up my ascent that road, an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW ,accompanied by a single FOX SPARROW, kept coming to that spot at the snow slope edge.

There was a report of a high flying BALD EAGLE today.Klemens Gasser spotted it, and I heard that all the gulls went manic. Well, I can't get them all.

Tree sparrow

Amer tree sparrow w.Fox spar at climbing path south Breeze hill,by upright  stump midway.prospect

Snow geese flew out from prospect lake.

Snow prospect lake

 My Snowshoeing travel: 2SNOW GEESE (SNOW)resting tucked in heads prospect lake westmost open water.view by south shore by 3Sisters  island

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Seen yesterday at BBrP

Seen at Brooklyn Bridge Park Wednesday

Iceland Gull (kumlieni)
Shane Blodgett
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Kings county (map)
Iceland Gull (kumlieni)
Doug Gochfeld
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Kings county (map)

Park enhancement vote

The Mayor has pledged money for parks $50 million to be can vote for your park

Prospect Park, Sunset Park ( new plantings) and Bush Terminal Park ( also needed plantings) are some in dire need of habitat and accessibilty...

here are the links

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

up in the sky!

Hoping for clear skies, tonight the moon occults the constellation Taurus alpha star Aldebaran at 9:31 to 10:43

Tomorrow morning an hour before sunrise, five planets are lined up, a parade of planets ( Mercury the lowest and hardest to see, Venus,Mars,Saturn and Jupiter the highest.

See the link for more info

Icy huddle

While mentioning the Canada Geese, a claustrophobic spectacle at Upper Pool. Yesterday I counted 305 geese in this small pond,  overcrowded with noisy honkers. Today it hovered around 300, but I might have miscounted. That's what happens when your brain freezes--it messes up my cognitive calculations....

Monday, January 18, 2016

Black headed gull today

Photo by Bobbi Manian

Prospect Winter

Typical of winter in city parks,one wouldn't see alot of birds. Numbers decrease and the appreciation lie in the far and in between ,spread out observations; in other words ,birding would be slow. But the few good moments makes winter birding provide a deeper meaning and appreciation of sightings.

Take for example the COOPERS HAWK.When Bobbi Manian pointed out the midsized adult raptor perched up above the Well Drive tables,I was told it stayed there two hours prior. It was a good sighting, extended looks for a slowed down bird just enjoying the sights.Later, after I left Bobbi,I saw the Coopers descend rapidly to chase a flying Mourning Dove,unsuccessfully. Better looks of a lower perched bird gave me a winter's moment.

Also thanks to Bobbi, even the exotic figured in. Exotic as in species,three EUROPEAN GOLDFINCHES give some color to the winter stark landscape, feeding in the three Sweetgum trees by the West Island gazebo.They came down quickly and landed in the phragmites.

Though I missed it,Bobbi spotted the continuing BLACK HEADED GULL earlier ,seemingly on an irregular schedule now. It was seen in the water,never coming close to the western lakeshore.There's a photo  by Bobbi ,in my other post.

A REDTAILED HAWK flew over, another winter hardy species.We always get to see that bird, always welcomed viewing in these slower winter days.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

feeder guest

Klemens Gasser reported a RUSTY BLACKBIRD at Prospect' s feeders today. This is a rare bird for the winter season so a good one for the park.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bush Terminal Park birds waterfowl count

Today,part of the official waterfowl count

Team Karen O,Chris L,Kathy T,Nina B

30BrantBush Terminal Piers Park+
25GadwallBush Terminal Piers Park+
7American WigeonBush Terminal Piers Park+
4American Black DuckBush Terminal Piers Park+
8MallardBush Terminal Piers Park+
1Greater ScaupBush Terminal Piers Park+
74Lesser ScaupBush Terminal Piers Park+
65BuffleheadBush Terminal Piers Park+
5Red-breasted MerganserBush Terminal Piers Park+
10Double-crested CormorantBush Terminal Piers Park+
70Ring-billed GullBush Terminal Piers Park+
1Herring GullBush Terminal Piers Park+
5Great Black-backed GullBush Terminal Piers Park+
2Common RavenBush Terminal Piers Park+

Friday, January 15, 2016

How birds survive the cold ?

Prospect observations

Two notable observations, one regarding high numbers and the other the reappearance of a persistent warbler from December.

Frozen ponds and lakes attract gulls and Prospect Lake was a spot to observe them today. At least 4000 gulls occupied the lake center in the western half. Despite my hard search and scanning  carefully the gulls I didn't turn up anything unusual. But its hard though without a steady scope to study the birds, my cumbersome and heavy ten x binoculars ( an exchange for a repair send back) hard on my tiring arms.The primary three species were Ringbilled, Herring and a good number of Great Black Backed Gulls.

The other notable observation regards the ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER.As I was driving along the Well Drive on approach to the Terrace Bridge, I spotted Eni Falci. She mentioned to me she had the rare warbler in the mug wort patch before the shipping storage container at the west end of the bridge; unfortunately it had already flown off somewhere.At least this December holdover is hanging about despite its wide range .

Tweet from The Kingsboider (@BBCKingsbirds)

The Kingsboider (@BBCKingsbirds) tweeted at 0:02 PM on Fri, Jan 15, 2016:
Prospect orange crnwd warbler rept at west end Terrace br by ship containers 30 mins ago.eni falci
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Gulls prospect lake

There is at 9:30 easily 4000+ gulls on frozen prospect lake..scanning with my heavy cumbersome tens,i didnt see anything standing out as rare.but a scope is handy if anyone tries.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The last consistent one

Of the three long standing rare birds that graced Prospect Park through December, only one remains to this day. That's the BLACK-HEADED GULL, appearing in its usual location at western Prospect Lake. Rob Bate reported the sighting this mid-afternoon. It was spotted on the shoreline.

A new sighting , rare for the season and likely first for the winter  is RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Also benefiting from spotting the species is Rob Bate, seeing it flyover Lookout Hill around early afternoon.

BHGU  photo by Rob Bate

Tweet just now

Red shouldered hawk over lookout Hill (Prospect)

Upcoming walk

Sunday, January 17th: Prospect Park Winter Walk 
Leader: Ed Crowne
Focus: winter songbird species, ducks, raptors 
No registration necessary. Meet at 8:30 am at park entrance Bartel Pritchard Square Nearest train is "F" line to Prospect Park stop

Monday, January 11, 2016

Black headed Gull

It appears the BLACK HEADED GULL  decided not to leave, keeping an affinity with Prospect Lake western shore.

Kathy Toomey reported the gull this afternoon around 3.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

long winter walk,quality one per spot

On a long winter walk to burn some calories and glucose, my birding  trek took me thru several spots , part of a 9.67 Mile jaunt that saw a nice bird at each locale. But I'm covering only areas covered by this blog .

First thru Greenwood Cemetery where juncos fluttered by, a winter raptor to report. At the Dellwater, a sizable adult COOPERS HAWK briefly perched in a sloped tree. Quiet ensued the rest of the way in the cemetery.

From the 4th avenue exit towards Bush Terminal park was my next destination. Immediately after entering the park at the water edge,I could see a dark duck. At the end of the right broken pier, my scope revealed the Drake SURF SCOTER sleeping in. Its one of ten duck species at Bush Terminal park. The other quality bird was 46 LESSER SCAUP at the west cove, along with 5 GREATER SCAUP. Amazing what this industrial enclosed small park has for duck diversity considering I had much less last weekend at Coney Island BBC walk.

I headed west after Bush, and entered the Army Terminal pier 4. About 35 Greater Scaup was the best to see, mostly quiet except for the decent array of gulls in the sanitation plant area. Some days are good, some are not.The water was too quiet today.

46 LESSER SCAUP,5GREATER SCAUPBush term park west cove