Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fwd: eBird Report - Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Jul 31, 2016

A refreshingly cool productive morning
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Jul 31, 2016 10:07 AM
Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Jul 31, 2016
To: <>

Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, New York, US
Jul 31, 2016 6:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.25 mile(s)
Comments:     Along south shore west east pts
24 species

Canada Goose  17
Mute Swan  8
Mallard  X
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Green Heron  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Spotted Sandpiper  3
Laughing Gull  2
Mourning Dove  2
Chimney Swift  30
Eastern Kingbird  2
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Barn Swallow  4
American Robin  9
Gray Catbird  1
Northern Mockingbird  3
Cedar Waxwing  7     Certaintly more,hidden feeding in chokecherry trees by islands
Yellow Warbler  1     Duck island
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Common Grackle  4
House Sparrow  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Saturday, July 30, 2016

1st fall warbler?

Kathy Toomey reports a BLACK &WHITE WARBLER on the Peninsula around midday. Well, something has to start it off..

lazy summer walk

Its been a while since I took an early morning walk in Prospect.The desire to experience the coolness and also see if anything came early with a north wind last night was motivation for me.

Unsurprisingly, I didn't see anything regarding a warbler up on Lookout Hill. Instead the abundance of American Robins feeding upon choke Cherry tree fruits is evident. My highlight though at the north end of Butterfly Meadow, was a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER that perched up high for a moment,evidently one of the park breeders. Later on  lower ground of south Lookout, another breeder HOUSE WREN appeared in thick brush.

In a few weeks maybe less perhaps the first wave of warblers might occur.In2015, the second week of August had a good turnout of warblers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Osprey Nest Update

Matthew Wills reported yesterday seeing a juvenile Osprey in the nest , characterized by its scalloping feathered back at the Bush Terminal area .It was tended to by its parent In side the Recycling transfer area  to the north of Bush Terminal Park.

This confirms a successful nesting i the lower NYC Harbor area of Kings.Glad to see it happened.

Fwd: juv spotted sandpiper GW Cemetry

-----Original Message-----
From: Orrin Tilevitz <>
To: Peter Dorosh <>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2016 11:04 am
Subject: Fw: juv spotted sandpiper

Friday, July 22, 2016

Spotted Sandpiper

July begins the shorebird migration. And for a freshwater species like SPOTTED SANDPIPER, we see the start of arduous travelings.

Along the western shoreline , while I was looking at the lake , I spotted this species on the rock wall.Closing in on a small flock of Canada Geese, the adult Spotted Sandpiper teetered along.

Orrin Tilevitz texted me of the same species in Greenwood Cemetery .That report circulated from Sylvan Water. YELLOW WARBLER was also reported at the same water spot, one of the earliest warblers to migrate , generally starting in middle July.

Yep folks, its fall migration in its early stages.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sibley article

David Sibley’s tips for finding more birds 
BirdWatching Magazine to youshow details

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BirdWatching Daily
Attract | Find | Identify | Enjoy

July 20, 2016
Sibley: How to scan smarter

Binoculars magnify birds, allowing us to see more details, of course. But as Contributing Editor David Sibley writes in our August issue, you can also use your binoculars to locate distant birds. He describes how to scan the skies beyond your immediate location. The payoff: You’ll find more birds.
Read David's tips for scanning with purpose.
See more ID articles by David Sibley.
Illustration by David Sibley.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fwd: Kingbird

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Burnworth <>
To: Peter Dorosh <>
Sent: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 11:25 am
Subject: Kingbird

Eastern kingbird nest on three sisters (facing the islands- the one on the right- tree near the water- nest has a balloon string hanging from it which makes for easy identification) with chicks. Something fun during the summer doldrums. 

Future restoration of the Upper Pool

Some new native habitat will be in mind:

see the link from the PPA announcement

also partial drainage might bode well for migrating shorebirds.. check out the pond the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wood duck tweet

Rob Jett tweeted: At least 4 Wood Duck ducklings still on Upper Pool in Brooklyn's Prospect Park

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Local freshwater shorebird movement

Some species were reported this morning regarding shorebird species that frequent freshwater.

In Greenwood Cemetery, Orrin Tilevitz spotted a SPOTTED SANDPIPER at Sylvan Water . Later a report of a calling ALDER FLYCATCHER at Dellwater Slope heard by him as well.

IN Bush Terminal Park, Gus Keri found three LEAST SANDPIPERS .

As the wind was north last night , favorable for autumn --yes that's what the birds think now--some species individuals look for a head start as their breeding job--or lack thereof-- is done in the northern beyond.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Duck Stamp is on sale ( and so are winter birds)

The greatest conservation fundraising program in North America is now on sale- the federal duck stamp..Taking effect on July 1st its a handy free admission to National Wildlife preserves. Started in 1936 I think, it has raised 100 s of millions of dollars for habitats and conservation causes. Available thru the us postal service website if a wildlife refuge isn't nearby.

 While on the subject of bird stamps, the Post office came out with new bird stamps on august 4 winter birds..Songbirds in Snow

This years stamp depicts Trumpeter Swans. /

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Governors Island grand opening July 19

Section called the Hills. Restored. Newly created habitat  , see the article link

BATS as Beneficial prey feeders

Fwd: Eelgrass Project - Pier 5, Sunset Park, Brooklyn

-----Original Message-----
From: BCHEZAR <>
To: bart chezar <>
Cc: bart chezar <>
Sent: Sun, Jun 26, 2016 12:57 pm
Subject: Eelgrass Project - Pier 5, Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Hi Everyone,
It has been almost two years since I reported to you on the eelgrass project at Pier 5 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Since then most of what I have done is periodic monitoring of the eelgrass.  There have been no additional plantings since those done between 2012 and 2014.  Harbor School students installed a small eelgrass monitoring installation at the site, with eelgrass, during August, 2014 under the direction of Nichol Martinez (a senior student at the school at that time and now just completed her freshman year at Columbia University – congratulations).
Generally the eelgrass at the Pier 5 site has survived.  Some areas have only remnants of what was first planted, and other areas appear to have spread modestly from the initial planting area.  My current focus is trying to install a GoPro camera at a fixed location to enable me to video a section of the eelgrass planting, during as much of a tidal cycle as possible, to see the "behavior" of the eelgrass and the surrounding environment.  I am interested in, over time, seeing seasonal changes; growth, loss, mud snail impact, marine organisms, etc.  Prior to this approach I have monitored the eelgrass throughout the site by walking around with a GoPro camera at the end of a pole but not knowing if eelgrass is within view.
I encountered a number of challenges in attempting to do a fixed location video for an extended period of time.  These challenges were both in the equipment I have and in trying to work in the natural marine environment.  Using the largest storage microchip available for the GoPro camera (64 GB) and the biggest battery compatible with the expanded waterproof camera casing, I am able to record a 4 hour video.  The limiting factor for the recording is battery storage not the capacity of the microchip.  A big issue was securing the camera to an anchor so the camera does not move, is not damaged or lost, and can be easily retrieved.  I used a screw anchor with a welded bolt that screwed into the camera casing.  Wearing waders, at a very low, low tide I installed the camera at the selected site and retrieved it the next day at the equivalent low tide.  The installation had to be at a low tide with sufficient daylight remaining, at least four hours, to record as much of the tidal cycle as possible.
After a number of failed efforts but fortunately not losing the camera, I had success on June 2nd, 2016.  This was a nice warm day at Pier 5, air temperature 73° F, water temperature 65° F.  We weren't the only ones having fun on the pier that day (Pic. 1).  Low tide was -.34' at 12:29 pm and I was easily able to find the eelgrass at the site I planned to monitor (Pic. 2).  Using a Secci Disk I measured the visibility in the water to be 4'.
The GoPro camera was attached to the screw anchor and installed at the site at 12:32 pm.  A nearby Egret oversaw the installation (Pic. 3).  The camera was about 4" off the bottom and approximately 8" from the nearest eelgrass.  The water depth at that time was 3'8".  The next day at 1:23 pm, low tide, the camera was removed.
I did not know until I uploaded the microchip onto my computer whether the camera was operating, for how long it recorded, or whether I had it pointed in the right direction.  Fortunately everything worked out fine.  I had a four hour video of grass growing! 
I have edited the video to just under 5 minutes and posted it on YouTube - .  You can also access it by typing Bart Chezar Eelgrass Project on the YouTube web page (note: there are two other videos done earlier; Spring/Summer 2014 and 7/31/15).  I know this video may not have you sitting at the edge of your seat with excitement, but try and stay with it until the end for a surprise.  Some things to take note of on the 6/2 video are:
-  The initial part of the video (loud) shows me screwing in the anchor with the camera running.  Notice the eelgrass bed in the background.
-  Despite the change in the depth of the water from the start of the video at 3'8" to 10' at the end the light levels near the eelgrass is amazingly high.   This light penetration enables the growth of eelgrass in the harbor more than one might expect.
-  Over the length of the video you can observe the tide pushing the eelgrass in all directions.
-  The eelgrass leaves vary from young, clean shoots to old leaves with green and filamentous algae growing on them.  
 -  Note the egg casings on some of the leaves.  These egg casings are probably from mud snails.  They are much less dense than we have seen in the past which is beneficial to the health of the eelgrass.
-  Because the YouTube video does not have the resolution of the original video the hundreds of larvae and very small fish moving past the eelgrass are difficult to observe.
-  Individual small fish, and schools of fish move across the eelgrass field.  Let me know if you can identify them.
-  You can see a 4-5" striped bass pass by the site.
-   Towards the end of the video a large toadfish (8-10") comes into view, and passes by the site a few times.  This is significant because toadfish are known to be attracted to eelgrass primarily to feed on nearby snails.  It is possible the toadfish are counterbalancing the explosive mud snail population we have previously seen at the site.
I hope to continue doing the videos of the eelgrass installation every eight weeks or so to see how the site evolves.
Accepting that this is a small demonstration, and it has been for a limited time period, I think we can say we have had some success in showing that eelgrass can survive in New York Harbor.  There are many reasons for establishing eelgrass beds including ecological and environmental benefits, and for storm resiliency.  Using it in establishing "soft" shorelines should be considered along sections of harbor's edge.
Another project I am considering is "planting" a small number of kelp plants near the eelgrass site at Pier 5.  There has been a lot of interest in growing kelp on the east coast recently but the principle focus is as a food source.  The New York Harbor area is in the range of a couple of species of kelp but none currently exist here.  It is almost certain, however, that kelp did grow here in the past.  My focus is on how kelp provides many of the same ecological and environmental benefits of eelgrass with the exception of sediment stability (kelp attaches to a hard substrate rather than growing rhizomes under the sediment as does eelgrass).  I am consulting with experts to determine the feasibility of attempting such a project.
Congratulations if you made it to the end of this e-mail.
Best wishes,
Bart Chezar
Long P.S.  In an earlier e-mail I mentioned an osprey platform we installed at Bush Terminal Park, adjacent to Pier 5, a few years ago.  Our objective was to attract a nesting osprey to New York Harbor.  This spring I learned that osprey were observed in the area.  It was reported that an osprey nest was being built on a tall light tower less than half a mile away. An osprey fledgling has been observed in the nest and one day we saw an osprey dive into the water between Bush Terminal Park and Pier 5 and come out with a large fish.  The good news is we now have a nesting osprey in New York Harbor though not at the site we intended.
Another exciting development is that there is now an unkindness (look it up) of ravens nesting on an industrial building near Pier 5.  I am told by the birding enthusiasts that these are the first nesting ravens in Brooklyn in many decades.
Finally, working with a number of volunteers, we have begun the planting of trees, shrubs, and ground cover in the "native forest" section of Bush Terminal Park that are representative of a maritime forest.  Common along the coastline in colonial and pre-colonial times this forest type has largely disappeared in the region.  We are being assisted by the NYC Parks Stewardship program and the Greenbelt Native Plant Center.  This will be an ongoing process.  Volunteers accepted.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Bush terminal osprey nest update

From Marisa  Wohl,posted to nys birds listserve:

Sunset Park ospreys Saturday July 2nd

Sun Jul 3, 20168:21 pm (PDT) . Posted by:marisawohl

Yesterday around3:30 pm I checked out the ospreys nesting on a tall lamppost by the water's edge of NYC Economic Development Corporation property off of 2nd Avenue and 35th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I'm happy to report that the pair are still on the nest. One bird, presumably the male, on the right of the nest, was active. The other bird, presumably the female, sat low on the left side of the nest without moving. During my observation the male left and returned with a long stick to add to the nest. He then flew slightly south, dove for a fish and returned to the nest, where he apparently gave his catch to the female. Her side was partially obscured by a plastic bag flying around in the wind so it was hard to see. Still, her behavior indicated that she might be incubating eggs. From my internet research the reproduction timeline is late but possible. I plan to check the next regularly over the summer.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

black billed cuckoo at Esdale Bridge Prospect

Found by Gus Keri first at Upper Pool Falkill Falls, last spot the bridge

summer days and lazy times

Lazy are the summer days now especially after the end of the spring migration and Spring club trips are done and so on.Its time to relax before the autumn migration picks up too quickly, just around the corner. And I need the rest. So a short walk to Prospect with my coffee and easy going timing.

I sat down on the bench at West Island and watched for anything goes. First I noticed a NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED SWALLOW come out of the Phrgamites to my left. The swallow swooped around loyally in that area; later as I sat longer relishing the sunrays ,then switching to another bench in the same spot,I noticed 6 Rough winged perched on a horizontal West island snag.Its a new family,one bird flapping its wings as the adult appeared in front of youngster.Cool! A new bred family for Prospect lake southwest

Still soaking in the sun, I noted more interesting birds.
Swimming in front of me, a young family of WOOD DUCKS,also 6 in all, swam to West Island to rest on the water snag,safe and secure. Meanwhile, BARN SWALLOWS flew around and a single BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON must've come out of West Island as well. Opposite the island at the Gazebo point, a single TREE SWALLOW perched. In the far distance, I recognized the flight of a RED TAILED HAWK that landed on the Ebbets Field tower.

Yes,summer lazy mornings has its rewards.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Tweet from Rob Jett (@thecitybirder)

Rob Jett (@thecitybirder) tweeted at 1:02 PM on Thu, Jun 30, 2016:
Adult and juvenile read-tailed hawk sitting on top of Methodist Hospital in Park slope. Must be a visit to the pediatrician for a check up

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