Friday, November 30, 2012

Other Xmas Count Circles

This was posted on the NYS Birds Listserve by Carena Pooth of NYSOA if you are interested in participating in other counts in the region.
Subject: CBC Season is Just 2 Weeks Away!
Date: Fri Nov 30 2012 18:34 pm
From: carena AT
Hello CBC Coordinators!

Thank you to those who have already sent me the information about their

count. We maintain the calendar on the NYSOA website to help you recruit

participants and to provide a quick reference for anyone trying to find out

where and when the counts are being held.

If you haven't sent me your info yet, please reply to this email with the

following information. Alternatively, you can fill out the form on the NYSOA

website at any time - go to

Name of CBC circle

4-letter ID of CBC circle

CBC date

Contact Name

Contact email

Contact phone number

Thanks in advance for your help!

Carena Pooth

New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA)

Prospect belated 11/26 rare bird report; Friday's fotos gallery

I received a belated report from my good friend Jerry Layton of a pretty good bird to see in Prospect, in fact , a coastal bird!.

Flying over the Audubon Center  ( Boathouse, where the Xmas Count dinner will be held 12.15 eve), two BLACK SKIMMERS flew over the landmark building, 125 feet up in circular  motion. This is likely the first reported observation for this species in 2012. Furthermore, the sighting is a record late one for Prospect , by 8 weeks ! ( Oct 2nd, 2005). Keep looking up!.

Here are photos for Friday, below's photographs by Tom Stephenson early this week, and Peter Colen's photos of the Evening Grosbeak male yesterday  via his links provided to Ebirds Yahoo Birds Listserve.

A note about below's Pine Siskin. With the extensive yellow and less streakier front, this specimen was thought of perhaps a"green-morph" which I mentioned in a post recently. A note to NYS Avian Records Committee member Tom Burke ( who puts out the weekly RBA reports), came back that this bird isn't a true green morph but close , somewhere in the "gradation area" . Nevertheless, a beaut  to look at ! Hope it sticks around.....

Pine Siskin at thistle feeder

White-winged Crossbill female in Vale cashmere
See above, same bird

Peter's Colen's links to his gallery from Ebird Yahoo Groups listserve

Male Evening Grosbeak, Chat, Kestrel Prospect Park....
Posted By:Offline Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:46 pm  |
I got to the park early and photographed this Merlin staring down at the Sparrow

I ran into Rob Jett and he tells me he saw a Merlin carrying a bluebird off at
the Sparrow Bowl.

We go looking for the chat which I spot and take these shots:!i=224\4874435&k=LcNgZzs

Heading out of the park through the Ravine, Rob somehow spots a male Evening
Grosbeak high up in a tree.\917_jkpvT7#!i=2244873035&k=QW3F4vm

A good day of birding, Peter Colen

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Upcoming early December events and help needed

Three upcoming events for your attention.  Please note the date and details.

12/2 Michele Dreger Early Morning Bird Walk 
Audubon Center on Sunday December 2nd at 8am

12/6 Rusty  Harold's lecture on Cuba Birding

Litchfield Villa 630 pm

12/15  Kings Christmas Bird Count. Help is needed to setup the dinner . Dinner is POTLUCK.

Contact Mary Eyster coordinating the dinner setup. 



Dec 6th Cuba Birding  presented by Rusty Harold

Thursday, December 6th, 6:30 P.M.

Discovering Cuba

Presenter: Elliotte Rusty Harold

Rescheduled date ( from 11/3)

Cuba is the largest, best preserved, and perhaps least well-known island in the Caribbean, at least to U.S. birders. Native avifauna include over 300 species including 25 endemics and 17 endangered species. In March 2012 Elliotte Harold visited Cuba for two weeks with the National Audubon Society. He'll recount that trip, and talk about the birds, people, culture, environment and economy of Cuba today.


Dec 15th Kings Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 15th, 113th Christmas Bird Census

Teams Coordinator: Heidi Steiner-Nanz (718) 369-2116 (call early eve before 8 pm) or email

Count Dinner setup Mary Eyster , please email 

Compiler: Rick Cech, Assisted by Paul Keim
Comments: Coordinator assigns trip leaders and participants, assimilating teams and establishing starting points with team leaders. Please call as early as possible for participation in this great event. The count dinner should be held at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. Help and assistance is needed for dinner setup (Mary Eyster) ; email Peter at on Prospect Park Xmas count teams

Prospect Nov 29th The other gender , EVGR male

An early message from Tom Stephenson reports WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS , along with PINE SISKINs  and BROWN CREEPER in the Vale of Cashmere area.

 After all the time the female Evening Grosbeak spent at the feeders last week, we were wondering if a male would show up .  Well, scratch that bird off our wish list and now we have something to look forward to if the male EVENING GROSBEAK  finds the feeder. This afternoon at 3 pm, Rob Jett and Peter Colen found a male EVENING GROSBEAK in the Ravine, feeding up in a Tulip tree which has flowering petals still attached. Its likely from Rob's report the EVGR was along the creek where conifers are nearby. Also reported were WWXbills and the still continuing YBChat, the latter moving in a circuit . Not so nice to hear about-- but meat is meat-- a MERLIN snatched an Eastern Bluebird near the Tennis House. See Rob's report below from the NYS Birds listserve:

Subject: Prospect Park birds
Date: Thu Nov 29 2012 15:01 pm
From: citybirder 
At around 3pm today Peter Colen and I spotted a male EVENING GROSBEAK in Prospect Park. The bird was feeding on the seeds in a large tuliptree in the Ravine adjacent two large conifers. While watching the grosbeak we also had a flyover of a small flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. One other highlight from the park this afternoon was a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT continuing in the area around Breeze Hill. Peter and I first spotted it on the path that leads from Breeze Hill down to the Lullwater. The bird then flew across the hill towards the bird feeders where it briefly fed on multiflora rose hips (must know the health benefits of vitamin C). It eventually headed in the direction of the Terrace Bridge. There is a lot of shrubby underbrush in that general area and I suspect that the bird is working a circuit from the feeders to the bridge to the south-facing ridge along the Lullwater and back.

Good birding,



Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY

Nov 29, 2012 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Protocol: Traveling

7.0 mile(s)

49 species

Canada Goose

Mute Swan (10.)

American Black Duck


Northern Shoveler

Bufflehead (1.)

Hooded Merganser (4.)

Ruddy Duck

Pied-billed Grebe (5.)

Double-crested Cormorant (2.)

Red-tailed Hawk (2.)

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher (1.)

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2.)

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker (1.)

Northern Flicker (1.)

Merlin (1, Grabbed an Eastern Bluebird from the ground near the Tennis House.)

Blue Jay

Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Red-breasted Nuthatch (3.)

White-breasted Nuthatch (4.)

Brown Creeper (1.)

Winter Wren (1.)

Carolina Wren (2.)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (4.)

Eastern Bluebird (4; Actually 3, after one was snatched by a Merlin.)

Hermit Thrush (1.)

American Robin

Gray Catbird (1, Vale of Cashmere.)

Northern Mockingbird (1.)

European Starling

Yellow-breasted Chat (1, Path that descends from Breeze Hill to Lullwater.)

Fox Sparrow (4.)

Song Sparrow (2.)

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

House Finch

White-winged Crossbill (6, Flying from Ravine to Midwood.)

Pine Siskin

Evening Grosbeak (1, Feeding on tuliptree seeds in the Ravine near two large conifers.)

House Sparrow


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nov 28 Prospect : Chat continues while ducks shine

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT continues its presence on the southern Breeze Hill slope, affording generous views for this usually furtive species.Both Rob Jett and Alex Wilson reports the bird's appearances.

Not so loyal to the usual location of past days with the Ravine, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS opted out for Falkill Falls but still loyal to the species tree this Xbill species have been targeting while here : a sweetgum , what else ?

Prospect Lake, meanwhile is coming alive with ducks. Just short a decade , 9 species ducks was reported by Alex Wilson, with most attention focused on a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER putting in a rare appearance for the park; we usually get this species one or two times yearly. Two Merganser species today makes it cool to count, the other duck being HOODED. A lone RING-NECKED DUCK has been here for a couple of days, the hope we get more at the Xmas count approaches, usually the only Brooklyn spot that gets this species. But we wont have a problem with NORTHERN SHOVELER, 200 too many to count...


From Rob Jett~FWD: Chat still at Breeze Hill path to Lullwater

From Alex Wilson

> Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
> Nov 28, 2012
> 54 species (+1 other taxa)
> Canada Goose  100
> Mute Swan  7
> American Black Duck  4
> Mallard  80
> American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  2
> Northern Shoveler  200
> Ring-necked Duck  1     (Drake, Lake.)
> Bufflehead  1     (Female, Duck Island.)
> Hooded Merganser  8     (6 hen, 2 drake, Three Sisters Islands.)
> Red-breasted Merganser  1     (Female, Lake. Unusual for Prospect.)
> Ruddy Duck  50
> Pied-billed Grebe  4
> Double-crested Cormorant  2
> Great Blue Heron  3
> Cooper's Hawk  1     (Adult.)
> Red-tailed Hawk  4
> American Coot  20
> Ring-billed Gull  150
> Herring Gull  40
> Great Black-backed Gull  1
> Rock Pigeon  30
> Mourning Dove  20
> Belted Kingfisher  2
> Red-bellied Woodpecker  5
> Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  3
> Downy Woodpecker  3
> Hairy Woodpecker  3
> American Kestrel  1
> Blue Jay  15
> American Crow  5
> Black-capped Chickadee  25
> Tufted Titmouse  10
> Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
> White-breasted Nuthatch  5
> Winter Wren  2
> Carolina Wren  4
> Hermit Thrush  2
> American Robin  10
> Northern Mockingbird  2
> European Starling  50
> Yellow-rumped Warbler  2     (Lookout above Wellhouse; one at 
> sapsucker wells, another heard.)
> Yellow-breasted Chat  1     (Continuing bird in clear view on south 
> slope path, Breeze Hill. With Rob Jett. Bright, but pale lower 
> mandible.)
> Eastern Towhee  1     (Tailless female, ravine.)
> Fox Sparrow  5
> Song Sparrow  4
> Swamp Sparrow  1
> White-throated Sparrow  75
> Dark-eyed Junco  4
> Northern Cardinal  25
> Red-winged Blackbird  3
> House Finch  20
> White-winged Crossbill  4     (In Sweetgum above Fallkill falls, 1 
> male.)
> Pine Siskin  20
> American Goldfinch  40
> House Sparrow  20

Nov 27th Prospect YBChat

A midafternoon tweet message ( Twitter) from Rob Bate places the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT in the same area reported on Monday, the southern Breeze Hill slope above the road that bisects the hill, towards the rink , just above the hairpin turn. See the map link from the previous post. A cold biting, wet day but one good sighting warms the heart to see a rare species.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cornell's BirdSource Irruptive Bird Survey

From last year, Cornell 's Birdsource had an Irruptive Bird Survey that showed results for species , winter finches in particular. Survey is done in December. But  view the webpages for understanding irruptions and citizen science input  ( if it activates again next week, one we should participate wholeheartedly.)

White Winged Crossbill Prospect records

Much ado these days are the White-winged Crossbills that have descended into Prospect and delighted many birders tremendously. It makes sense therefore to see historically our park's past previous WWXbill visits. It turns out these birds were scarcely here ONLY 7 different years .So, as these visitors come and go , hopefully for the foreseeable winter, enjoy them now, since they are so rarely seen in these parts.  Note some entries include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which we rarely keep records for unless its an extreme rarity , hence in this case, crossbills. The order below is  : Species,location, # seen, & date.

White-winged Crossbill Feeders Breeze hill 1 2/1/2012

White-winged Crossbill Botanical Gardens ~12 2/4/2009

White-winged Crossbill Botanical Gardens 15+ 2/4/2009

White-winged Crossbill Botanical Gardens 4 1/31/2009

White-winged Crossbill Botanical Gardens 1 1/25/2009

White-winged Crossbill Vale/Rose Garden 1 2/9/64

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 2 1/23/64

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 7 12/27/63

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 6 12/11/63

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1+ 11/25/63

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 62 11/25/63  -Highest total ( note, this is after highest Red Xbills total for park, 2 days before on 11/23, meaning tht 1963-64 was one of the greatest winter finch irruptions to the northeast)

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/16/1953

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/5/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/4/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/3/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/2/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 3/1/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/28/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/27/1909

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/26/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/25/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/24/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/23/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/22/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/21/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/20/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/19/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/18/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/17/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/16/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/15/09

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 2/14/09

White-winged Crossbill Greenwood Cemetary 1 3/25/1900  to the last item below

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/18/1900

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/17/1900

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/16/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/15/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/14/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/13/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/12/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/11/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/10/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/9/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/8/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/7/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/6/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/5/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/4/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/3/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/2/00

White-winged Crossbill Prospect Park 1 1/1/1900

Monday, November 26, 2012

White-winged Crossbill photos

The following photos were taken by Peter Colen at the Terrace Bridge today. There was a flock nearing 20 around the general feeders area.

First photo is the reddish male WWXbill , followed by the greenish female.

Prospect Nov 26th Chat upstaging those Xbills

YELLOW BREASTED CHAT upstages today's WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS , sort of the second consecutive day a warbler (after yesterday's Nashville ) gets first mention here ( what can I say ?  warblers are my kind of birds) over Xbills, the Chat I finally can call my first of year for 2012 , hitting my 35th or 36th ( I forget ) warbler species for this year.Coming close many times trying to get this species, I lucked in , with help from Mike Elliot.

After a sidetracked stop for 8 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS feeding high in a Sweetgum overlooking the Ambergill Falls, I made 'casual' haste towards the Breeze Hill Chat spot, reported in an earlier text from Rob Bate. Taking the sinking road that bisects Breeze Hill's southern slope, I ran into Mike Ellliot, who mentioned he was surprised to see this very bright yellow bird popping out as he rounded the hairpin path turn going up the road. It was the Chat.   After several moments conversation, we parted and not 10 seconds later, I looked down the left slope what I thought was a very yellow "leaf"; Instead , after looking at this leaf, lo and behold on a multiflora  rosebush,  the CHAT! I called back Mike but we didn't see it again.  Below is a link to a google map I created if it helps since this YBChat seems to be sticking around in the heavy cold affected brush for a week now...My advice : Any bright yellow, look for a moving "leaf " ( wink)

Click on the below link.,-73.966269&spn=0.002625,0.004136

Getting to the White-winged Crossbills, they were originally spotted just before 3 pm by Heidi Clevens,the Xbills in a Sweetgum tree closer to the Esdale Bridge; and some came down to the creek for drink offering fantastic views for Heidi. For a species that thrives on conifers pine cone seeds, in Prospect , WWXbills have adapted and pursued Sweetgum seeds ( must be hard for them ) . Nature knows best especially with Prospect's dearth of pine cones , many pine trees with cones having come down from very strong storms of the past five years ( and that includes the Sandy one).


Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 26, 2012 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
21 species

Mute Swan  X
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  175
Ring-necked Duck  1     drake
Ruddy Duck  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Nethermead
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1     Breeze Hill
Downy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  5     Nethermead
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1     3 arches
American Robin  X
European Starling  X
Yellow-breasted Chat  1     full view Breeze Hill south slope
Fox Sparrow  1     Ravine
Song Sparrow  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
Northern Cardinal  X
White-winged Crossbill  8     feeding on sweetgum seeds, Ravine; present all 
American Goldfinch  X

View this checklist online at

~8 WWXBILLSs high n sweetgum over Ambergill Fall near Little Rock Arch Bridge

WWXBills in the Creek 11/26

HeidiC~FWD: 5 Wwxbills in sweegum close to esdale br.

Followup report : WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS coming down to the Ambergill Creek ( south side of the Esdale Bridge) to drink , along with PINE SISKINs

Prospect Yellow- breasted Chat

 South Breeze Hill is "home " to a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT  for the past week, first spotted by Chellie, continues into today , after a second sighting yesterday , confirmed today as well. At last report, its frequenting the south slope of Breeze Hill, mostly near the Terrace Bridge. Best bet for viewing is the "sinking" road from the bridge, towards the rink. The bird was originally reported on the dirt berms on the hill. Below are two reports , one by Ebirds Yahoo listserve, second via text message


Prospect Park, Chat and Rusty Blackbird Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:26 pm (PST) .
Posted by: "Anne" towhee2 Sunday, November 25, 2012 at about 1:00PM,

 Miriam Rakowski spotted a Chat on the south slope of Breeze Hill. Then Edith, Anne, Miriam and

Louise saw a Rusty Blackbird on the south slope of Breeze Hill.

reported by Anne Lazarus.

Text today 11/26

FWD: @robsbate: YB Chat breeze hill side of terrace bridge


Also another Ebird post noted WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS & AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. see the report below by Peter Colen and photo link

White-winged Crossbills and Tree Sparrow....Prospect Park Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:50 pm (PST) .

 Posted by: "Peter" pcolen I spent many hours scouring the park for the elusive crossbills and finally in a Sweet Gum tree very high I saw them today at the Vale of Cashmere.

I was getting ready to leave the park and I was with a group of people. We had a great look at a flock of crossbills who came down to drink, eat, perhaps bath. They left as quickly as they appeared.

There were quite a few winter birds out including a Ringnecked Duck spotted by Rusty.

Here are pictures of White-winged Crossbills and an American Tree Sparrow from today:!i=2236715541&k=hg2f5nQ

November 25th BBG and Prospect

Today's  bird of the day--excuse the White-winged Crossbills for the moment-- is NASHVILLE WARBLER (NAWA). Spotted first by Doug Gochfeld, the NAWA was seen in brush outside the north end of the Rose Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; the bright yellow warbler was re found again in the upper slope brush in the same area in early afternoon by me and MaryE, perhaps the NAWA responding to my "phishing",  it flew up to a crape myrtle over the narrow stairs and took off for the giant Holly tree on the promenade (with benches) at the west end. It was very quick moving and stealthy, not affording much views as it fed low inside that holly tree. This species is known as a late fall warbler so it is not surprising its this species.

Reports from Prospect tell another story with the WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. Apparently , after a few days in the Vale Cashmere sweetgum, some splintered off and bathe and drank  in the Ambergill Creek , on the south side of the Esdale Bridge as reported by Mike Elliot.I am told the Xbills were at eye level offering excellent views.

The feeders are pretty active, with the usual host of winter species but enhanced by resident PINE SISKINs. One astute observer brought up the possibility one Pine Siskin with very bright yellow in its primaries might be a green -morphed Pine Siskin .  See the following link about this occurrence . I'll keep you posted on this possibility..Photos are welcomed,  sent to me.

But new to the feeders 2012-2013 is RUSTY BLACKBIRD ( as reported by Mike Elliot)

Other noted observation : Pair of Eastern Bluebirds and 6 Cedar Waxwings seen by upper pool (portion closest to ravine), feeding on berries . AMERICAN TREE SPARROW is a good bird to see , coming in as a typically late sparrow species

A note from Rafael:

25 November 2012

I did a small walk around PP, aimed to find again the White-winged Crossbills.  The place of choice was the Vale where yesterday I saw them.

Beside the crew who was working cutting trees, no luck with the WWCRs (~9:30 am).  Worth mentioning was 1 American Tree Sparrow quite active feeding with the company of Chickadees and White-throated Sparrows.

The feeders at Breezy Hill had a decent activity with House Finches, Pine Siskins (~4), Downy Woodpecker, Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves, American Goldfinches, Blue Jays.

The lake had a lot of gulls -Herring & Ring-billed-, Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks.

I stopped again at the Vale ~11:30 am, an again no luck with the WWCRs.  But I saw 1 Hermit Thrush.

Brooklyn is great birding: Rafa Campos R


KB Note : don't forget today Cyber Monday  you can get the Empire Pass for $40.00 ..I got mine already ..its $40.00

here's a list for just Long Island parks that require Car lot admission fee in 2013

See the previous post for details below

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NASHVLLE WARB still presnt Bbg n giant holly overlook with benches nor of rose gard
DougG~FWD: Bkbird Nashville Warbler, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, north end of Rose Garden.

Early Xmas shopping Cyber Monday for NYS parking passes

This is of interest to birders who drive and birdwatch NYS parks that require fees admissions but free with Empire Passes ( well, its not free but its a big deal at cheep rates if you go alot to state parks )

$65.00 passes will be sold at discount for $40.00 tomorrow.  Here's the info I took off the NYS birding listserves

Subject: NY State parks Permits
Date: Sat Nov 24 2012 23:30 pm
Of interest to birders who visit State Parks:

The NYS Parks will be selling 2013 Empire Passport Passes for $40 on "Cyber

Monday". The regular price is $65.

From their press release:

"The discount will strictly apply only to online orders placed between 12

a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 26. Purchases will be accepted

online at during this time, but

will not be accepted in person or by phone. Each customer will be able to

purchase up to three passes at the reduced price."

Empire Passes will allow unlimited free entry to the many state parks and

historic sites through the year.

As a reminder, Senior birders (age 62 and older) can still get into most

state parks for free on non-holiday weekdays by showing your driver's

license or ID at the entry booth.

Rich Guthrie

New Baltimore

The Greene County,

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 24th GWC & Prospect WWXbills

A post in Ebird Yahoo groups mentioned 12 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in a large spruce near the Crescent water in Greenwood cemetery today. The observer was Gerard Savarese.


From Noreen McAuliffe

My husband and I had the chance to observe the flock of White-Winged Crossbills feeding in the sweet gum tree over the Vale this afternoon.  We watched them for about twenty minutes before they took off as a flock (~15), calling, and headed north.  We didn't find them again, but we did see the Purple Finches and Siskins at the feeder, which was a frenzied scene of a dozen species feeding during the brief snow flurries. We also saw Juncos today in the park, which makes me feel like it really must be winter now.

(Note WWCR = White-Winged Crossbills )

From Rafael :

24 November 2012

A late walk around Prospect Park today was quite cold, windy, but the WWCRs were quite active. First I noticed a flock of ~14 indvs.  A while later, a birder from Manhattan saw the WWCRs, feeding on a gum tree (lifer for him!!).  I counted 7 indvs.

A quick visit to the feeders of Breezy Hill was full of the same, minus the EVGR.  I saw there Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Purple & House Finches, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied & Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jay, House Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, White-throated Sparrow.  The most unusual sight was a single individual of the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, near the feeders.

The lake, was the same as 2 days ago: Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Mallard, Mute Swan, Ring-billed & (American) Herring Gulls.  Another unusual sight near the lake, was a single Belted Kingfisher.

At the pools, a lonely Great Blue Heron.

Back to the Vale, where a group of birders saw the WWCRs.  We relocated them, and I counted ~16 indvs, on a gum tree.

Brooklyn is great birding: Rafa Campos R

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vale Cashmere WWXbills show 11/23

Adam Welz reported 16 WHITE WINGED CROSSBILLS late in the day in the sweet gum tree that I presumed is the same tree 8 were seen yesterday in. See my previous post for this " Midas" tree location. Pending records search,16would rank up there for Prospect highs. Adam's list will be posted tomorrow, my having just returned from a concert this eve. --KB

Adam's list

Date: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM
Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Nov 23, 2012

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 23, 2012 4:00 PM - 4:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
Comments:     Quick walk in from Grand Army Plaza to Vale of Cashmere.
10 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  6
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  40
White-winged Crossbill (American) (Loxia leucoptera leucoptera)  16
 Flock of adult males & females and at least 2 juveniles in sweetgum
tree in Vale of Cashmere. Flock checked carefully for Red Crossbills,
which have also been seen in this area recently, but none seen.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Paige~FWD: Pair of wwcbill feeding at vale cashmere
Rusty~FWD: Un-Id hummer North End of Rose Garden- BBG-only seen briefly,not relocated .815AM

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day birds to be thankful for....Prospect

The special "feast " of birds continues this holiday, the very rare same day trifecta of winter finches  for Prospect Park the second consecutive day, only this day the crossbill species increased in numbers for each of the species. 

First the RED CROSSBILLS; in their most recent intrusion inside park boundaries,  6 birds were spotted (Rafael Campos, Eni and Vinny Falci) atop the Peninsula tip pine grove, making this the largest number seen since January 11, 1970 when 7 was reported back then. After takeoff, the flock flew over Lookout Hill towards Quaker Cemetery. Perhaps information helps with the cemetery a known Pine  tree enclave.  Lets hope  for more Red Crossbills  in the coming week or beyond. 

Then , reports came in of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS from the Vale of Cashmere area, 9 a tremendous number for this species here seen by Rafael Campos and his birding entourage;mid morning  text messages from Monica and Keir reported these still present birds, which upon my arrival at the southern Rose garden, a few were seen in the sweetgum tree, feeding on the seed ball seeds. To view this potential species, go to the Rose Garden southwest entrance, and stand by the path triangle and look up at the sweetgum on the slope above the Vale. Eventually, 8 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were sighted, 3 males, 5 females.

The Feeder meanwhile  continues to see  irregular visits by the week long EVENING GROSBEAK, along with the host of PINE SISKINS , 7 I saw there  with the usual winter species, including one female PURPLE FINCH.

Just a great day to be appreciative for birding and birds ( and one day Turkey on the table).... KB

Peter's lists

Prospect Park--Feeders, Kings, US-NY
Nov 22, 2012 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Protocol: Stationary
12 species

Mourning Dove  X
Blue Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-throated Sparrow  X
Northern Cardinal  2
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Purple Finch  1
Pine Siskin  7
American Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  X

Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY
Nov 22, 2012 11:00 AM - 11:20 AM
Protocol: Stationary
14 species

Canada Goose  94
Mute Swan  8
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  125
Ruddy Duck  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
American Coot  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  X
Peregrine Falcon  1     flyover
Northern Cardinal  1

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 22, 2012 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
9 species

Red-tailed Hawk  1     Lookout Hill
Mourning Dove  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Northern Cardinal  X
Red-winged Blackbird  23     west island sweetgums
White-winged Crossbill  8     Rose Garden southwest entrance, sweetgum tree, seen by 8 birders including RafaelC , Keir R, Linda, Edith, Isabel, 
American Goldfinch  X

PS. Mike Elliot reported an EASTERN TOWHEE on the " switchback trail" by the Maryland Monument.
2 WWXBILL n sweetgum south ent Rosegard above Vale; 6RedXbill fly towrd QkeCem frm Penin per Rafael
Keir~FWD: @railbabbler: Ww xbills still feeding in sweetgum btwn vale and rose garden , south ends; 6 Rxbills seen fly towrds Qkecem 1\2 hr ago
Monica~FWD: Ww Xbill vale cashmere

Thanksgiving greetings

Kingsboider wishes all Thanksgiving greetings and much of the bird to be thankful for. Happy Holiday !

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Part of Gateway Nat Recreation Area OPENs

From the listserves:

*From:* Markis, Charles 

*To:* undisclosed-recipients: 

*Sent:* Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:19 PM

*Subject:* Gateway reopens Great Kills Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Dear Subscribers, Friends, and Colleagues,

As you know Gateway has been closed since the evacuation notice was

given on Sunday, Oct. 28. But just after the storm an amazing team of

personnel assembled from NPS sites across the country has been working

on the recovery and rehabilitation of the park properties with the

primary goal of establishing the safety of all park employees and

visitors. After safety issues are addressed the operations have turned

to reopening areas of the park which can be used by visitors.

If you come to visit any of these areas you will see areas that have

been damaged by Sandy. Please exercise caution when walking or hiking

and be aware of debris and downed tree branches that have been set aside

for pick up.

We are pleased to announce that Great Kills and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife

Refuge will be open to the public beginning Friday, Nov. 23 for seasonal

hours and days of operation. Go here to see the press announcement: which as of 2pm has not

been released. Check this link after 4pm for more details.

Thank you for your interest in Gateway;

have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

and practice safety in all your activities.

Charles Markis,

Program Guide Editor


Charles Markis

Park Ranger/Interpretive Specialist

Gateway National Recreation Area

210 New York Avenue

Staten Island, NY 10305

718-354-4530 x 238

Prospect November 21st "A matter of time"

It was just a matter of time.

Prospect Park's first RED CROSSBILL since February 10,1998 made an appearance today at the feeders site, spotted by Keir Randall this morning at 850 am. With the hordes of crossbills invading the northeast, the local green spaces, especially Greenwood Cemetery and now today in Prospect was due to get one at the feeders location ( as I commented yesterday) . This morning's Red Crossbill was a male.

Despite only one observer for the crossbill, the responding crowd hoping to see this species were instead treated to the persistent EVENING GROSBEAK making from what I gather sporadic appearances to the feeder. PINE SISKINS are immensely enjoying themselves with the thistle and this species figures to hold strong  thru the winter , hopefully.

Regarding the feeders, it would not be but  for the generosity of birders supporting the cost of seed. Donations were received today in support of the "Feeder Fund".A hearty  Thanks to Keir Randall, Isabel Conte, Edith Goren, Bobbi Manian, Simon and Andy Biederman for their generous donations to the Feeder Fund. Also, Gil Shrank and Nancy Tim will be buying seed out of state on their return from the holiday. And thanks to Rob Bate maintaining the feeders.

Below is Keir's report and the historical records for RED CROSSBILL for Prospect I was quickly able to generate before I left work.  Note the largest record number seen on November 23rd, 1963 : 40 !   (there's hope,keep looking)


I received Alex Wilson's report tonight which WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was reported , seen bathing at the Vale of Cashmere.

Today's listing of RED CROSSBILL, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL and EVENING GROSBEAK species represents likely a historic day, likely the first time or at the very least extremely rare  for all three winter finches seen the same day in Prospect. Prospect is hot!


From Keir 

After handing over birdseed cash to Rob, the Bird Gods repaid me immediately!
Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 21, 2012 8:10 AM - 9:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
30 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan  1
Mallard  8
Northern Shoveler  30
Ruddy Duck  12
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk  1
American Coot  3
Ring-billed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  1
Mourning Dove  5
Downy Woodpecker  2
Blue Jay  4
Black-capped Chickadee  8
Tufted Titmouse  3
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  3
European Starling  8
Fox Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  12
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Northern Cardinal  3
Purple Finch  1
House Finch  7
Red Crossbill  1     8.50 am. While scanning trees around the feeders for the EVGR I stumbled upon a Crossbill perched near 2 Pine Siskins. Crossed bills seen first, then dusky red color, plain dark wings. Not seen on feeders. Flew off in direction of Lullwater and not refound.
Pine Siskin  8
American Goldfinch  5
Evening Grosbeak  1     9.10am. After a 40 minute wait at the feeders the continuing female came down to feed.
House Sparrow  15


RED CROSSBILL records for Prospect.

Red Crossbill     Wellhouse   1     2/10/98   Last report

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     7     1/11/70

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     7     1/11/70

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     3     12/26/65

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     12/26/65

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     3     11/15/65

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     3     11/15/65

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     5     12/29/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     12/28/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     12/24/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     12/18/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     12/11/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     2     12/2/63

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     40    11/23/63  HIGHEST total

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     11/12/51

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     10/20/43

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     4/22/1923

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     11/23/1919

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     3/16/1914

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     4/16/1911

Red Crossbill     Prospect Park     1     3/14/1909-


From Alex Wilson:

Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Nov 21, 2012

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Nov 21, 2012 
53 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  85
Mute Swan  11
American Black Duck  2
Mallard  60
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  2
Northern Shoveler  150
Bufflehead  2     (Hens.)
Hooded Merganser  2     (Drake & hen.)
Ruddy Duck  40
Pied-billed Grebe  3
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  4
Red-tailed Hawk  2
American Coot  15
Ring-billed Gull  150
Herring Gull  50
Great Black-backed Gull  3
Rock Pigeon  50
Mourning Dove  30
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  5
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  2     (2 males, Vale.)
Peregrine Falcon  1
Blue Jay  30
American Crow  5
Black-capped Chickadee  25
Tufted Titmouse  20
White-breasted Nuthatch  6
Carolina Wren  4
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Eastern Bluebird  1     (Music Pagoda, with starlings.)
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  15
European Starling  50
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4
Fox Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  7
Swamp Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  50
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Northern Cardinal  20
Red-winged Blackbird  7
Purple Finch  1
House Finch  20
White-winged Crossbill      (Vale; female preening after bathing in pool, then flew up to top of Sweetgum where male and 2 more females were feeding. Photographed.)
Pine Siskin  12
American Goldfinch  30
Evening Grosbeak  1     (Female continues at feeders. Photographed.)
House Sparrow  15