COMMON REDPOLL (CORE) continues its domain so far, even if only a small number of birds, perhaps a roving small flock making rounds , staying put as Prospect's dominant numbers of Sweetgum trees attract these winter finches.Today, reports of CORE emanated from the Lullwater Bridge 5 birds ( Russ Alderson), the Vale of Cashmere, 1 bird ( Peter Colen) as well as one in Greenwood Cemetery ( Orrin Tilevitz). The birds are very nomadic as I had been unable to pin them down despite diligent searches of the sweetgums. It depends on where the ball drops..
Those sweetgums are Prospect winter's best right now, as WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS stuck around as well. Along the woods trail (just above the bridle trail) that parallels the Quaker Cemetery west fence, three sweetgums held 8 WWCrossbill species. They were seen quite well from the park drive though I had to watch not getting run over !
But AMERICAN PIPIT isn't hard to find as the Ballfields hosted these birds in good numbers, holdovers from New Years Day. A late morning report from Rob Bate of 18 birds on the lawn between field #1 and 2 -- the west side-- closest to the horse loop, enabled my success. From yesterday to today, any lawn field will do after the most active human disturbance before 9 is over and less human activity is around appeals to these open space inclined species
Most certainty a surprise though my suspicions of one the same time last year of a single bird, a SNOW GOOSE was with Canada Geese on the Rink shoreline lawn near the Duck Island round shelter ( or Summerhouse it is technically called). This rarity for Prospect is a hit or miss yearly, most times high flyovers in right seasonal days when they move and spotted. Its rare to see one on the ground.
The lake is good , holding well with several ducks to look for. Today it's numbers. BUFFLEHEAD-- all hens-- numbered 6 birds , a good number for the lake. 12 HOODED MERGANSERS easily outnumbered the lone drake RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.
And for the whimsical, one I really wished I had a camera ! Searching the sweetgum just inside the Quaker Cemetery main entrance, I spotted a male EASTERN BLUEBIRD at the base of a medium sized shrub. But where it flew next and perched upon had me thinking the bird was trying to tell me something. Just along the entrance road, there is a small hexagonal post with an inspiring message in 5 languages, that this Bluebird perched on top of.What was the message ? "May Peace Prevail on Earth" One message we should perhaps listen to what the Bluebird says....( and for me would have made the perfect Christmas/Hanukkah card...and a new career as a photojournalist ?)
Note: photo links below from Peter Colen
Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Jan 2, 2013 Protocol: Incidental 15 species Red-tailed Hawk 1 Hairy Woodpecker 1 Quaker Cemetery Blue Jay 1 Black-capped Chickadee 7 Quaker Cemetery Tufted Titmouse 3 Eastern Bluebird 1 Quaker Cemetery European Starling X American Pipit 18 Ballfields betw fields #1 & 2 , first report Rob Bate Song Sparrow 3 West Isln lawn White-throated Sparrow 15 West Isl lawn Dark-eyed Junco X Northern Cardinal X White-winged Crossbill 8 in Sweetgum, south west fence Quaker Cemetery American Goldfinch 1 Quaker Cemetery House Sparrow X
Prospect Park--Prospect Lake, Kings, US-NY Jan 2, 2013 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Protocol: Stationary 16 species (+1 other taxa) Snow Goose 1 Rink lawn, reported by RBate Canada Goose 296 Mute Swan 10 American Black Duck 3 Mallard X American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 1 Northern Shoveler 185 Bufflehead 6 Hooded Merganser 12 Red-breasted Merganser 1 drake Ruddy Duck 35 Double-crested Cormorant 1 Great Blue Heron 1 3 sisters isl Red-tailed Hawk 1 Ring-billed Gull 900 Herring Gull X Great Black-backed Gull 4
From Ryan Bass :
Jillian and I had lots of activity at approximately 8:15 am at Baseball Field #1 near the Horse Corral. Very active - with up to (20) Dark-Eyed Juncos, Brown Creeper, and the usual mix of woodpeckers, nuthatches, and their allies. The highlight was following up on the previous report of American Pipits - we had (16) there and a 17th on the Nethermead. eBird indicates that this is a an unusually high count for this date/location.
Yesterday, we had (5) Hooded Mergansers (including (1) drake) and (2) Ruddy Ducks mixed in with the domesticated waterfowl in the Prospect Park Zoo. The location was near the entrance, but not in the aviary. They were very tame and provided close viewing.
From Peter Colen:
Could not escape the Vale of Cashmere this morning. First thing that happened was a redpoll plopped down on the ground in front of me. I got shots of it and later some crossbills on the ice. Also 2 Tree Sparrows and the pipits
A very good day out there with photos to follow.
The first 2 pics in below url are pics of redpolls (which I was wondering if I would ever get), the next 2 are crossbills hanging around on the ice (until I got there). The next pic is 1 of a pair of tree sparrows.
URL Below, the first 2 images are American Pipets eating something besides seed. Perhaps they are just pretending for the camera. I could not get very close.
URL below this, is a Black-capped Chickadee eating a smaller bird. Wow.
This was quite a winter day.
From Orrin :
Green-Wood this morning, a common redpoll in a sweet gum on Dell Ave. Didn't see any crossbills. Two largish flocks of juncos, a flock of robins,a flock of titmice. Notable absence of any ducks or geese on the Valley Water.