Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jan 2nd Prospect ; the year begins strong

This second day continues to see , for the season, a strong presence of winter finches and birds Prospect might only see once yearly.Sporadic reports today from several birders giving a few hours time revealed a few rarities to give 2013 Prospect a good start. Add to that, something whimsical as well for a new year message.

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

Other reports 

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:

Hello Peter,

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.