The park seems to quiet down noticeably , but quality remains high for a winter date, as three rarities were reported with the few birders out today, one of the rarities an "out of season" bird very likely resolved.
First a note regarding winter finches: this morning Janet Zinn reported up to 9 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS feeding in the sweetgum over or near the compost pile near the north fence of the zoo, this species still a hot item herein PP and great to see persistently hanging around. Janet reported some WWXbills came down to the ground to a water puddle in the compost area and bathe. Any birder cannot get enough of this species knowing that they may be back years from now. Also in the same area, Janet spotted a low flying TURKEY VULTURE, not rare because you can get occasional winter flyovers but definitely very uncommon.
On a very good note, we may have the warbler mystery solved. During the weekend, Rob Bate spotted a yellowish warbler that eluded identification at the base of southern Lookout Hill to the left of the "switchback trail" . Today, Peter Colen spotted the bird, most likely the same bird, a third of a way up the switchback trail, enabling in getting a decent photo of the bird. Showing Shane Blodgett who happened to be in the park, the "mystery warbler" was identified as a NASHVILLE WARBLER, a terrific find and a first for a winter Prospect [I am sure of it] . Its likely the bird from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from early December , counted on the Xmas Bird Count. A rare sighting and great to see another new rarity to chase, especially a warbler.
These birds keep normally quiet Winters interesting.
Oh, I should mention that COMMON MERGANSER likes where it is on Prospect Lake, as reported by Peter Colen.
More later, --KB
Shane Blodgett in a late note Reports the YELLOW BREASTED CHAT on the slope above the Well drive green shipping containers , same general spot Keir reported last time.So, good news there that not only its sticking to there but also survived Cooper Hawk snacking.