Monday, May 13, 2013

Prospect May 13th "Day of the Dawn Redwood"

It is very rare to talk about a tree species rather than birds in this blog. Today that is the story line for a tree species called Dawn Redwood . A giant of a specimen sits below the Binnen Falls, with two smaller juniors next to the viewing platform, all three  magnets today for some very nice birds and in the surrounding perimeter, other good birds as well.

Warblers took great advantage of the redwoods,obviously tasty delicacies in the sprouting buds. From BAY-BREASTED WARBLER to CAPE MAY to a host of MAGNOLIA, birders profited handsomely from redwood offerings. Rob Bate reported 13 species warblers at this spot including the lingering PROTHONOTARY WARBLER , WILSONS and CANADA in the low brush.  Close looks of the CAPE MAY with a number of MAGNOLIA in the smaller redwoods next to the viewing platform gives me a great idea to spend lunch there often ( wink)

Next to the giant Redwood, a pair of ORCHARD ORIOLES showcased themselves, the male then helping himself to redwood blossoms.

I myself was fortunate despite work to get during my lunch hour and after work ( when I witnessed the Bay-breasted Warbler, thanks to Heidi Clevens text message and her initial find) to count 17 species warblers today under 2 hours total birding.. Not bad work at all.

Also , another Redwood tree garnered some attention, next to the south lullwater Rustic Arbor, where a bright BALTIMORE ORIOLE male found itself  surrounded by YELLOW-RUMPEDS ,a female PRAIRIE WARBLER , BLACKPOLL and then a BLACK-THROATED GREEN.  Later, not in a Redwood, BLACKBURNIAN male , a bright bird as well, gave me good looks from the Turkey  oak in front of the Wellhouse.

One location besides the "hot" Binnen Falls to watch for  though very quiet this spring is the Ambergill Creek south of the Esdale Bridge. Affectionately known by birders as "BirdBath" , 3 species warblers dallied about below after my shifted ended. 3 BLACK-THROATED BLUE, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH , and  OVENBIRD were in good light and very close. Keep an eye on this spot ( besides, I pruned the bowed tree here ...)

Meanwhile, some other notable birds to report including a surprise. Ed Crowned reported BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO in the Midwood,  more uncommon than the other species. Also, a very tardy EASTERN BLUEBIRD at the south end of Butterfly Meadow has heads scratching...what goes?    Forgot to take the train ?  ( EABL also seen yesterday...)

I received late word that SUMMER TANAGER was observed in the Vale of Cashmere based on a photo  identified by Peter Colen and Jerry Layton for a new birder / photographer


PS. 28 species warblers for 2013 (today Wilson's and Bay-breasted ) , 2 more to go for my personal 30 -er .....

Addenum : Forgot to mention that Heidi Clevens and two others had a flyover NORTHERN HARRIER ( male ) during the Bay -Breasted Warb event


Rob Bate's report

So what I thought was maybe a Philadelphia Vireo turned briefly into a drab Western Tanager before settling in as a female Orchard Oriole.  Thanks to Peter and Rob Jett for a positive ID. The bulk of the action I saw today was in the Dawn Redwoods surrounding the platform just below the Binnen Falls and opposite the Audubon Center.  I had 14 warbler species there including a brief look at the Prothonotary seen with Jamie from Connecticut, 2 oriole species, 1 female Purple Finch and a Scarlet Tanager.  Seen elsewhere were 2 White-crowned Sparrows along the fence between the rink construction and Lullwater below Breeze Hill.
60 species

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  X
Mallard  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Egret  X
Red-tailed Hawk  X
Spotted Sandpiper  X
Laughing Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  X
Chimney Swift  X
Downy Woodpecker  X
American Kestrel  X
Great Crested Flycatcher  X
Warbling Vireo  X
Red-eyed Vireo  X
Blue Jay  X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Tufted Titmouse  X
House Wren  X
Veery  X
Swainson's Thrush  X
Wood Thrush  X
American Robin  X
Gray Catbird  X
European Starling  X
Ovenbird  X
Northern Waterthrush  X
Black-and-white Warbler  X

Prothonotary Warbler  X
Common Yellowthroat  X
American Redstart  X
Cape May Warbler  X
Northern Parula  X
Magnolia Warbler  X
Yellow Warbler  X
Chestnut-sided Warbler  X
Blackpoll Warbler  X
Black-throated Blue Warbler  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  X
Black-throated Green Warbler  X
Wilson's Warbler  X

Chipping Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Swamp Sparrow  X
White-throated Sparrow  X
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Scarlet Tanager  X
Northern Cardinal  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Common Grackle  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Orchard Oriole  X
Baltimore Oriole  X
Purple Finch  3     1 male 2 female
American Goldfinch  X
House Sparrow  X


My list

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
May 13, 2013 3:35 PM - 5:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
45 species

Mallard  X
Green Heron  1     ambergill creek
Laughing Gull  X
Herring Gull  X
Rock Pigeon  X
Mourning Dove  X
Chimney Swift  X
Least Flycatcher  1     south slope lookout hill
Eastern Kingbird  1     lake
Warbling Vireo  2     Rustic Arbor dawn redwood; wellhouse
Blue Jay  3
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3     Lullwater br area
Barn Swallow  X
House Wren  1
Carolina Wren  1     Lily Pool meadow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Veery  1
Swainson's Thrush  4     Tennis House
American Robin  X
Gray Catbird  7
European Starling  X
Ovenbird  1     Ambergill creek /Esdale br
Northern Waterthrush  1     Ambergill creek /Esdale br
Black-and-white Warbler  5
Common Yellowthroat  7
American Redstart  1     Payne Hill north
Cape May Warbler  2     Binnen falls
Northern Parula  7     5 Binnen falls
Magnolia Warbler  14     most common species; 8 Dawn Redwood trees Binnen falls
Bay-breasted Warbler  1     Dawn Redwood tree Binnen falls
Blackburnian Warbler  1     oak in front Wellhouse
Yellow Warbler  1     oak in front Wellhouse
Blackpoll Warbler  4     2 oak in front Wellhouse; 2 Binnen Falls
Black-throated Blue Warbler  3     Ambergill creek /Esdale br
Yellow-rumped Warbler  15
Prairie Warbler  1     Redwood tree Rustic Arbor
Black-throated Green Warbler  1     Redwood tree Rustic Arbor
Wilson's Warbler  1     Lily Pool meadow, first seen by Mike Corzine
Chipping Sparrow  2     wellhouse
White-throated Sparrow  X
Northern Cardinal  6
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Common Grackle  3
Orchard Oriole  2     Dawn Redwood tree Binnen Falls
Baltimore Oriole  1     Rustic Arbor Redwood

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (


From Peter Colen :!i=2510620811&k=3DFxT7P

Some good laughs today starting with our truck-side conversation and a fairly good day birding. 2 new species of warblers with Wilsons Warbler and Canada. 

Spent the second half of the day with Jerry Layton. We ran into a brand new birder who had a photo she wanted to show us. Had to look at Sibley's for ID. It was a Summer Tanager that she just had seen at the Vale. Jealousy.

There are either 1 or 2 trees that Jerry and I think Ed Crowne thought were Bald Cypress. They are across from the Audubon Center next to the water. Many warblers were in these trees in the morning and afternoon. They appear to be eating the vegetative material. An Orchard Oriole was above flycatching.

Cheers, Peter