Friday, January 31, 2014

Fwd: Red Necked Grebe north Bklyn

Red necked grebe just northeast of Owls Head. or adjacent to Bklyn Army Terminal..Seen by Karen O'Hearn

-----Original Message-----
From: Karenohearn@
To: prosbird
Sent: Fri, Jan 31, 2014 1:53 pm

hey Peter,

 saw this today at pier 4, brooklyn Bush Terminal, 58th st. a Red-necked Grebe


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rusty Blackbird Blitz

From Janet Schumacher:

Lots of birders have enjoyed seeing Rusty Blackbirds in PP this winter, and they might like to contribute data to the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration tracking project. The target collection time for NY is March & April.

 It is easy for individuals to send in data to eBird.

Things not looking up for the Monarch

Monarch butterflies are in the danger crisis.lets hope for an immediate address of their drastic numbers dropoff and rebound..

Sunday walk Audubon; belated Sunday past GWC report

Fom Michele Dreger:

At Audubon Center  First Sunday in February Bird Walk 10 am


Dress warm, bring your binoculars and meet at the Audubon Center at 10am on Sunday, February 2.

Looking forward to seeing you then.


KB note:  Sunday weekend is a warmup, predicted high 47 degrees 

From Orrin ( Sunday report)

Green-Wood Cemetery this morning, for a couple of hours

Reasonably productive, given the conditions

Juvenile red-headed woodpecker continues at its new address, on the north side of Arbor just off of Bayview (pictures)
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (1 seen, a few heard)
Red-bellied woodpecker
Ring-billed gulls (several, flyover)
Dark-eyed junco (1 flock)
American robin (a few)
European starling (a few)
Blue jay (several)

Photos by Orrin T . of juv Red-headed Woodpecker 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

US Fish & Wildlife response to Gateway Parks future vision plan

Gateway Parks management plan ( including Jamaica Bay Refuge, Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field,Breezy Point , Staten Island Great Kills park , among 9 park units)  has been thrown a curve when the decided upon Option B plan was questioned by US Fish & Wildlife Service. Hence the delay in this vision option by Gateway. Read on from the link from the Linnaean Society webpage

Cold waters, Merganser turf

The frigid waters of Prospect Lake doesn't bother ducks given their insulated feathers that protects them from the cold, and one drake COMMON MERGANSER happily enjoys having the lake for himself. The remaining merg from last nite's spectacle stayed , with the 9 Ruddy Ducks nearby.

Gulls are resting on the ice and I checked out the flock for a possible Lesser Black backed gull that might have settled in spurred on by Sean Sime's email report. But with bins , its hard to see that far out without a scope.But nevertheless, I didn't see any dark backs.

Drake Common Merganser Prospect Lake middle

New Prospect record Common Mergansers

Yesterday afternoon's sighting by Peter D of 13 Common Mergansers set a new high for Prospect Park.

The previous high of 9 set 3/13/2001 ( prospect lake) was bested.

Good quacky winter birding,


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Common Mergansers trove

A bit of luck and good timing for a rare sighting regarding numbers for a rare species visiting Prospect Lake.

At about 4 pm, I took a quick look at the open water along the Peninsula shore.Only seeing Ruddy Ducks, i thought this was the best today. But farther walking, thru the phragmite sections, another glimpse and seeing open water in the lake middle, I spotted some white ducks.It wasn't until I crossed the Peninsula meadow when to my realization there were more than just one whitish duck.It turned out to be 13 COMMON MERGANSERS.A few were on the ice, 9 hens, 4 drake mergansers  in a flock.

I watched this spectacle, a good moment for quiet Prospect of late, as the flock scattered and then rejoined with 6 hens  congregated by Three Sisters Islands. Then about 415 , they all took off,a dozen gone, with one drake staying behind.

Adding more serendipity, in front of me were three RUSTY BLACKBIRDS that flushed towards the phragmites but came down from the tree along the Peninsula shore,at ladder 18  and a little left.

Good fortune after work and happy to see these birds.Perhaps the lake,as long it is open might hold good species in the coming days.


PS Klemens reported the lone drake Common Merge later, but 4 Rusty Blackbirds.

Klemens photo of remaining drake Common Merganser on the left

Rusty Blackbird ,photo by Klemens

Upcoming NY Historical Society Audubon Prints exhibition

or paste from my email

Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock)
March 21 – May 26, 2014
OVERVIEW:  Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock) will offer an unprecedented opportunity to explore the evolution of John James Audubon’s watercolors in the order in which
they were engraved. The second in a multi-year series of three exhibitions, New-York Historical will showcase these masterpieces from its collection of Audubon’s preparatory watercolors for the sumptuous double
elephant-folio print edition of The Birds of America (1827–38). New-York Historical holds all 435 watercolor models for its 435 plates, engraved by Robert Havell Jr., plus an additional 39 avian watercolors by Audubon.

Parts Unknown will consider Audubon as an established artist-naturalist, a world citizen, and a celebrity in an expanding nation—no longer the young Frenchman who created the “early birds” displayed in the first installment. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition follows Audubon into unchartered territories—geographic, artistic, and scientific—as he encountered and mapped new species and grappled with the disappearing illusion of America’s infinite wilderness. It galvanized his awareness about the necessity of conserving species and habitats. Most of the watercolors in Parts Unknown (studies for Havell plates 176-305) depict water birds, many of which are among Audubon’s most spectacular and largest birds, with numerous studies begun during his southeastern explorations and on his Labrador Expedition.
 HIGHLIGHTS: Exhibition highlights will include the following species:
 Inline image 2  Inline image 1  Inline image 2
·         Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), which Audubon witnessed during his trip to Labrador, an area known for its puffin colonies. Determined to illustrate the nesting behavior, he depicted one of the two adults head-on and foreshortened in its burrow to showcase its breeding plumage, and the other positioned on guard in profile to display its rainbow-colored beak. Audubon recounted that some puffins “flew past us with the speed of an arrow, others stood erect at the entrance of their burrows, while some withdrew within their holes.”

·         Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), of which Audubon observed thousands arrive in Charleston, South Carolina, in March 1832, “in the marshes and rice fields, all in full plumage.” Audubon’s male model, in flamboyant breeding plumage executed in heavy gouache, measured twenty-two and a half inches in length to the end of its tail, but weighed a mere twelve ounces. The bird was over-hunted for its aigrettes, or tufted crest or head-plumes, and became endangered. Only strict conservation measures have restored it to its wetland habitats.

·         Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), painted from a specimen that Audubon purchased as an injured adult female in Boston. Struggling for weeks with how to euthanize the bird in order to paint it, Audubon suffered a seizure from the stress, after which he spent two weeks drawing this eagle. Audubon represented it straining to carry off a hare in a complex composition based on a work by the Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David. Showing the eagle preying on the hare, the composition parallels how the artist preyed on the eagle, with his self-portrait dressed in buckskins and carrying a shot eagle in the lower left.

CURATOR: Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson, Curator of Drawings at the New-York Historical Society

ABOUT AUDUBON: During his lifetime John James Audubon was awarded many honors, including election to England’s prestigious Royal Society, the highest scientific honor of his era. He and Benjamin Franklin were the only American members until after the Civil War. Audubon is considered America’s first great watercolorist, and his ability to bring together science and art equally during the age of Romanticism reveals the range of his genius. It has only been in the last one hundred years, however, that his name has become solidly linked with efforts to preserve America’s wildlife and wilderness areas.

ABOUT N-YHS:  The New-York Historical Society, one of America's pre-eminent culturalinstitutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal
the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a 
national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.


PRESS CONTACT: Timothy Wroten, (212) 873-3400 x326,
GROUP VISIT ARRANGEMENTS: Ben Levinsohn, (212) 873-3400 x352,

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fwd: Fwd: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Jan 25, 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: adamwelz@
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Sat, Jan 25, 2014 12:34 pm
Subject: Fwd: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Jan 25, 2014

Quick walk around the very pleasant, snowy park today more for exercise than anything else, the only remarkable birds being the 2 male Common Mergansers on the Lake.



Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 25, 2014 12:30 PM - 1:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
Comments:     Feeders to Lake & Lullwater
26 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) (Anas rubripes x platyrhynchos)  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X     about 100?
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  2     on Prospect Lake, as reported previously by others
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  4
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1     at feeders
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X     many, Lake
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X     hundreds, Lake
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X     tens, Lake
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  20
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1     feeders
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  3
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  X     dozens
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  6
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X     many at feeders
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1     feeders
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Common Mergansers continue prospect lake per Klemens. 7:54 am

Friday, January 24, 2014

Redtail hawk pair and a prowling Coopers

Seen on west slope Lookout hill mid afternoon.bad photo zoom

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device


A bit of raptor action today, as you can see above the pair of Red-tailed Hawks I found on the west lower slope of Lookout Hill.  But the good action was taking place at the north Vale of Cashmere this morning.

As you may know, someone puts out bird seed on the stone pedestals. The resulting high songbird activity makes it very attractive for a raptor. And of course this morning my coworker and I were delighted watching a very intrigued COOPERS HAWK watching its prey victims below, wondering which one to catch.The accipiter kept flying to various perches, at one point right over the one pedestal full of seed, that was closest to us as we shoveled the stairs.

Who says winter is boring? Not in my book...

Prospect Lake , winter spot

In all likelihood, the best winter spot is Prospect Lake. Here, surprises abound at times, and on rare occasions, some good ducks

End of the workday calls for a quick looker at the lake before calling it a day. And such, with free time left , from west lake drive, I spotted two very whitish ducks in the middle of the lake , along where ice met water. Its two drake COMMON MERGANSERS.

I drove over to the Peninsula  to get better looks; the mergansers were quite close, working the edge of the ice mass, quite beautiful in their bright plumage.

Hope they stick around...


2 drake COMMON MERGANSERS Prospect lake

winter survival,the challenge in Prospect

Winter snow covered ground presents a difficult challenge to birds.Its thought to find food, so whatever is available, the birds will take it.

With most of Prospect's ground snow covered, a few patches of open ground helps. Such is the spot at the west edge of the ball fields, below a oak near the construction chain link gate.Among sparrows feeding there, an impressive 9 FOX SPARROWS fed with the White throated.

At Nethermead west, by Center Drive, the large trees. Base showed a little ground.Here with the RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS,at least 3 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS hung together.They moved to several other such spots where tree bases were exposed. After a few visits, they all flushed towards Quaker Cemetery, presumably to find more open ground.

Lastly, a unique observation.As I was about to enter the Cleft Ridge Span, all the sparrows at the other end flushed, spooked by a preying RED TAILED HAWK that flashed quickly across the tunnel mouth.Nice to see that on this frigid day.

Post note:  A single AMERICAN TREE SPARROW has been seen at the feeders, eating suet. Typical other species there

KB NOTE: Curious about the "high" number of Fox Sparrow seen today ,the number is nowhere close to the all time Prospect record. In the late 1950's -early 60's numbers of 50 and higher were seen in Novembers.If ever that happens again, an exact count would be gladly accepted.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

At least 3 Rusty blackbirds with RWBB flock west edge nethetmead exposed grnd tree base.flew nto ctr dr woods
9 Fox sparrows feedng exposed ground under oak west edge Prospect constrct gatr

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fwd: Feeders

-----Original Message-----
From: robsbate@
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Wed, Jan 22, 2014 3:57 pm
Subject: Feeders

Nice action at the feeders today in the deep snow.  Big Coopers Hawk keeping watch and later nice collection of sparrows including a Tree Sparrow.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prospect snow and the flaky stuff

With beautiful snowflakes accentuating the Prospect landscapes, birds are doing their best under the flaky conditions.And sometimes, there are good birds.

In wooded areas NORTHERN CARDINALS are strutting their stuff in small flocks, most notably at West Island mainland, a flock of 9 mingling with WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. Along the west slope of Quaker Cemetery , just outside the fence, Cardinals there were joined by a different species of sparrow, the FOX SPARROW, 4 individuals trying their best clawing away the leaf clutter. and kicking up the snow cover.

But out on the lawn nearby, at the west edges of the Ballfields near the new construction fence gate, 5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were under the oak there, pecking away on exposed ground . I haven't seen this species here at this locale before but with snow an issue for hungry birds, any exposed ground becomes game.

Water isn't a problem as long its not frozen. In Prospect Lake, 6 HOODED MERGANSERS are relishing the open water by Three Sisters, 3 pairs hanging out there. A nice sighting in the Upper Pool , though , behind the island , were 4 drake WOOD DUCK.

So for the day impacted by a snowstorm, the snowflakes are falling upon some nice quality birds.


date = 2014/01/21
site = Prospect Park
observers = Peter D

Northern Shoveler at least 45 Lake
American Black Duck
Canada Goose 161
Wood Duck 4 drake Upper Pool island
Hooded Merganser 6, 3 pairs Three Sisters Islands
Ruddy Duck 2 Lake
Mute Swan 7
American Coot 3 Lake
Ring-billed Gull 500 lake
Herring Gull lake
White-throated Sparrow 12 West Island
Fox Sparrow 4 West Quaker Cemetery
Dark-eyed Junco 5 Ballfields west
Northern Cardinal 9 West Island, 7 Quaker Cemetery wwest
Red-winged Blackbird 2 feeders
Rusty Blackbird 5 west Ballfields
House Finch 15 feeders
American Goldfinch 3 feeders

House Sparrow 20 + feeders
Under fall snow,5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS west entrance to prospect ballfields road curve/constr chain fence

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fwd: Some Prospect and Green-Wood notes

-----Original Message-----
From: matthewwills@
To: prosbird
Sent: Sun, Jan 19, 2014 1:15 pm
Subject: Some Prospect and Green-Wood notes

Among the regulars, Prospect Park offered up a male Kingfisher, and a Merlin, both near the Esdale Bridge around mid-day today. Two Red-tails in the Lullwater, one ripping up a rat. Gory. Two sleeping raccoons visible on this cold day.

Yesterday in Green-wood, a banded Red-tailed Hawk was repeatedly patrolling the area where the Red-headed WP has been, although it looked like the several squirrels were its target. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Greenwood Cemetery and its traveling Raven

With the loyal REDHEADED WOODPECKER staying true to its resident location in the section bordered by Arbor and Bayside avenues  connected to Battle Ave, a COMMON RAVEN was reported flying over this locale later in the afternoon 340. (Chris Elliot)..

Earlier 1147 am Mike Yuan reported the Raven by Columbia Street pier in Red Hook, a traveling corvid seeing the brooklyn nabes.

Friday, January 17, 2014


From Rafael
This was the 2nd and last visit of Mariana to Prospect Park. She is leaving today back to Costa Rica.  But Prospect was nice to visit, compare it  with our visit this past Saturday.  Nice surprises and FOYs were: Brown Creeper, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, & Gray Catbird.

Heard only one Carolina Wren at the Midwood.  To our surprise, the feeders were empty, but of birds.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY
Jan 16, 2014 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
OBSERVERS: Rafael G Campos R. & Mariana Campos Ch.
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)

29 species

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  7
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  1    male, lake
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  6    3 males, 3 females
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  2
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  X
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Domestic type))  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  5
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  4
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1    behind Music Pagoda
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  1    by the Boathouse
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  2
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  2
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  4
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  10
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Brooklyn is great birding!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Expanding water,more ducks

With a slight warming trend, waterways in Prospect are expanding as ice melts and retreats.

The water opening at Prospect Lake along the Peninsula shore revealed a drake LESSER SCAUP,with two RUDDY DUCKS. Edges along the other shores are opening as well.

With shores opening,it is the WOOD DUCK  drake occupying such an opening at Upper Pool, at the back shore with AMERICAN BLACK and MALLARD DUCKS.

Maybe the presence of these ducks bode well for the upcoming waterfowl count.
Also noted at the Peninsula shore, a CAROLINA WREN at a tree base.

from the Nysb listserve

Subject: Brooklyn Peregrines Date: Thu Jan 16 2014 9:38 am From: matthewwills AT

Just watched a pair of Peregrines fly from the steeple of St. Paul's at Court/Congress. The pair were perching on either side of the cross, and flew east down Bergen before turning left, or north. That's the direction of the scrape at the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic. Love must be in the air.

St. Paul's steeple is one of the highest structures south of downtown BK; it's a reliable raptor perch.

Eyes on the sky, Matthew

Backyard & Beyond

KB NOTE: St Paul's is a church of great significance to me...... ( church of my baptism, and my mothers parish in her young years plus a number of other family to hear the peregrines picked a great church...)
Lesser scaup drake prospect lake along peninsula shore

Mute Swans NYSDEC announcement

NYSDEC issued a draft management plan today to control the species fast growing population:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter bird notes


Fwd:eBird Report - Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jan 15, 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: bobbi.manian@
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Wed, Jan 15, 2014 12:41 pm
Subject: Fw: eBird Report - Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jan 15, 2014

Hi Peter,

Beautiful day but BB Park was deader than dead.  No RB Mergansers, brant, or loons.  Only one bufflehead.  No sparrows other than HOSPs.   Best bird was a scoter, too far away to tell what type.

Onward to CA.  I'll bring you back a glaucous-winged gull :-)


On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:36 PM, "" <> wrote:
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 15, 2014 11:37 AM - 1:22 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
13 species (+2 other taxa)

Gadwall  27
American Black Duck  3
Mallard  1
American Black Duck/Mallard  X
Greater/Lesser Scaup  1
Bufflehead  1
Double-crested Cormorant  8
Ring-billed Gull  200
Herring Gull  25
Great Black-backed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X
Mourning Dove  2
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  X
House Sparrow  X

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Fwd: Greenwood RHWP continues

----Original Message-----
From: robsbate@
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Wed, Jan 15, 2014 11:32 am
Subject: Greenwood RHWP

Hey Peter,

Greenwood Cemetery : the Red-head Woodpecker continues and seems to be storing food for the next big cold snap.


KB NOTE : The bird is seen in the general area of Battle and Arbor Avenues, inside past the main arch gate at 25th street, up the road to the left where Battle starts.

Binnen Pool Coopers hawk

During a work crew's clean out of honey suckle infested area at the Binnen Pool area, an adult male COOPERS HAWK perched above. After 5 minutes perch, it flew down at something by the creek.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rainy sightings

This cold rainy day keeps the birders in except the hardy types.I though have to walk home from work thru the park..and I got to see a few nice sightings under soaking circumstances.

First along the road towards Upper Pool from the Tennis House, a sight of 97 AMERICAN ROBINS on the lawn got my attention. Unusual to seeing this large winter flock but its cold and wet and the ground is soaked perhaps sending up the worms.There were two COMMON GRACKLE as well.Yesterday  ,speaking of grackles, the same situation though drier conditions, over 200 COMMON GRACKLES fed under the trees at the front of the band shell. The flock is roving yet coming around for winter delight for any interested birder.

The other good action on this drenched day with rain falling hard on my open umbrella, took place on the Peninsula meadow. Among a mixed flock of Song and White throated Sparrows, two AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS perched in the dogwood along the dirt track that runs along the south edge of the meadow. Adding more delight, 4 HOODED MERGANSERS have returned to the widening water "hole" in the ice at the peninsula shore.Shovelers numbering 90 plus along with 25 AMERICAN COOT and a few AMERICAN BLACK DUCK make up the complimentary sightings. A hoard of CANADA GEESE on the meadow offered no rarity but its always wise to check for different species.

A note to you birders on the Well house.Its closed off now for restoration into a public restroom no birding behind the structure for maybe a year...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Merlin at Roosevelt Knob; Red Tails in swirl

Hi Peter,

Just since I haven’t seen one listed in the recent Prospect lists: a Merlin was perched for a while this morning on the most northern tree on Roosevelt Knob, at the south end of the North Great Lawn Meadow.

  Phone camera shot

Chris Elliot


Late this morning, three RED-TAILED HAWKS in a swirling circular soar , over Lookout Hill's southwest slope


Sunday, January 12, 2014

RedHeaded Woodpecker continues in GWC

From Matthew Wills:

Hi, Peter!

Red-headed WP continuing in Green-Wood this afternoon. Pics on the blog
The location was as noted in earlier posts here, right across the street immediately inside the 25th St. Neo-Gothic gate.

Other highlights were four raptor species: Red-tailed (2x, including one bird with a full crop), Peregrine, Merlin, and Sharp-shinned. Largest clump of Fox Sparrows I've ever seen hanging out together (5).

Not many birds all told, but choice ones.

Cheers, Matthew

Something worthy to support if you love the Snowy Owl

Just $ 1500 short of their goal:

Silly Swan

A email from Matt alerted me of a swan hitting the Terrace bridge smack on and flipping over. Apparently it was stunned awhile ,walked back to the peninsula on ice before joining the other swans. You wouldn't think it happens to birds hitting head on collisions with structures, but it does..

Again , anytime on a weekend you see an injured or distressed bird, to save time, see my blog side menu----> for BIRD REHABBERS for speedy help instead direct to me...( unless its a weekday when I am at work, I can alert my coworker expert in animal rescue)

Sorry for the photo upside down" ness " but I can't correct the alignment. U get the idea....

photo from Matt

Lesser Black backed Gull (LBBG) records

Yesterday's LBBG sighting was the first in four years. ( & likely 14th record)

Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/5/10      Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/5/10      Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     1/2/09      Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     1/14/07     Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     3/25/06     Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     11/13/05    Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/22/05     West Island
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     3/27/04     Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     3/2/04      West Island
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     3/15/03     West Island
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/9/03      3Sisters Islands   
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     1/1/02      Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     12/23/01    Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     3/14/01     Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/2/01      Prospect Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     12/19/00    Prospect Lake

Lesser Black-backed Gull      1     2/4/1998    Prospect Lake

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Out of fog, Prospect 's 2nd best rare gull

Prospect's winter sees its second rare gull, a species not seen here in quite awhile, when Klemens Gasser texted me of an adult LESSER BLACK BACK GULL on Prospect Lake in late morning.

When I got to the lake edge, moderate fog conditions were much noted, obscuring intermittently the lake's waterfowl and gulls. My advance to the south lake shore offered better views where Klemens was waiting. About five minutes later, he spotted the bird again,  the rare gull sitiing in the middle of the lake , directly in front of Three Sisters Islands no more than 150 feet. We watched the gull which moved /walked around a bit before settling into a sleep ode as drifts of fog went around it, at time dense fog hiding the gull flock. A good one today without me having to run down to Coney Island for the early in the week report of one there at Seagate's Norton Point, a long walk. Here in Prospect, I just have to step out the door.

With heavy rain downpour and foggy conditions persisting throughout the early afternoon, birding became a drag and scarce. Two COMMON GRACKLES did put in an appearance at Butterfly Meadow but that was the best of land birds to put.

But I take a good gull on a bad weather day anytime. Thanks to Klemens.



date = 2014/01/12
site = Prospect Park
observers = Peter D

Northern Shoveler 
American Black Duck 
Canada Goose 
Mute Swan 
Great Black-backed Gull 3 Lake
Lesser Black-backed Gull adult Prospect Lake, found by/viewed with Klemens Gasser
Ring-billed Gull over 1500
Herring Gull 
Rock Pigeon see phot in previous post for "proof"
Mourning Dove 
Downy Woodpecker feeders
Red-bellied Woodpecker Quaker Ridge
Blue Jay 2 Nethermead north
Hermit Thrush Quaker Cemetery  yesterday 1/10
European Starling 
White-throated Sparrow 15 nethermead west
Northern Cardinal 3 nethermead
Red-winged Blackbird 1 Feeders
Common Grackle 2 Butterfly meadow west edge
House Finch 8 Feeders
American Goldfinch 10
House Sparrow 

Photos of Lesser Black backed Gull taken by Klemens:

Note the dark backed gull (with yellow legs in pic #1) in the photos' center

more photos -->


Second report,from early AM,Rafael Campos

New Mail


Prospect Park, … Rafael Guillermo Camp os-Ramírez To you and 5 others - 12:40 pm More Details

3 of 21

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY Jan 11, 2014 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

OBSERVERS : Rafael G Campos R, & Mariana Campos-Chaves Protocol: Traveling 2.0 kilometer(s)

Comments: Most of the open water was frozen, except for a large hole in the lake. A single Hermit Trhush was seen the Peninsula, and a female Eastern Towhee. The feeders were almost empty of birds.
Only 4 sps we saw when we passed by: Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, & House Sparrow. By the way, Mariana is a CostaRican, young birder (±17), who has been birding with me and her Granpa -who is an avid birder- in my home country. First time in NYC.
27 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 8
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 9
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) 4
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 4
American Coot (Fulica americana) X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) X
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) X
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Domestic type)) X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 11
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 2
 Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 4
Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
 Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 1
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 10
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) 1
 Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 6
 Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X

Brooklyn is great birding!!!!

Dec26th Iceland gull photo

With today's second rare gull in Prospect's winter, here is a photo from initial founder of the first one, Iceland Gull from December 26th, when Doug Gochfeld discovered it.

Audubon article how birds adapted to cold snap

Frozen and foggy Prospect lake and its pigeon (foreground)



Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device
Less BB GULL still present prospect lake view is right of 3 Sister islands. Sleeping bird.fog conditions
Lesser black backed gull adult middle prospect lake.seen best from south side lake
Klemens found LESSER BLACKED GULL on Prospect'd .looking for it after flight

NY Times nature blog post

Interesting read,written by Gateway's National Park  top park ranger,Dave Taft

( been many years since we had one here in these parts.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fwd: Rusties; Gray Catbird

On this dreary wet day that saw sidewalks ice glazed over,a few notes.

-----Original Message-----
From: robsbate@
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Fri, Jan 10, 2014 10:22 am
Subject: Rusties

I finally got into the park to see the Rusty Blackbirds which were
exactly where advertised by the Osage Orange Tree and water nearby.  Six birds.

Not much else, the park was very gray.


KB note: This is the north edge of the Nethermead



Dear Peter, I checked lookout but nothing, except for a catbird at Maryland monument towards Nethermead. Best, Klemens

Prospect Lake today

2000 + gulls on the ice,but nothing out of the ordinary.

New revised Sibley field guide coming soon

March 11th, the updated revised Sibley field guide is coming.

see the link


Brooklyn Red-headed Woodpecker

nysb listserve posting

Thu Jan 9, 2014 6:18 pm (PST) . Posted by:

"Sean Sime" seansime

A quick stop in Greenwood Cemetery around 11:30 this morning turned up the continuing Red-headed Woodpecker. The bird was taking turns drinking from sapsucker holes with a Downy and Red-bellied Woodpecker in its previously described location near the 25th street entrance.



Sean Sime
Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bklyn Bridge Park; RUBB

Brooklyn Bridge Park can be an interesting place, particularly for ducks on rare occasions . This afternoon,Dennis spotted a drake CANVASBACK along Pier One nearest Fulton Ferry. On other ducks , usually you get wigeons and gadwalls in the mix.

In Prospect Park, Rob Jett reported 6 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, I assume near the binnen pool area/Nethermead.


There is life and drama in Prospect's frigid winter woods

Besides woods sightings of Juncos, WT Sparrows,and Fox Sparrow by Boulder Bridge and Cemetery northwest, no doubt the winter morning spectacle of a RED-TAILED HAWK eating a duck in a tree in front of the Wellhouse tops the morning. Flushed up by a dog walker on the Peninsula as I saw the hawk fly up, the RT had already bitten off the duck head .Given its small size the duck meal looks like a Shoveler.

Addendum:  Karen OHearn saw the redtail later , harassed by a second RT and the duck carcass was dropped with a loud bang, cause it was frozen solid.

I would post the photo here but its gory ..without its head ..and bloody.

If you want to see it, email me.( I'm not sure now what species it is...definitely not Donald)

Waterfowl Count PROSPECT JAN 19TH

This year's COASTAL count takes place MONDAY January 20th with the approval of the regional 10 count compiler Ron Bourque.

Dennis Hrehowsik is counting waterfowl for Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery on Jan 19th (Sunday) that will be a combined task. That should take less 2 1/2 hours to do with open water.
I will be on the Kings coast as usual....

THE MEETING SPOT FOR Prospect Park waterfowl count is

Sunday January 19th ladder 15 duck feeding beach near Vanderbilt playground 8:00am.

This is the west shore of the Lake straight in from the Vanderbilt Street /Prospect Park SOUTHWEST Ave park entrance


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Frigid Prospect

This morning's photo from Prospect Lake:

( note : No Emperor Penquins)

Bad phone photo zoomed in , Great Blue Heron freezing off his poor tail, back of Lily Pool

My List

date = 2014/01/07
site = Prospect Park
observers = me

So cold, even the gulls stayed away !
 ( less 200)

Great Blue Heron Lily Pool
Northern Shoveler 45
American Black Duck 
Canada Goose 
Mute Swan 7 lake
American Coot 12
Ring-billed Gull 175 lake
Mourning Dove 
Hermit Thrush Tennis House
White-throated Sparrow west isl area 6; also feeders
Song Sparrow west isl area 2
Northern Cardinal 
Red-winged Blackbird 6 feeder
House Finch 5 west isl; 15 feeders
American Goldfinch 3 feeders
House Sparrow over 25 feeders

Monday, January 6, 2014

Brutal cold coming..

Let s be careful out there with wind chill reaching minus 11.  Avoid being out too long ..Birding should take a vacation for the day...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Look what the ice bought in...

A very unusual sighting,the third out of season winter sighting,a BROWN THRASHER was seen at the Binnen Pool ,at Nethermead's east edge,by Dennis Hrehowsik. The other two species are Gray Catbird and Eastern Towhee also unseasonal birds.Binnen Pool and its feeding stream has been the best locale this winter with the Rusty Blackbirds and Towhee by the bridle trail

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rusty Blackbird Prospect

Dennis H reported RUSTY BLACBIRD today in Prospect. I neglected to mentioned yesterday that three were seen just outside the fence of Binnen Pool during my pass by snowplowing.They flew up into the tree then down to the stream.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Wintry Brooklyn Bridge Park

From Bobbi Manian:

Hi Peter,

BB Park was beautiful (and windy) today. Not too many birds though.


On Friday, January 3, 2014 3:13 PM, "" <> wrote:
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Kings, US-NY Jan 3, 2014 12:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 13 species (+1 other taxa)

Brant 12
 Gadwall 17
 American Black Duck 2
Mallard 13
 American Black Duck/Mallard X
Bufflehead 3
 Double-crested Cormorant 4
Ring-billed Gull 70
Herring Gull 25
 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 3
 European Starling 2
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 25
House Sparrow 1

If you are not thinking of mulching.....


       Habitats for wildlife :  Xmas trees

      (thanks to Kellie Q for the link )

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A terrific read while the snow blows;upcoming 1st Sunday bird walk

while the weather outside is frightful, here's a worthy book to read,about how nature''s winter creatures survive and thrive in wintertime..highly recommended


From Michele Dreger :

Happy New Year!!

Its the first Sunday of the year, January 5, 2014.  We will meet at 10 am in front of the Audubon Center.  Dress warm.  


KB note : this usually is a 2 hour walk starting from Prospect's Boathouse

Snow coming, little to report

The lull before the storm ?


From Orrin :

BBGarden this morning.

Not much

White-throated sparrows (a few)
Golden-crowned kinglets (2, around crabapples in north end)
Red-bellied woodpecker (heard)
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (heard)


From Prospect Park Southwest Ave by Reeve Place, a GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET from a street tree London Plane, thru the park fence.


From Bobbi Manian:

Hi Peter,

Kristin and i had a ruby-crowned kinglet on the backside of the upper pools today. he was picking at some sap dripping from woodpecker holes and displayed his crown very nicely for us once he saw how happy we were to see him :-)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day starts off with a flourish

If things are indicative of the new year, it's looking quite bright for Prospect and her neighboring green sites sisters. Though I wouldn't say Prospect was spectacular  today,  I believe in omens , something to think about the good prospects for the next 364 days.This winter day was not dreary, but positive !

The traditional Prospect New Year's Brooklyn Bird Club walk  today was a lot of fun, a day to discover the beauty of birds and celebrating friendships and old acquaintances ( like the Auld Lang Syne song). And the beauty of the day was finding birds  that offered  anew  gifts for the new year.

Starting off from Bartel Pritchard Square at 9 am, a delightful sight of close to an unseasonal 200 COMMON GRACKLES walked all over the lawn along the park edge  adjoining Prospect Park Southwest Ave. So,sort of a "bang" to start the new year and for the first BBC walk. We followed these blackbirds  towards the 11th Ave park entrance, our appreciated sighting of the birds in the trees here.

Along the way, that was quiet  most of the walk until we got to the south face of Lookout Hill , where Cardinals and Sparrows abound, were welcomed species for a visiting San Francisco birding couple, we didn't expect to see a GRAY CATBIRD by the feeders.An uncommon species for this time of year,later we also had EASTERN TOWHEE ( first reported by Steve Nanz) below the Three Arches bridge , on the north side, also unseasonal for this time. Three unseasonal species ain't bad for a winter day.Add a BROWN CREEPER seen by the horse loop for quality to our bird list.

By the early afternoon, the group dwindling down to 4, we stopped by the Windsor Cafe for lunch to re energize ourselves before heading over to Greenwood Cemetery. The promise of Red-headed Woodpecker lured us, not to tick it off for 2014, but simply to cherish new and rare birds and hopes to come. And lo and behold , just inside the cemetery 25th Street gate arch, up Battle Ave with the "T" intersection with Arbor Road, we found our target: RED-HEADED WOODPECKER. It was stashing acorns in a dead looking ( expected for the cemetery ?)  from a nearby Pin Oak tree. The juvenile woodpecker several times in flight flashed its white bold wings, perhaps doing its own New Year's impersonation for celebration.

Meanwhile over at Prospect , Rafael spotted RUSTY BLACKBIRD, making today a wonderful start for 2014.

Here it goes again. 2014 or bust !  ( bring us the great birding,Oh Nature !)

For bird list  from today's BBC walk, click on this link

From Rafael:

My first bird of the year at Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  With temperatures below Zero Celsius (-3°C), I did a short walk, ±2 hrs.  I saw 23 sps, but the best was Rusty Blackbird (see attached pictures).  Three individuals seen by the Nethermead Arches, forraging on the ground with White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrow, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals.
The feeders did not have nothing unusual.  And most of the open water was frozen.

Brooklyn is Great Birding!!!

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kings, US-NY
Jan 1, 2014 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Observer: Rafael G. Campos-Ramirez
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
23 species

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1    flyover Long Meadow
American Coot (Fulica americana)  1    Upper Pool
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Domestic type))  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  4
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  6
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)  1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Fox Sparrow (Red) (Passerella iliaca iliaca/zaboria)  1    Nethermead arches
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  2
Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)  3    Seen by the Nethermead Arches.  See photos attached.
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  8
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  4
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Brooklyn is great birding!!!