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!!!