Saturday, April 17, 2004

Prospect Park, Floyd Bennett, Riis Park, Fort Tilden, Spring Creek and Marine Park with Shane B.

I walked across the park just before sunrise to meet Shane near the lake. We had planned a long day of birding at various Brooklyn locations and thought that Prospect Park would be a good starting point. We wanted to spend a little time in the park before all the unleashed dogs and their owners arrived.

I was surprised by the endless cacophony of robin songs carrying through the woods and fields. It wasn't like that in the park the day before. In the Ravine a Louisiana Waterthrush was singing in the dark at the edge of the stream. The sky was beginning to lighten as I walked through the grass on the Nethermead and I could hear the ringing songs of Chipping Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos all along the edge of the field. Three Great Blue Herons were flying north above the meadow. As I waited for Shane at the Terrace Bridge I watched flock after flock of robins flying north over the park. Northern Flickers, while not as numerous as the robins, were also taking advantage of the south wind and flew past in good numbers. Through the course of the day we were also amazed by the large number of Double-crested Cormorants migrating. We easily observed several hundred birds flying overhead with a single flock containing close to one hundred individuals.

At Floyd Bennett Field we spotted a Red-necked Grebe in breeding plumage off the Archery Road. I'm surprised he hasn't headed north yet. A flock of thirty tired Glossy Ibis landed in the trees next to the Return-a-Gift Pond. A pair of harriers patrolled low over the grasslands while eight colorful kestrels hovered higher above hunting for much smaller prey.

There wasn't a huge fallout of migrants today, although most birders were probably keeping their fingers crossed. It was the first time this spring that there were consistent south-southwest winds leading into the weekend and I'm sure everyone was chomping at the bit. While there were a number of changes in the local parks with Prospect Park recording five new species for the year the massive invasion of migrants is still a little ways off.
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Prospect Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Riis Park, Fort Tilden, Spring Creek, Marine Park, 4/17/2004
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Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe (Floyd Bennett.)
Northern Gannet (3.)
Great Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant (Several hundred on flyover.)
Great Blue Heron (Prospect Park.)
Great Egret
Snowy Egret (Spring Creek.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Prospect Park, Floyd Bennett.)
Glossy Ibis (Floyd Bennett, Riis Park.)
Brant
Wood Duck (Floyd Bennett.)
Gadwall (Floyd Bennett.)
American Wigeon (Floyd Bennett.)
Northern Shoveler
Long-tailed Duck (Riis Park.)
Bufflehead
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Osprey (Prospect Park.)
Northern Harrier (Floyd Benett.)
American Kestrel (Floyd Benette, Prospect Park.)
American Coot
American Oystercatcher (Riis Park, Marine Park.)
Greater Yellowlegs (Spring Creek, Marine Park.)
Sanderling (Fort Tilden.)
Laughing Gull (Riis Park.)
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Monk Parakeet (Coney Island Avenue.)
Belted Kingfisher (Prospect Park.)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Prospect Park, Ft. Tilden.)
Hairy Woodpecker (Prospect Park.)
Northern Flicker (Several dozen on flyover.)
Eastern Phoebe
Fish Crow (Prospect Park.)
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Prospect Park.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Ft. Tilden.)
Brown Creeper (Floyd Bennett.)
Winter Wren (2, Prospect Park.)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Prospect Park.)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush (Prospect Park.)
Eastern Towhee (Several.)
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow (Floyd Bennett.)
Savannah Sparrow (Prospect Park, Floyd Bennett.)
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Eastern Meadowlark (Floyd Bennett, Ft. Tilden.)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch (Ft. Tilden.)
American Goldfinch

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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