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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Prospect Park with Shane B. and Sean S.

It was an unusually blustery spring morning. The 34 degree temperature almost persuaded me to skip a quick morning check on the hawks. As I passed the Picnic House I noticed all the squirrels nearby scrambling for cover. Split-tail had just flown out of the woods on Payne Hill and had zeroed in on one of the grey rodents below a stand of oak trees. The squirrels all managed to escape and the hungry Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree above me and wagged his tail from side to side.

When I left the house I didn't realize that it would be so windy. I had to stand in the lee of the elm tree below Big Mama and Split-tail's nest to stay warm. I felt the huge tree slowly rocking from the force of the wind. I could see the top of Big Mama's head in the nest as she peered down at me. I imagined her holding her wings out to cradle her young and prevent them from blowing out of the nest. The previous two years nest's were much closer to the ground and weren't really in danger on gusty days. Back then Big Mama spent more time away out of the nest monitoring it from a short distance. I can't wait to get my first glimpse of a fuzzy, white head sticking up from the nest...any day now.
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Prospect Park, 4/28/2004
Great Blue Heron (Perched in tree in Midwood.)
Gadwall (Upper pool.)
Bufflehead (Upper pool.)
Red-tailed Hawk (2.)
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher (Lower pool.)
Northern Flicker
Least Flycatcher (Payne Hill.)
Blue-headed Vireo (Several.)
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3 or 4, Upper pool.)
Barn Swallow (Several.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Quaker Ridge.)
House Wren (2.)
Winter Wren (Midwood.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Common.)
Hermit Thrush (Common.)
Wood Thrush (2.)
Gray Catbird (Abundant.)
Brown Thrasher (3 or 4.)
Northern Parula (2.)
Yellow Warbler (Midwood.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Abundant.)
Prairie Warbler (2, Ravine.)
Black-and-white Warbler (~10.)
Ovenbird (Midwood.)
Northern Waterthrush (Ravine.)
Louisiana Waterthrush (Ravine.)
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler (Quaker Ridge.)
Canada Warbler (Peninsula.)
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow (Several.)
Swamp Sparrow (Several.)
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch (6+, Midwood.)
American Goldfinch

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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