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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Prospect Park with Shane B.

I was in the park by 5:15am. I wanted to spend the first two hours of daylight walking from the north end of the park to the lake at the opposite end. It appears from the abrupt decrease in songbird abundance and diversity that the migration is winding down. I hope I'm wrong as bird numbers seem to be much lower than previous years.

I ran into Ed C. near the Maryland Monument and we walked out to the forested end of the Peninsula. When we were about ten yards from the wooden shelter opposite Duck Island Ed pointed out a large Snapping Turtle on the right side of the path. The turtle had likely hauled herself out of the lake to lay eggs. Laboring across a short stretch of leaf litter she was searching for an open patch of loose soil to dig a hole. Unfortunately, all of the paths are now edged with wood slatted snow fencing. The turtle was stopped by the fencing a mere 12" from the dirt on the footpath. With her face pressed up against the wood and wire fencing she looked like she was incarcerated (hunting ducklings without a license). I considered picking her up and lifting her over the fence but her massive jaws looked a little too intimidating. I tried pulling the fence up but she just sat, unimpressed by my effort. I gave up and started to walk away when I had an idea. I found a short, stout piece of wood and wedged it under the fence creating a small opening for her. I figured she then had a path to retreat to the water after she finished laying her eggs.

A Cerulean Warbler was singing at the edge of the Midwood near the Boulder Bridge at around 6am. I ran into Shane a little later and we were able to relocate it as it was still serenading the dark, humid woodlands.
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Prospect Park, 5/19/2004
Great Egret (Duck Is.) [Rob J]
Green Heron (Upper Lullwater.) [Rob J]
Black-crowned Night-Heron (2, Duck Is.) [Rob J]
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Vale of Cashmere.) [Rob J]
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Midwood, female in nest cavity.) [Rob J]
Eastern Wood-Pewee (3, Vale of Cashmere, Midwood, Lookout Hill.)
Least Flycatcher (Lookout Hill.) [Shane B]
Eastern Kingbird (Long Meadow, Nethermead, Peninsula.)
Warbling Vireo (2, Peninsula. 1, Midwood.)
Red-eyed Vireo (Several.)
House Wren (Singing from top of lamppost at Nethermead Arches.)
Gray-cheeked Thrush 50% (Vale of Cashmere.) [Rob J]
Swainson's Thrush (Several.)
Wood Thrush (2, Rick's Place. 1, Midwood. 2, Peninsula.)
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing (~4, Midwood.)
Northern Parula (2 or 3.)
Yellow Warbler (Singing on Duck Is.) [Rob J]
Magnolia Warbler (Several.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (2.)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1, Rick's Place.)
Blackpoll Warbler (Fairly Common.)
Cerulean Warbler (Singing near Boulder Bridge from 6am-7am.)
Black-and-white Warbler (2.)
Ovenbird (2.)
Northern Waterthrush (Vale of Cashmere, Rick's Place.)
Common Yellowthroat (4 or 5.)
Wilson's Warbler (1, Rick's Place. 1, near Maryland Monument.)
Scarlet Tanager (1, Vale of Cashmere. 1, Midwood.)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Several.)
Lincoln's Sparrow (Ravine.)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird (Common.)
Baltimore Oriole (Vale of Cashmere, Rick's Place. Nethermead, Peninsula.)

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

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

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