Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Slow Day in Prospect Park

Sean and I did a little birding in Prospect Park today hoping to locate some of the early songbird migrants already heading south.

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

There seemed to be less warblers around than the last time I was in the park. Continuous south winds probably had some affect on the bird movement. As we walked around the park we noticed that we were never far from the sounds of crying young Red-tailed Hawk. There are five juvenile hawks in the area and we noticed a number of the young raptors begging and trailing after their parents high in the sky. Over Breeze Hill we spotted Split-tail and Big Mama pair bonding. The smaller male was soaring close to the back of his mate while dangling his legs down. They ignored one of their offspring close by. At least one of the juvenile hawks seems to have stopped bugging his parents and was kiting over Breeze Hill and Lookout Hill. This is a very good time of year to see the hawk families out hunting over the Nethermead Meadow and Long Meadow.

Bad photo of a good bird (Caspian Tern)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

One unusual sighting was of a Caspian Tern over Prospect Lake. When flying with three Laughing Gulls this enormous tern made the gulls look small in comparison. I tried to take a photo but the fast moving bird made any decent pictures all but impossible. Since the park was relatively quiet I took a few photos of some of the common birds.

Mourning Dove

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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Prospect Park, 8/12/2004
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Wood Duck (2, the pools.)
Osprey (Flying over Ravine.)
Red-tailed Hawk (3 adults, 4 juveniles.)
Spotted Sandpiper (Edge of lake at Peninsula.)
Laughing Gull (3.)
Caspian Tern (Flying back and forth over lake.)
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker (Lullwater.)
Eastern Kingbird (Several.)
empidonax sp. (2, Lower pool & Peninsula.)
Barn Swallow (Several over lake.)
House Wren (2 or 3 at back of Binnen Waters.)
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird (5 or 6.)
Cedar Waxwing (Several on Peninsula and Upper pool.)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Sullivan Hill.)
Black-and-white Warbler (Sullivan Hill.)
Ovenbird (Lookout Hill.)
Northern Waterthrush (Observed 1, heard 2 or 3 more.)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole (4. Peninsula.)
House Finch (Lookout Hill.)

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker (Fledgling in black cherry tree on Peninsula.), Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker (Next to Quaker Cemetery.), Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee (2.), Tufted Titmouse, American Robin (Abundant.), European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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