Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Sunday in Prospect Park

White Alder catkins (Alnus rhombifolia)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

The season of rebirth is getting closer. Budding trees, buzzing insects and newly arriving migrants make me impatient for the heart of spring. Unfortunately, the energy and excitement of May is still a distance away. In the words of author Robert Arbib, March is “often the month of hope denied”. Even with that knowledge I still felt good today when I saw my first Eastern Phoebes of the year. In addition, overwintering juncos have begun trilling for mates from high perches plus I stumbled upon a patch of daffodils already unfurling their radiant, yellow heads. A chortling Belted Kingfisher flew back and forth along the Lullwater. I spotted several small flocks of chattering goldfinches feeding on tender elm buds. Up until now the park’s squirrels have had the early spring delicacy to themselves.

Daffodils

(Photo credit - Rob J)

I felt sorry for a Red-shouldered Hawk perched on Duck Island. His crying “kee-ah, kee-ah, kee-ah, kee-ah, kee-ah” sounded sad and lonely. I imitated his whistle and he whistled back. We don’t see red-shoulders in Prospect Park very often and I doubt his calls will be answered by another hawk.

Both the Payne Hill and Ravine red-tailed nests were occupied by brooding adults. The Ravine nest occupant is still fairly easy to see as the surrounding foliage has yet to grow out. On Big Mama and Split-tails nest, however, I was only able to discern some tail feathers sticking up over the high stick construction.

I think this is a Bagworm cocoon that I found on a Sweetgum sapling

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for more info on Bagworms-

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Prospect Park, 3/27/2005
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Ring-necked Duck (9, Upper Pool. 5, Prospect Lake.)
Bufflehead (1, Upper Pool.)
Ruddy Duck (~30, Prospect Lake.)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Perched and calling from Duck Island.)
Red-tailed Hawk (2 at nests, 2 flying over Long Meadow.)
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull (11 on lake.)
Belted Kingfisher (Lullwater.)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Lookout Hill.)
Eastern Phoebe (3, pools. 3, Peninsula. 2, Lullwater. 1, Binnen Water.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Breeze Hill.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2, Lullwater.)
Fox Sparrow (4, Rick's Place. 2, Peninsula.)
Swamp Sparrow (1, Lower Pool.)
White-throated Sparrow (Fairly common.)
Dark-eyed Junco (~100, Midwood & Lookout Hill.)
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch (~50, various locations.)

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 (Butterfly Meadow.), Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee (6, Breeze Hill.), Tufted Titmouse (4, Breeze Hill.), American Robin (~300.), European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird

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