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Thursday, May 19, 2005

More birds and flowers

Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Shane is a lot more resilient than me. Saturday’s Bird/trudge-a-thon wore me out but he still managed to have the energy to get out and bird early mornings in Prospect Park. After physical therapy on Tuesday morning I grabbed my binoculars and met up with him to bird the park for a couple of hours.

Most of the oak trees have begun to drop their catkins. Piles of dried, brown streamers litter the ground and blow into drifts against the edges of the streets and sidewalks. It reminds me of the ticker tape at the end of a parade. Could this be the symbolic conclusion to the cavalcade of song and color? I’ve noticed that the birds are now more active in the Sycamore Maples and Sweetgums as those trees catkins are still fresh.

Northern Parula (Parula americana)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Northern Parulas are still the most common warbler seen or heard around the park. Canada Warblers are more plentiful than the last time I was out. Today we also spotted a couple of female Blackpoll Warblers. I’ve been told that female blackpolls are the last warbler to migrate. When they begin to be seen it is a sign that the migration is winding down. In the forested areas of the park we heard the rich, flute-like song of two or three Wood Thrushes. Hermit Thrushes had moved north early in the migration, now Swainson’s Thrushes and Veery’s are being seen in good numbers.

Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

-Warbler Identification Guide-

We were standing at the edge of the bridge near the back of the zoo looking down on the unused bridle path. The retaining wall on the left side of the path is topped with a tangle of multiflora rose and various other shrubs. There were a few White-throated Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow feeding on elm samaras that were sprinkled in the mud. Shane started "pishing" and a Lincoln’s Sparrow popped up out of the rose shrub. It was the first one seen in Prospect Park this year. It was also the first one that I’ve seen since last December.

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Among the flowering plants observed today were Wild Geranium, Elderberry, Cucumber Magnolia and the lovely, but invasive Star-of-Bethlehem.

Common Elderberry close-up (Sambucus nigra)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Cucumber Magnolia flower (Magnolia acuminata)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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Prospect Park, 5/17/2005
Double-crested Cormorant
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tree Swallow
House Wren
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, 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

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click to read about Star-of-Bethlehem-

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