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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Prospect Park with Paul Buckley & Neil Smith

Baby Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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Predicting big migrant fallouts still seems to involve more wishful thinking and voodoo than science. Many birders (including myself) had optimistically presumed that recent weather systems pointed towards favorable conditions for large numbers of birds. When I entered Prospect Park at 6am I assumed that I’d be hearing lots of songbirds. Guess again. The temperature was about 45 degrees and it wasn’t until late morning, when the air began warming, that we started to hear a moderate amount of bird song.

Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Yellow-rumped Warbler and Northern Parula were the most common migrant species encountered today. Black-and-white Warblers numbers have suddenly dropped off while Nashvilles and Black-throated Blues have increased. Red-eyed Vireos seem to have also begun to arrive in greater numbers. I spotted my first Swainson’s Thrush of the season near the Vale of Cashmere. Several Baltimore Orioles and one Orchard Oriole whistled and chattered for potential mates from treetops around the park. Warbling Vireos were also heard in several areas adjacent to the park’s waterways.

One interesting observation today was of a flock of migrating Eastern Kingbirds. I’ve seen plenty of kingbirds settling in to breed in the park but this was the first time I’ve noticed a flock passing through.

Flowering Ash (Fraxinus ornus)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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Prospect Park, 5/11/2005
Double-crested Cormorant (Prospect Lake.)
Great Blue Heron (Upper Lullwater.)
Great Egret (3 or 4.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (6, Duck Is.)
Turkey Vulture (2, flyovers.)
Red-tailed Hawk (2.)
Spotted Sandpiper (2 or 3.)
Laughing Gull (1, Prospect Lake.)
Great Black-backed Gull
Chimney Swift
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher (Heard calling in Lullwater.)
Eastern Kingbird (Several park breeders, plus 8 in a migrating flock.)
Blue-headed Vireo (1, Lookout Hill.)
Warbling Vireo (Several around park waterways.)
Red-eyed Vireo (Approx. 6-8.)
Tree Swallow (~8.)
Barn Swallow (Several over lake.)
House Wren (3, one in bird house on Peninsula.)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1 heard singing in Ravine.)
Veery (3 or 4.)
Swainson's Thrush (1 at Vale of Cashmere.)
Hermit Thrush (1, Lookout Hill.)
Wood Thrush (1 heard singing in Ravine.)
Gray Catbird (Common.)
Northern Mockingbird (Long Meadow.)
Brown Thrasher (Heard on Peninsula.)
Cedar Waxwing (Peninsula.)
Nashville Warbler (Fairly common.)
Northern Parula (Common.)
Yellow Warbler (3 or 4.)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (2, Rick's Place & lamppost J249.)
Magnolia Warbler (Several.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Fairly common.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Common.)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Approx. 4-6.)
Blackburnian Warbler (1 male, 1 female. Lookout Hill.)
Prairie Warbler (2.)
Blackpoll Warbler (3 males. 1 female.)
Black-and-white Warbler (2.)
American Redstart (Several.)
Ovenbird (Approx. 6-8.)
Northern Waterthrush (1 Peninsula. 1 singing at Upper Pool.)
Common Yellowthroat (Fairly common.)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1 calling in Midwood.)
Chipping Sparrow (2 small flocks, Peninsula Meadow & Nethermead.)
Swamp Sparrow (Rick's Place.)
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole (1 heard singing in Ravine.)
Baltimore Oriole (Approx. 6-8.)
American Goldfinch (2, Butterfly Meadow.)

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, Blue Jay, American Crow (3.), Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Hawthorne spp

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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