Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Some updates

Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

I haven't updated the blog for a while as I've been out of town. When I returned my inbox was filled with e-mails announcing news of recent arrivals, both migrants and hatchlings. Before I get to that, I'd like to plug the upcoming Birdathon and City Birding Challenge.

Rumor has it that the Staten Island team has been strategizing and scrambling in an effort to beat our team, "The Wandering Talliers". I'm not going to make any predictions but yesterday Shane and I did some casual scouting and ended the day with 112 species. Last year we hit 140 species, and we were confined to Brooklyn. This year we can use all the boroughs. It would be nice to win the trophy for the top team but there is also an award for the team that raises the most money.

If you'd like to sponsor the Brooklyn team (or anyone, for that matter) and pledge money for the City Birding Challenge check out this webpage:

City Birding Challenge pledge form

Saturday saw a huge influx of migrant songbirds. The news started with an interesting e-mail from Sean to the group on Friday morning:

"From: Sean Sime
Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 06:24:42 -0400
Subject: Brooklyn, NY Big Push

From 5:45am to 6:15am from my roof I counted no fewer than 150 small passerines heading north. The only birds low enough or large enough to ID have been Great Crested Flycatcher, Redstart, Common Loon, Baltimore Oriole. The birds are still coming over in groups of 10-20.

Looks like it's going to be a great day!

Sean


That note was followed up by:

"Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 07:16:09 -0400

The push has slowed as of 7am. The greatest numbers went through around 6:30 with a few groups of 20-30 birds in close succession. All told I counted over 400 migrants in an hour and a half. Birds were visible or audible the entire time I was on my roof deck. The majority of birds unfortunately went unidentified. A Black-throated Blue [Warbler] sang, but it was unclear if this was a bird in flight or had dropped into a tree unnoticed. Quite a spectacle!

Cheers,

Sean



Unfortunately, at 6:30am I was already heading down to Maryland. I missed the results of that first big spring fallout in Brooklyn but appreciated it vicariously. In just one day the number of birds species in Prospect Park more than doubled. Friday saw the addition of 10 new year species; Least Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Pine Siskin.

Shane and I tried to make up for lost time on Monday. We birded Prospect Park, Forest Park and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Some of the weekend migrants had moved on but we still had a great day. I got to see one of my favorite birds, the Blackburnian Warbler, three times. At Forest Park we watched one bathing and preening at the edge of the "waterhole".

Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

From Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge we drove the 10 minutes south to Big Egg Marsh. We were looking for shorebirds and, with some luck, a Seaside Sparrow. The tide was unusually low which allowed us to walk deeper into the marsh than normal. While scanning tussocks of exposed grass and mud I spotted an opossum just waking and preparing for his nocturnal ventures.

Opossum at Big Egg Marsh

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Tomorrow I'll post some photos of New York City's newest additions to the Red-tailed Hawk population.

Carolina Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click here for info on Carolina Silverbells

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Prospect Park, Forest Park, JBWR, 5/8/2006
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Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
Brant
Gadwall
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Clapper Rail
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
American Oystercatcher
Lesser Yellowlegs
Willet
Red Knot
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern
Monk Parakeet
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Veery
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Worm-eating Warbler
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

Other common 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, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, House Sparrow

1 comment:

Walker said...

Cute possum photo. Those guys so cleverly find little places to live.

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