Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.
Celebrate your inner nerd with my new t-shirt design! Available on my Spreadshirt shop in multiple colors and products.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Swallow flock over Prospect Lake

Common Nightshade (Solanum americanum)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

After work today I pedalled into Prospect Park before the sun went down. Shane had called me earlier in the day to report a Cliff Swallow flying over the lake. What he hadn’t told me was that the air above the lake was seething with several hundred swallows. Bank Swallows seemed to be remaining mostly in the corner of the lake near West Island. Trees and Barns were weaving paths back and forth across the entire lake. In the space between Three Sister’s Island and the Peninsula were a pair of Cliff Swallows swooping and diving for insects. The low sunlight reflecting off of their white forehead patch looked like a headlight, making them easy to pick out among the other swallows. Timing their migration to coincide with the emergence of billions of flying insects, the birds were likely feeding on the park’s sudden eruption of midges. In the mottled light of the Ravine we could see clouds of these tiny flies hovering above the waterfall, stream and pools.

- - - - -

Prospect Park, 5/23/2006
Double-crested Cormorant
Wood Duck (Upper pool.)
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Monk Parakeet (~12, near bandshell.)
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher
Olive-sided Flycatcher (1, Rick's Place. 1, Vale of Cashmere.)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tree Swallow (Prospect Lake, several dozen.)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3, Upper pool.)
Bank Swallow (~14, Prospect Lake.)
Cliff Swallow (2, Prospect Lake.)
Barn Swallow (Prospect Lake, several dozen.)
House Wren
Swainson's Thrush
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Spring Vetch (Vicia sativa)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) on Lullwater

(Photo credit - Rob J)
-Click here for more info on Black-crowned Night-Heron-

Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) on Lookout Hill

(Photo credit - Rob J)
-Click here for more info on House Wrens-


Vics said...

Your unidentified vine may be a vicia sativa. See the following:

Walker said...

Love the picture of the house wren... they are such mouthy little fellows.

Rob Jett said...

Thanks for the vetch info.

The House Wrens in Prospect Park usually nest up inside the street lamps. However, I've noticed that House Sparrows have taken over many of the lamps leaving the wrens to more traditional housing.

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope