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Thursday, November 04, 2010

October Birds

October turned out to be a good month for adding new species to my year list. By October 24th I had added 7 species for New York State, bringing my year total to 257. All were observed within Brooklyn, so my borough total is now 232.

When Heydi called me about the Cattle Egret at Floyd Bennett Field early in the month, I practically dropped everything and rushed out there. Ironically, not only has the bird remained for nearly a month, two more have joined him.

Floyd Bennett Field was very productive over October as I found three good birds there. In addition to the Cattle Egret were American Golden-Plover and Blue Grosbeak. Another unexpected find was of a pair of Royal Terns just across Flatbush Avenue along the shore of Dead Horse Bay.

I did fairly well with respect to migrating sparrows and was able to add Clay-colored Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow (both in Prospect Park) and Nelson's Sparrow (Plum Beach). One sparrow that I missed this year and am unlikely to see given the late date is Lark Sparrow. A few were observed early in the migration around the city and on Long Island. My last species of the month was found at Green-Wood Cemetery. While trudging up the hillside towards Battle Hill, I heard a familiar, sweet song, searched the trees for the source, then spotted a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. A beautiful bird to end the month with.

During November the migration finally starts to peter out. It can also be a month for unusual finds as western vagrants sometimes show up around the city and Long Island. I don't expect to add many more birds during the last two months of the year, but you never know.

250) Cattle Egret (Floyd Bennett Field, 10/10/10)
251) American Golden-Plover (Floyd Bennett Field, 10/12/10)
252) Royal Tern (Dead Horse Bay, 10/06/10)
253) Eastern Bluebird (Greenwood Cemetery, 10/24/10)
254) Clay-colored Sparrow (Prospect Park, 10/05/10)
255) Vesper Sparrow (Prospect Park, 10/19/10)
256) Nelson's Sparrow (Plum Beach, 10/12/10)
257) Blue Grosbeak (Floyd Bennett Field, 10/06/10)

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