Tuesday, January 04, 2011

December Birds & Brooklyn Year

December is usually a slow month for finding new bird species for one's year list. I was, however, able to add 6 more birds and finished the year with 267 species in New York State. Not too shabby, especially since most of my birding was done by either bicycle or public transportation. The month started with a good bird sighting, which I took as an auspicious sign of things to come.

Waterfowl is one family of birds that increases in diversity and abundance during the winter around New York City. One of the species missing from my year list going into December was Eurasian Wigeon. On December 4th, Heydi and I put our heads together to try and figure out the most likely place to spot one in Brooklyn. The Marine Park Saltmarsh was the first place we checked. We lucked out, as we found one within the first few minutes of scanning the duck flocks. Other ducks I added by the month's end were Harlequin Duck and Redhead.

On December 5th I took a road trip to Long Island with Shane and Heydi. We went in search of a bird that had never been officially recorded in New York State - Hermit Warbler. We found the bird right away, which was a Life Bird for all of us, then headed to Jones Beach, where I added Harlequin Duck and Loggerhead Shrike to my year list. Neither the shrike nor the duck were life birds, but the loggerhead was a New York State first for me.

Mid-month I began looking back at gull records to help me decide where to concentrate my efforts for either Black-headed Gull or Iceland Gull. On the 15th I had time in the afternoon for a little birding and considered going to the Owl's Head Water Treatment Plant. Before heading out I received a call from Shane that finalized my decision - he had spotted an adult Black-headed Gull on the pier next to the treatment plant. It was still present when I arrived.

Scanning through our winter flocks of gulls and waterfowl is the most likely way to find a new species, so it was no surprise that my final new bird for 2010 was a Redhead. After a long day of birding around the Coney Island peninsula, this beautiful duck was found an hour before sunset among hundreds of birds along Coney Island Creek.

262) Eurasian Wigeon (Marine Park Saltmarsh Nature Center, 12/04/10)
263) Redhead (Calvert Vaux Park, 12/30/10)
264) Harlequin Duck (Jones Beach Coast Guard Station, 12/05/10)
265) Black-headed Gull (Veterans Memorial Pier, 12/15/10)
266) Loggerhead Shrike (Jones Beach--Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, 12/05/10)
267) Hermit Warbler (Sunken Meadow SP, 12/05/10)

I finished my 2010 Brooklyn year list with 237 species - 17 more than 2009. None of those birds were lifers, but 10 species were new for Brooklyn, that is, I'd seen them in other parts of New York, just not in my home borough.

In addition to the Hermit Warbler, the Common Ground Dove was a 2010 life bird.

Brooklyn Year List 2010

1) Snow Goose
2) Brant
3) Canada Goose
4) Mute Swan
5) Wood Duck
6) Gadwall
7) Eurasian Wigeon
8) American Wigeon
9) American Black Duck
10) Mallard
11) Blue-winged Teal
12) Northern Shoveler
13) Northern Pintail
14) Green-winged Teal
15) Canvasback
16) Redhead
17) Ring-necked Duck
18) Greater Scaup
19) Lesser Scaup
20) Surf Scoter
21) White-winged Scoter
22) Black Scoter
23) Long-tailed Duck
24) Bufflehead
25) Common Goldeneye
26) Barrow's Goldeneye *
27) Hooded Merganser
28) Common Merganser
29) Red-breasted Merganser
30) Ruddy Duck

31) Ring-necked Pheasant

32) Red-throated Loon
33) Common Loon
34) Pied-billed Grebe
35) Horned Grebe
36) Red-necked Grebe
37) Western Grebe *

38) Northern Gannet

39) Double-crested Cormorant
40) Great Cormorant

41) Great Blue Heron
42) Great Egret
43) Snowy Egret
44) Cattle Egret
45) Green Heron
46) Black-crowned Night-Heron
47) Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
48) Glossy Ibis

49) Black Vulture *
50) Turkey Vulture

51) Osprey
52) Northern Harrier
53) Sharp-shinned Hawk
54) Cooper's Hawk
55) Red-shouldered Hawk
56) Broad-winged Hawk
57) Red-tailed Hawk
58) American Kestrel
59) Merlin
60) Peregrine Falcon

61) Clapper Rail
62) American Coot

63) Black-bellied Plover
64) American Golden-Plover
65) Semipalmated Plover
66) Piping Plover *
67) Killdeer
68) American Oystercatcher
69) Spotted Sandpiper
70) Solitary Sandpiper
71) Greater Yellowlegs
72) Willet
73) Lesser Yellowlegs
74) Ruddy Turnstone
75) Sanderling
76) Semipalmated Sandpiper
77) Western Sandpiper *
78) Least Sandpiper
79) White-rumped Sandpiper
80) Baird's Sandpiper *
81) Purple Sandpiper
82) Dunlin
83) Buff-breasted Sandpiper *
84) Short-billed Dowitcher
85) Wilson's Snipe
86) American Woodcock

87) Bonaparte's Gull
88) Black-headed Gull
89) Laughing Gull
90) Mew Gull
91) Ring-billed Gull
92) Herring Gull
93) Lesser Black-backed Gull
94) Great Black-backed Gull
95) Least Tern
96) Common Tern
97) Forster's Tern
98) Royal Tern *
99) Black Skimmer

100) Thick-billed Murre

101) Rock Pigeon
102) Mourning Dove

103) Monk Parakeet

104) Yellow-billed Cuckoo
105) Black-billed Cuckoo

106) Barn Owl
107) Great Horned Owl
108) Northern Saw-whet Owl

109) Common Nighthawk
110) Whip-poor-will *

111) Chimney Swift

112) Ruby-throated Hummingbird

113) Belted Kingfisher

114) Red-bellied Woodpecker
115) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
116) Downy Woodpecker
117) Hairy Woodpecker
118) Northern Flicker

119) Olive-sided Flycatcher
120) Eastern Wood-Pewee
121) Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
122) Acadian Flycatcher
123) Willow Flycatcher
124) Least Flycatcher
125) Eastern Phoebe
126) Great Crested Flycatcher
127) Eastern Kingbird

128) White-eyed Vireo
129) Yellow-throated Vireo
130) Blue-headed Vireo
131) Warbling Vireo
132) Philadelphia Vireo
133) Red-eyed Vireo

134) Blue Jay
135) American Crow
136) Fish Crow
137) Common Raven *

138) Horned Lark

139) Northern Rough-winged Swallow
140) Tree Swallow
141) Bank Swallow
142) Barn Swallow
143) Cliff Swallow

144) Black-capped Chickadee
145) Tufted Titmouse

146) Red-breasted Nuthatch
147) White-breasted Nuthatch

148) Brown Creeper

149) Carolina Wren
150) House Wren
151) Winter Wren
152) Marsh Wren

153) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
154) Golden-crowned Kinglet
155) Ruby-crowned Kinglet

156) Eastern Bluebird
157) Veery
158) Gray-cheeked Thrush
159) Bicknell's Thrush
160) Swainson's Thrush
161) Hermit Thrush
162) Wood Thrush
163) American Robin

164) Gray Catbird
165) Northern Mockingbird
166) Brown Thrasher

167) European Starling

168) American Pipit

169) Cedar Waxwing

170) Blue-winged Warbler
171) Tennessee Warbler
172) Orange-crowned Warbler
173) Nashville Warbler
174) Northern Parula
175) Yellow Warbler
176) Chestnut-sided Warbler
177) Magnolia Warbler
178) Cape May Warbler
179) Black-throated Blue Warbler
180) Yellow-rumped Warbler
181) Black-throated Green Warbler
182) Blackburnian Warbler
183) Pine Warbler
184) Prairie Warbler
185) Palm Warbler
186) Bay-breasted Warbler
187) Blackpoll Warbler
188) Black-and-white Warbler
189) American Redstart
190) Prothonotary Warbler
191) Worm-eating Warbler
192) Ovenbird
193) Northern Waterthrush
194) Louisiana Waterthrush
195) Mourning Warbler
196) Common Yellowthroat
197) Hooded Warbler
198) Wilson's Warbler
199) Canada Warbler

200) Eastern Towhee
201) American Tree Sparrow
202) Chipping Sparrow
203) Clay-colored Sparrow
204) Field Sparrow
205) Vesper Sparrow
206) Savannah Sparrow
207) Nelson's Sparrow
208) Saltmarsh Sparrow
209) Seaside Sparrow
210) Fox Sparrow
211) Song Sparrow
212) Lincoln's Sparrow
213) Swamp Sparrow
214) White-throated Sparrow
215) White-crowned Sparrow
216) Dark-eyed Junco
217) Lapland Longspur
218) Snow Bunting

219) Scarlet Tanager

220) Northern Cardinal
221) Rose-breasted Grosbeak
222) Blue Grosbeak
223) Indigo Bunting

224) Bobolink
225) Red-winged Blackbird
226) Eastern Meadowlark
227) Rusty Blackbird
228) Common Grackle
229) Boat-tailed Grackle
230) Brown-headed Cowbird
231) Orchard Oriole
232) Baltimore Oriole

233) Purple Finch
234) House Finch
235) Pine Siskin
236) American Goldfinch

237) House Sparrow

* New for Brooklyn

Life Birds 2010

Common Ground (Dove Captree SP, Nov 7, 2010)
Hermit Warbler (Sunken Meadow SP, Dec 5, 2010)

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