Thursday, June 02, 2011

May Birds

May was an interesting month for Brooklyn birds. Mid-month is typically the peak of migration, when the greatest abundance and diversity of bird species are seen. However, this year seemed a little off. I can't complain, though, because I did manage to add 37 new species for Brooklyn bringing my county total to 213. My New York State total for 2011 is now at 221.

It seemed as if many bird species came through the area earlier than normal this Spring. I looked back at 2010's monthly totals and noticed that in April I added 37 species and in May, 50. This year those numbers are reversed possibly indicating that, in fact, many of the birds did come through earlier.

One of the most active days in Prospect Park occurred on May 8th, during a termite hatch-out. I only added 2 new species that day, however, one, the Cerulean Warbler, was a bird which I hadn't observed in Brooklyn for many years. During the mid-May Bird-a-thons around NYC, the species totals were much lower than expected. Heydi, Shane and I recorded our second lowest Big Day tally with only 139 species. Perhaps many species did arrive and leave earlier, but in some ways it felt as if the second half of the Spring migration just never really happened. I have heard some speculation that a period of sustained East winds during critical flight nights may have actually pushed northbound flocks farther inland. This weekend I plan on visiting some of the breeding grounds a little North of the city. I'll let you know what I find.

May 2011 Brooklyn Birds:

177) Magnolia Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/01/11)
178) Great Crested Flycatcher (Prospect Park, 05/01/11)
179) Blue Grosbeak (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/01/11)
180) Swainson's Thrush (Prospect Park, 05/03/11)
181) Indigo Bunting (Prospect Park, 05/03/11)
182) Least Flycatcher (Prospect Park, 05/03/11)
183) Purple Finch (Prospect Park, 05/03/11)
184) Summer Tanager (Prospect Park, 05/03/11)
185) Cape May Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/06/11)
186) Canada Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/06/11)
187) Yellow-throated Vireo (Prospect Park, 05/06/11)
188) Tennessee Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/07/11)
189) Bay-breasted Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/07/11)
190) Cerulean Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/08/11)
191) Hooded Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/08/11)
192) Lincoln's Sparrow (Prospect Park, 05/10/11)
193) Least Tern (Prospect Park, 05/10/11)
194) Eastern Wood-Pewee (Prospect Park, 05/10/11)
195) Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 05/10/11)
196) Willet (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 05/10/11)
197) Dunlin (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 05/10/11)
198) Forster's Tern (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 05/10/11)
199) Gray-cheeked Thrush (Prospect Park, 05/15/11)
200) Wilson's Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/15/11)
201) Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Prospect Park, 05/17/11)
202) Olive-sided Flycatcher (Prospect Park, 05/18/11)
203) Semipalmated Plover (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
204) Sanderling (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
205) Ruddy Turnstone (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
206) Semipalmated Sandpiper (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
207) Short-billed Dowitcher (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
208) White-rumped Sandpiper (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
209) Black Skimmer (Plumb Beach, 05/21/11)
210) Western Sandpiper (Dead Horse Bay, 05/21/11)
211) Willow Flycatcher (Marine Park, 05/21/11)
212) Mourning Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/27/11)
213) Acadian Flycatcher (Prospect Park, 05/31/11)

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