Friday, April 06, 2012

March Birds

The month of March began slowly with the first few northbound migrants trickling into Brooklyn. By the end of the month the pace picked up a bit, but the full force of Spring migration still seemed to be weeks away.

Weekends of stalking water birds along the coast shifted to more inland habitats. I spent more of my birding hours in Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery than I did from November through February, however, early in the month I lead a trip to Coney Island where I picked up my first Killdeer and Laughing Gull of the year. My most productive day in March started as a fog shrouded morning at Marine Park where I picked up 5 new species for the year - Osprey, American Oystercatcher, Tree Swallow, Boat-tailed Grackle and Greater Yellowlegs. Ospreys are now being seen regularly around Marine Park, Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park. Hopefully this year we'll see a pair nesting on a newly erected Osprey platform near the Marine Park Saltmarsh Nature Center.

Two species considered by most as harbingers of the Spring songbird migration, Eastern Phoebe and Pine Warbler, were seen by the second week of the month. By the end of March both were seen in increasing abundance and my second warbler species of the season, the Palm Warbler, made its first appearance by the third week. During April I expect to see an acceleration of both species diversity and abundance with each push of southern winds.

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NYS total: 115
Kings total: 113

96) Wood Duck (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/04/12)
97) American Woodcock (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/04/12)
98) Killdeer (Coney Island Creek, 03/11/12)
99) Laughing Gull (Coney Island--Boardwalk and West 8th St, 03/11/12)
100) Golden-crowned Kinglet (Prospect Park, 03/13/12)
101) Eastern Bluebird (Prospect Park, 03/13/12)
102) Pine Warbler (Carroll and Prospect Park West, 03/15/12)
103) Red-shouldered Hawk (Prospect Park, 03/16/12)
104) Eastern Phoebe (Prospect Park, 03/16/12)
105) Osprey (Marine Park--Southwest, 03/17/12)
106) American Oystercatcher (Marine Park--Southwest, 03/17/12)
107) Tree Swallow (Marine Park--Southwest, 03/17/12)
108) Boat-tailed Grackle (Marine Park--Southwest, 03/17/12)
109) Greater Yellowlegs (Floyd Bennett Field, 03/17/12)
110) Great Egret (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/24/12)
111) Red-breasted Nuthatch (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/24/12)
112) Palm Warbler (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/24/12)
113) Brown-headed Cowbird (Green-Wood Cemetery, 03/28/12)

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