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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

May Birds

The month of May and the frenetic climax of Spring migration seems like a long time ago. During the week that I was out of town the stream of North bound birds through the NYC area had slowed to a trickle. Only a small number of the latest arriving species can be found around Brooklyn and NYC. Last month I didn't see as many species as I did during May 2011, but it was a good month, so I really can't complain.

After April, I saw my second highest number of new species in May. My total of 36 new species for Brooklyn is only 1 shy of last year's May count and 4 less than my 2011 total at the end of the month. Of those 36 species it is interesting to note that at least 6 will actually breed within the borders of New York City - Glossy Ibis, Least Tern, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwing and American Redstart.

There weren't any real surprises, at least for me as I missed a few good birds, but I was able to add one bird I hadn't seen in Brooklyn since 2009 - Kentucky Warbler. This skulking songster of the understory is more often heard than seen as it walks along the forest floor. Our Prospect Park bird was doing a good job of staying hidden in the goutweed cover on the hillside of Lookout Hill. The Northern-most edge of the Kentucky's breeding range is South of NYC, so the occasional individuals that appear in our area are overshoots. Whether climate change will push this beautiful bird's range farther North remains to be seen and I, for one, wouldn't mind.

One other interesting sighting was of a Blue-winged Teal. Heydi and I had all but given up on the likelihood of seeing one of these elusive dabbling ducks this year until we stumbled on a single male sleeping on the Western-most shore of the West Pond of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. It is interesting to note that it was in almost the exact same spot that we observed one last year on November 6th. Here's a terrible photo of this year's bird:


NYS total: 209
Kings total: 197

162) Red-eyed Vireo (Prospect Park, 05/01/12)
163) Veery (Prospect Park, 05/01/12)
164) American Redstart (Prospect Park, 05/01/12)
165) Prairie Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/01/12)

166) Glossy Ibis (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)
167) Least Flycatcher (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)
168) Swainson's Thrush (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)
169) Magnolia Warbler (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)
170) Chestnut-sided Warbler (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)
171) Scarlet Tanager (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/02/12)

172) Eastern Wood-Pewee (Prospect Park, 05/05/12)
173) Yellow-throated Vireo (Prospect Park, 05/05/12)
174) Canada Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/05/12)
175) Wilson's Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/05/12)
176) Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/05/12)
177) Eastern Kingbird (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/05/12)
178) Cedar Waxwing (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/05/12)
179) Cape May Warbler (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/05/12)
180) White-crowned Sparrow (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/05/12)

181) Hooded Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/06/12)
182) Blackburnian Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/06/12)
183) Blue Grosbeak (Prospect Park, 05/06/12)

184) Summer Tanager (Prospect Park, 05/07/12)

185) Prothonotary Warbler (Green-Wood Cemetery, 05/10/12)

186) Tennessee Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/12/12)
187) Bay-breasted Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/12/12)
188) Blue-winged Teal (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 05/12/12)

189) Kentucky Warbler (Prospect Park, 05/14/12)

190) Gray-cheeked Thrush (Prospect Park, 05/19/12)

191) Black-bellied Plover (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
192) Ruddy Turnstone (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
193) Sanderling (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
194) Semipalmated Sandpiper (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
195) Least Sandpiper (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
196) Least Tern (Plumb Beach, 05/20/12)
197) Semipalmated Plover (Floyd Bennett Field--End of Archery Road, 05/20/12)

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