Monday, November 05, 2012

October Birds

During the month of October I managed to add 12 new species to my Brooklyn year list. Of those birds, one was a life species and six were new for me in Kings County. It was a very good month for unusual birds.

The month started off with the predicted flight of Pine Siskins into our area. A flock that Peter Colen and I spotted feeding on Prospect Park's Lookout Hill was just the beginning of a large incursion of this winter finch into the Northeast. They can now be seen or heard nearly everywhere around NYC.

A big surprise early in the month was when Heydi and I located a LeConte's Sparrow in Floyd Bennett Field. This was a new bird for me. A skulky, secretive species, they are even difficult to observe on their breeding grounds. We were very lucky.

Another huge surprise was spotting a Western Kingbird in Prospect Park, which I wrote about here.

Towards the end of the month Alex Wilson picked out a Barnacle Goose from within a flock of Canada Geese on Prospect Park's lake. The closest to Brooklyn that this lovely species of waterfowl is normally found is Greenland. New York City birder and scientist Angus Wilson wrote an interesting piece about the history of this species in New York State here. Here's a photo of the bird taken by Peter Colen.



Running down to coastal Brooklyn after the recent hurricane paid off for me with 4 more species in October. I wrote about my adventure chasing birds post-Hurricane Sandy here.

November is typically the month for finding the unusual and unexpected around New York City, so it's anybody's guess what might fly in for a brief visit this month.

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NYS total: 247
Kings total: 235

224) Pine Siskin (Prospect Park, 10/03/12)
225) *Le Conte's Sparrow (Floyd Bennett Field, 10/06/12)
226) Dickcissel (Floyd Bennett Field, 10/06/12)
227) Eastern Meadowlark (Dreier-Offerman Park, 10/13/12)
228) Western Kingbird (Prospect Park, 10/17/12)
229) Bicknell's Thrush (Green-Wood Cemetery, 10/20/12)
230) Vesper Sparrow (Prospect Park, 10/22/12)
231) Barnacle Goose (Prospect Park, 10/24/12)
232) Wilson's Storm-Petrel (Caesars Bay Bazaar, 10/30/12)
233) Red Phalarope (Caesars Bay Bazaar, 10/30/12)
234) Black-legged Kittiwake (Caesars Bay Bazaar, 10/30/12)
235) Royal Tern (Caesars Bay Bazaar, 10/30/12)

*Life Bird
BOLD - New for Kings County

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