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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

November Birds

November is never usually a month for finding many new species for the year. It is, however, a month for the unexpected. That said, while my year total is considerably less than this time last year, the month had a few nice surprises.

My first new bird of the month was completely unexpected and a first for me in Brooklyn. A hungry and tired Grasshopper Sparrow was spotted in Prospect Park at the edge of a meadow. This normally hard-to-see species spent several days feeding on tiny seeds that had collected along a short section of sidewalk adjacent to the field. I'd seen this species before on their breeding grounds, but from a long distance away. The individual in my local park was extremely cooperative and allowed long, close scrutiny of this beautiful grassland bird.

By mid-November the forecast irruption of Winter finches was in full swing, with White-winged Crossbills and Red Crossbills being reported throughout New York City and Long Island. Two species of owls - Barred Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl - have also invaded the tri-state area in search of food. The later of which I stumbled on November 11th. I had actually gone out hunting for owls, but it was the sounds of several agitated Tufted Titmice that gave away this tiny bird's roost.

Finally, with two days left of the month I managed to locate one other irruption species - Evening Grosbeak. I just posted about the experience on Saturday here.

With just under a month left of the year I don't expect to be adding too many more birds to my final 2012 tally, but you never know...


NYS total: 252
Kings total: 240

236) Grasshopper Sparrow (Prospect Park, 11/03/12)
237) White-winged Crossbill (Green-Wood Cemetery, 11/04/12)
238) Red Crossbill (Green-Wood Cemetery, 11/10/12)
239) Northern Saw-whet Owl (11/11/12)
240) Evening Grosbeak (Prospect Park, 11/29/12)

*Bold = New for Kings County

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