Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Warblers in Brooklyn

If you were following some of the Tweets and other sources of bird reports coming out of Brooklyn over the weekend, you learned that Friday's cold front brought in lots and lots of great birds. Unfortunately for me, I was reading those eyewitness reports from about 1,700 miles away, in "Bat City". That's not to say I wasn't enjoying myself doing other things, but as a birder, you usually want to be where the action is. I tried to make up for it by scouring Prospect Park for a few hours yesterday.

As it turned out, the Brooklyn park was still loaded with birds fueling up before continuing their Southbound migration. I was pleasantly surprised that the abundance of warbler species was really high and ended up tallying 19 species! Most of the activity I observed was on Lookout Hill and the Peninsula woods, but there were lesser numbers in the Lullwater, Midwood and Ravine. The most common wood-warbler was easily the Black-and-White Warbler with a total of 21 seen. Common Yellowthroats and Magnolia Warblers ran a close second. My warbler highlight of the morning was a male Hooded Warbler seen foraging for insects close to the ground in the wooded section of the Peninsula. In all, I observed 84 individual warblers, but that is a conservative number.

A couple of non-warbler highlights were - a single Yellow-throated Vireo foraging high in the trees at the park's Ravine, and a year high 8 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I did a quick scan of my records and this is the highest number of hummingbirds that I've ever recorded in Prospect Park. Another noteworthy sighting was my first Pied-billed Grebe of the season in the water just below the Terrace Bridge. I suppose we'll now be seeing this tiny grebe species around the park's waterways until they depart next Spring.

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Location: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Date: Sept. 16, 2013
Species: 61 species (+1 other taxa)

Pied-billed Grebe (1, below Terrace Bridge.)
Double-crested Cormorant (2.)
Green Heron (2.)
Red-tailed Hawk (1.)
Spotted Sandpiper (2.)

Chimney Swift (abundant, especially over the baseball fields.)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (8. 1 Lookout Hill; 3 back of Lily Pond; 4 North end of Midwood.)
Belted Kingfisher (1.)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (2.)
Empidonax sp. (2.)
Eastern Kingbird (1.)
Yellow-throated Vireo (1, within mixed flock of warblers in Ravine.)
Warbling Vireo (1.)
Red-eyed Vireo (7.)
House Wren (2.)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2.)
Veery (1.)
Gray Catbird

Ovenbird (5.)
Northern Waterthrush (3.)
Black-and-white Warbler (21.)
Tennessee Warbler (1.)
Nashville Warbler (1.)
Common Yellowthroat (15.)
Hooded Warbler (1. Nice adult male. Feeding a couple of feet off the ground in Peninsula woods.)
American Redstart (10.)
Northern Parula (1.)
Magnolia Warbler (14.)
Blackburnian Warbler (1.)
Yellow Warbler (2.)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1.)
Blackpoll Warbler (1.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (3.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (1.)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1.)
Canada Warbler (1.)
Wilson's Warbler (1.)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2.)
Indigo Bunting (1.)
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (2.)
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose Mute Swan American Black Duck Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse (2.), Carolina Wren (3.), American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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