Start of Migration Season in Prospect Park

Brooklyn Birding

Spring 2014 marks our first migration season as avid bird watchers. We’ve been affectionately dubbed “The Bird Nerds” by family members (that blog name was taken already) and decided to embrace it. The only things missing were a camera and a blog to document and share our findings with others. After an exciting and informative trip to B&H Photo in Midtown, I purchased a Canon EOS 60D kit and 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens, and now we’re in business.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

We headed to Prospect Park early-ish on Saturday, April 26th, headed across a field filled with the happiest dogs in the world, and into the woods.  Tim heard a new song, and we quickly spotted this lovely Prairie Warbler LL*.  This is the first warbler photo taken with the new camera.  In a matter of seconds we were surrounded by birders and photographers also gazing in admiration.  We had encountered the Brooklyn Birding Scene.  They are a stealthy bunch, I didn’t even hear them coming.  We’ve only had one previous run-in with these fellow enthusiasts- last fall while birding in Prospect Park, we met a very nice and helpful man named Peter, who I later learned to be President of the Brooklyn Bird Club.  He helped us ID warblers we never would have seen, and when asked how he did it, he replied “you just get to know the gestalt of the bird.”  It was like a brush with greatness, and we constantly read his blog for updates on the park: http://prospectsightings.blogspot.com/

*LL indicates “Life List”, meaning this was the first time we’ve ever seen this bird.  Considering we are new birders, this happens often, and is very exciting.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

We made our way to the Peninsula, one of the best spots for birding in the park, and saw many Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers LL, Tree Swallows and Chimney Swifts LL soaring above us.  We also saw a Cardinal and a Robin sitting in their nests.  We noticed a Green Heron perched in a tree overlooking the lake as well, and for the first time in the park, a Belted Kingfisher, one of my favorite birds.

Charming in a crotchety old man kind of way.

The Green Heron- Charming in a crotchety old man kind of way.

Another new bird for us was a Blue-Headed Vireo LL we spotted high in a tree.

Blue-Headed Vireo

Blue-Headed Vireo

And who can ignore our old friend the Yellow-Rumped Warbler.  These guys are like the pigeons of warblers, in that they are everywhere we go, and there are tons of them.  But they are beautiful, and just because they are common doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate them.  Plus I love pigeons.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Overall, it was a great day of birding and a lot of fun to use the camera.  When we came home and reviewed the pics, we had about 100 out of focus, and the 5 good ones you see here.

Until our next outing this weekend, I will leave you with the final list of birds and the most stylish dog we saw all day.

037

This dog knows it looks good.

Prospect park 4/26/14 9:03AM-2PM
House sparrow
Robin
Mourning dove
Starling
Canada goose
Red bellied woodpecker
Blue jay
Prairie warbler
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
White throated sparrow
Hairy woodpecker f
Chipping sparrow
Common grackle
Northern flicker
Cardinal
Downy woodpecker m
Mute swan
Yellow-rumped warbler
Osprey
Barn swallow
Palm warbler
Belted kingfisher
Great egret
Red-winged blackbird
Ruddy duck
Tree swallow
Chimney swift
Green heron
Blue-headed vireo
Double crested cormorant
Mallard
Eastern towhee
Pine warbler
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Brown-headed cowbird
Pigeon

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2 thoughts on “Start of Migration Season in Prospect Park

  1. Here I am in Prague. A dream come true. And you guys post these wonderful pictures and very cool blog post from Brooklyn! Almost makes me wish I were a bird nerd too!

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