Fall Happenings at Green-Wood

Brooklyn Birding

Full disclosure: we moved to Greenwood, Brooklyn partially because the birding is so great in this neighborhood.  We have an “Apartment List” of birds we see from our living space and we’re already up to 26 species (including a Peregrine Falcon!) The proximity of Green-Wood Cemetery makes it very easy to bird on-the-fly (pun intended), which is important in real estate.

We’ve made a couple trips to bird in Green-Wood this Fall, though we only had a camera on us some of the time.  Here are some highlights.

On September 28, we walked into the cemetery and stopped at the Valley Water to eat sandwiches from Baked in Brooklyn across the street (to fuel up for birding.)  We soon noticed something feathery in the lily pads.

 Can you spot the Green Heron at the Valley Water?

Can you spot the Green Heron at the Valley Water?

Then there was a flash of yellow behind us, and saw a familiar late Fall migrant – the Palm Warbler, perched on a gravestone.

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

We saw quite a bit of the Palm Warbler in the month of September, in fact Sarah saw one land on the fire escape at her work in Midtown Manhattan. It turned out to be Palm Sunday at Green-Wood that day, we saw many more.

Another fine Palm Warbler.  You know there are a ton when we can get two decent pictures.

Another fine Palm Warbler. You know there are a ton around when we can get two decent pictures.

Another late migrant there was this Black-throated Green Warbler.

Yellow-Rump Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Our favorite route through Green-Wood is to cut straight from the Valley Water over a hill to the Sylvan Water, where you can overlook it from above. There is a lovely path along the ridge called “Bluff Side Path”, where we always find a lot of birds. Here we saw our second ever Red-breasted Nuthatch, which we added to the life list in September near St. Johnsbury, Vermont (sorry no camera for that outing.)

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch upside down

Here was another interesting sight, do you remember the brilliant red Scarlet Tanager that wore it best this Summer?  Well here he is in his non-breeding plumage:

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager (not scarlet in the fall)

Up in the sky we suddenly saw a mature Bald Eagle, right over Brooklyn!

IMG_2857

We arrived at the Dell Water and found this beautiful Great Blue Heron, enjoying a non-native fish for a snack.  Warning: this image may upset some pond owners.

IMG_2858

A Great Blue Heron doing what they do best

We sat by the pond for a bit and something caught our eye. It was definitely a warbler, but looked a bit different from the Yellow Warblers that were also in the area. After getting a few passing glimpses, it finally settled down just long enough for us to get a good look (and take a mediocre picture).  With the aid of our field guides and photos from our Audubon birding app, we ID’d it as a Nashville Warbler (LL)!  It’s too bad we didn’t hear it sing, because they are readily identified by their twang (not really).

IMG_2889

Nashville Warbler (trash bag for scale)

The day ended with an Eastern Phoebe, posing as all birds really should in the Fall and Winter: next to berries.

Eastern Pheobe with red berries

Eastern Phoebe with berries

But wait, there’s more!  We visited Green-Wood again a while later, on November 22nd. Here we saw the unsung heroes of the local bird scene:

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

A couple of Mourning Doves huddled together in a tree.  These guys are on practically every list we post, yet we never put up a picture to appreciate them!

White-throat Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

A common White-throated Sparrow, which we spent a lot of time ID’ing because there is so much variation in the species, or this is just a young one.

A Canada Goose

A Canada Goose

A Canada Goose.  The are everywhere but we never post them.  In the words of Tim, “Geese are super easy to photograph.”

And lastly, a very spectacular bird, the Wood Duck:

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

Here are the lists from Green-Wood this Fall:

Green-Wood Cemetery September 28, 2014 12:33 PM – 5:09 PM

Feral Pigeon
Monk Parakeet
American Robin
House Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
Northern Mockingbird
Mourning Dove
Black-and-white Warbler
White-breasted Nuthatch
Canada Goose
Belted Kingfisher
Green Heron
Brown-headed Cowbird
Eastern Phoebe
Palm Warbler (eastern and western subspecies)
Northern Flicker
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Rose-breasted Grossbeak
Scarlet Tanager
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Downy Woodpecker
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Osprey
European Starling
Blue Jay
Yellow Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Peregrine Falcon
American Redstart
Black-throated Green Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Bald Eagle
Great-blue Heron
Red-eyed Vireo
Nashville Warbler
Red-tailed Hawk
Dark-eyed Junco
Chimney Swift
Magnolia Warbler

Green-Wood Cemetery November 22, 2014 3:09 PM

Canada Goose
Mallard
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
Coopers Hawk
Wood Duck
Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
American Robin
Dark-eyed Junco
American Goldfinch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-throated Sparrow

3 thoughts on “Fall Happenings at Green-Wood

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