Friday, May 8, 2009

Emphatically spring

At last the sun! Fourteen species of warblers this morning in Prospect Park, including first of the year Bay-breasted and American Redstart. My other first was spotted sandpiper: two were teetering near the Terrace Bridge. And after all this rain, the bird song was intense. Indeed, I woke at 5:00 this a.m. to the local mockingbird going at it, and once in the park, starting at 6:30 (it was so humid from all the rain that my glasses fogged up), it was roaring with spring.

The works: green heron, great egret, black-crowned night heron, Canada goose, wood duck, ring-necked duck, mallard duck, red-tailed hawk, spotted sandpiper, rock dove, mourning dove, northern flicker, downy w.p., red-bellied w.p., chimney swift, barn swallow, e. kingbird, house wren, winter wren, robin, veery, hermit thrush, cat bird, northern parula, black and white w., magnolia w., common yellowthroat, black-throated blue w., bay-breasted w., chestnut-sided w., ovenbird, yellow-rumped w., northern waterthrush, Louisiana waterthrush, Blackburnian w., yellow w., American redstart, scarlet tanager, n. cardinal, e. towhee, white-throated sparrow, swamp sparrow, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, Baltimore oriole, common grackle, starling, red-winged blackbird, house sparrow.

Some insect that I haven’t identified – long-winged like a termite, fluttery white wings like a moth – was emerging en masse and being feasted upon. At the Lullwater, they would land on the water and be taken by fish, while in the air, house sparrow, black and white warbler, common yellowthroat, and yellow-rumped warbler hawked on them. On Lookout Hill, it was even more ecumenical, with robin, catbird, white-throated sparrow, veery, scarlet tanager (!), black and white, and yellow-rumped on some downed logs, eating away at them, as Magnolia warbler and northern parula took them from the air.

Also in the Lullwater there were yertles of turtles sunning themselves on snags. One yard-long log kept rolling over as the turtles attempted to gain a foothold on it.


amarilla said...

Sounds like a beautiful morning. I was there later but I completely missed those insects.

amarilla said...

Oh, by the way, do you know what happened to the bird feeders in the park?

Matthew said...

The feeders aren't stocked or maintained in the spring/summer. They will be brought back for the winter.