On Sunday, March 13th we plan to rise early and leave for Brooklyn to do more birding in Prospect Park. But, we are tired from our late night after going to a Modern Dance show at the Joyce Theater, then dining late, then talking until almost 2 a.m., and then remembering we had to “Leap Forward” with Daylight Savings time and switch the clock an hour ahead! This meant we were now going to bed at 3 a.m.! Thus, we rose a bit later around 6:30 and got ourselves together. I do not like to ruin a day by rushing and so by the time we get to the subway and then to the park, it is closer to 9:30 or 10 a.m.! Still, I know I will be happy with whatever birds I see.
Soldiers and Sailors Arch, Grand Army Plaza 3-13-11
We approach Prospect Park through Grand Army Plaza. Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn, NY and is was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux in 1867. Olmstead is the same landscape architect who designed Central Park, which I love, and so I have a great interest in seeing what he has done here. As usual, I plan to count birds for eBird also, hoping to add a few more species to my New York Life List as well as add a new county to my birding repertoire.
Neptune sculpted by Eugene Francis Savage 1932
I am awed by all this sculpture and beauty around me. There is drama everywhere I look. Though I have never been to Europe, being here gives me a tiny peek at what that must feel like as I walk among these sculptures and cross the plaza to through the arch.
To our left the golden pillars of the Brooklyn Library call. I am enticed to cross the street and go inside, but I want to be outside on this day and see what there is to see.
And so we enter though the arch atop which Columbia in Her Chariot rides.
A Turkey Vulture circles above us, a black silhouette against the sky. We head off across the meadow to the Waterfall Trail and soon find ourselves in a wooded area with a merry stream tumbling along beside us. Here we see a cardinal and his mate. I find some chickadees busily working the trees near the stream. Beneath the trees a few mourning doves walk and coo. I wonder if they are looking for food or a nesting site.
In the lake below this domestic duck paddles placidly along unafraid of the hawk. We find a quiet place to sit and eat our breakfast on a little deck that hangs out over the lake. As we nibble on muffins and watch the birds suddenly a new species flies in!
Though he seems to be waving “Hello,” he is really just taking a bath! We watch him for several minutes and I snap away with my camera. I duck down behind the railings of the deck to make myself less noticeable.
Prospect Park also has the first ever urban Audubon Center. Located in the boat house here at the lake C—and I go inside where I find a giant Oriole nest for children to play in as well as this gorgeous albino rat snake which this volunteer graciously let me hold. The snake had been warming itself on its heat rock and so feels great on my cold hands! What a beauty it is!
I think the birds are ready for spring too!
Birds Seen in Prospect Park:
- Turkey Vulture
- Blue Jay
- American Robin
- Rock Pigeon
- European Starling
- House Sparrow
- Canada Goose
- Red-breasted Merganser*
- Cooper’s Hawk*
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Mourning Dove
- Downy Woodpecker
- American Crow
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Song sparrow
- White-throated sparrow
- Northern Cardinal
- Gull species
*New species for my New York Life List