Sunday, March 27, 2011

Prospect Park (MWT)

1. subway angel-k New York City Subway Tile Detail 3-12-11

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.

2. Grand Army Plaza-k 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.

3. Statues-k Bailey Fountain

4. close-up-k Wisdom and Felicity


5. Posieden-k 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.

6. Brooklyn Library Brooklyn Library

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.

6a. Top of arch And so we enter though the arch atop which Columbia in Her Chariot rides.

7. Vulture sky This cloudy day is cooler than it was yesterday and I pull my gloves on to warm my hands as the sun keeps ducking behind the clouds and a chill wind blows.

8. grassy meadow Here at the center of the park a great lawn rolls. I am hoping I will see bluebirds here, but he lawn is only covered in robins and starlings and a few house sparrows to boot.

vulture-k 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.

9. Downy Woodpecker-k In the same area a Downy Woodpecker feeds undisturbed by me and my camera. At the moment it is hard to believe that I am in the heart of a bustling city!

10. RTHA-k As we emerge near the lake and the boat house a Red-tailed hawk flies into the open hunting.

11. domestic duck-kIn 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!

12. merganser-k  I can’t believe my eyes when I see this Red-breasted merganser land!

13. RB merganser-k 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.

14. coot among ducks-k Across the lake these domestic ducks, mallards and a coot are all napping while the merganser slowly glides by.

15. RB merganser-k They may not be impressed with his beauty, but I am!

16. rb merg-k Red-breasted Merganser in Prospect Park 3-13-11

17. nest-k 

18. rat snake-kProspect 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!

19. daydreams-k Being here with my brother I feel as if this day has all been a lovely dream.

20. spring-k The signs of spring are all around us as the golden glow of this witch hazel shows.

21. birds

I think the birds are ready for spring too!

My World Tuesday!

Birds Seen in Prospect Park:

  1. Turkey Vulture
  2. Blue Jay
  3. American Robin
  4. Rock Pigeon
  5. European Starling
  6. House Sparrow
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Mallard
  9. Red-breasted Merganser*
  10. Cooper’s Hawk*
  11. Red-tailed Hawk
  12. Coot*
  13. Mourning Dove
  14. Downy Woodpecker
  15. American Crow
  16. Black-capped Chickadee
  17. Song sparrow
  18. White-throated sparrow
  19. Northern Cardinal
  20. Gull species

*New species for my New York Life List


  1. I do like this contrast between city and park. and the merganzer is quite handsome, as is your brother.

  2. The Merganser is amazing Kathie, lovely shots.

  3. What a wonderful series of posts. The whole concept of urban birding, especially in New York City was new to me. What beautiful parks. I was in NYC once on our senior high school trip. I think Herber Hoover was President then. :)

  4. Thank you for taking us along on your Brooklyn adventure. You photographed the sculptures, library entry and park sights beautifully. Amazing capture of the Red-breasted Merganser landing. A most wonderful post!

  5. Kathie, I enjoyed reading about yoru day of birding in Brooklyn. Your photos are all awesome. The merganser is my favorite, they are beautiful.

  6. your photos are amazingly beautiful. the Neptune sculpture is gorgeous and the shot of the merganser landing is perfect. Thank you.

  7. Hi Kathie

    I have really been enjoying following your trip to New York.
    Your photos of the sculptures in
    Prospect Park are stunning. Thanks for sharing your experience. It really makes me want to see Brooklyn.


  8. Gaelyn, THANK YOU!!!!!

    Roy, thanks! I was so surprised to see it land!

    Troutbirder, LOL! I used to hate the city but my brother has helped me learn to love it! However, I still would not want to live there!

    Julie, you are so sweet. Thank you!

    Eileen, aren't they though! This fellow was sure strutting his stuff!

    Life Ramblings, well thank you! What a nice thing to say! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

    Guy, well come on down! It helps to have a guide however! My brother was just great but I don't know if I could have done this by myself. The submay system is just a mystery to me.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.