A Bunting in Brooklyn

February 1, 2016

We landed in NYC at 6am on New Years Day. The first bird I saw in 2016, was a Ring Billed Gull as we flew into JFK airport. After getting settled in at the condo, and eating some lunch, we took a cab into Brooklyn to see the infamous vagrant Painted Bunting in Prospect Park.

It was not hard to find him! We just looked for the large group of photographers following his every move! I’ve seen a Painted Bunting before, but not this close up. They are smaller than I thought! He was really used to the crowds… we were all less than 3’ away from him. His bright colors offered no help in camouflaging him as he looked for food among the drab leaves and sticks.

A cold front moved in as we were in the park, the temperatures dropped the entire time with a moderately strong breeze off the lake. It was teeming with bird life as well.

Canadian Geese + Mallard Ducks

Mute Swans

A couple days later we spent a couple hours in Central Park. I saw my first lifer of 2016… the worlds fastest animal… a Peregrine Falcon! He was circling up high above the park.

Also saw… plenty of Common Grackles...

Mourning Doves...

A single Yellow Bellied Sapsucker...

 Plenty of the usual Blue Jays...

Oddly enough... I only saw one American Robin... he was very nervous it seemed too.

Keeping warm on heater vents near the condo…a puffy Starling...

Many Mourning Doves... but can you blame them? Look at all that ambient heat! That's right where I would be in the cold too!

The day of our flight out, we walked over to the Trump Tower enclosed glass atrium and I was surprised to see some happy and warm birdies among the bamboo planters!

A White Throated Sparrow...

... and especially this over wintering Ovenbird! I was kidding about wanting to be where the Mourning Doves were... nope, a well stocked Atrium is even better. :)

Smart little guys. :)

Cheers to a good start on 2016! There was an eBird challenge of the month in January to log your bird sightings (with no x’s) every day for a chance to win a pair of $1K Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42” binoculars. Since I was looking already… why not? :) I logged in every day... you?

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