Two Year Firsts in the Rain

Today was (is) a throughly nasty, wet, rainy day; but it’s the first day the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s been open in the New Year. Since no one’s yet reported a Northern Mockingbird, and since that’s a relatively easy find in the garden (and a relatively hard one in the park) I took a quick spin around at lunch to grab one more year first. To my surprise, not only did I find the mockingbird I was looking for. I also bagged a late female Eastern Towhee that’s been hanging around the south end of the garden for the last month or so.

The rain kept most other birds out of their usual spots. There weren’t even any mallards in the pond. I did spot a few Northern Cardinals, a couple of Blue Jays, some White-throated Sparrows, two Black-capped Chickadees, and one Ring-billed Gull flying over.

At this point all the easy year birds have been logged. There won’t be any more until Spring migration kicks off; probably with grackles in February. Possibly someone could get a Sharpshinned Hawk, House Finch, or Winter Wren before then. This is also a good time of year to check the lake for unusual gulls like Iceland, Lesser Black-backed, Bonaparte’s, and Glaucous. Last year we had Lesser Black-backed and Bonaparte’s quite early in January. However none of those are sure things in any given year.

Update: I was wrong about all the easy birds being found for the month. Doug Gochfeld found two more species in Prospect Park on January 4, Merlin and Brown Creeper. Now that I think of Merlin, American Kestrel is also a real possibility. I had that in February last year.

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