What’s Missing

I’ve been scanning the list of birds reported so far for New York State in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We’re two days in, and there are some missing birds that might be gettable within the greater New York City area. These include:

  • Boat-tailed Grackle (Jamaica Bay)
  • Northern Sawwhet Owl (Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett)
  • American Bittern (Jamaica Bay)
  • Short-eared Owl (Croton Point)
  • Great Horned Owl (Croton Point, Central Park)
  • Yellow Breasted Chat (Clove Lakes, Staten Island)
  • Dunlin (Jones Beach)
  • Purple Sandpiper (Coney Island, Breezy Point, various locations)

Of that list, Boat-tailed Grackle is by far the easiest. I’m surprised it hasn’t been reported yet. I think I’m going to have to hop an A train out to Jamaica Bay to try for it. I’ll probably look for American Bittern while I’m out there too; but that’s a long shot. Purple Sandpiper shouldn’t be that hard, but it’s eluded me repeatedly.

Also interesting is that of the 43 species reported so far in Brooklyn, one of them is a Redhead. Where the hell did that turn up, I wonder? Possibly it’s in the West Pond of Jamaica Bay. Politically that’s in Queens, except for the far eastern edge which actually crosses the Brooklyn-Queens border. Sometimes the West Pond and the Rockaways get added to Brooklyn for Christmas bird counts and the like to make the overall areas more circular. On a map, the Rockaways sort of jut out into Queens along the edge of Brooklyn; but the birds don’t respect the county lines. :-)

Brooklyn has one notable miss in its 43 species. Snow Goose. There’ve been Snow Geese in both Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery lately, but I’m not sure either one has been seen in the last few days. It should also be possible to find at least one of the three missing woodpeckers: Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, and Yellow-breasted Sapsucker. I may have had a flicker in the Botanic Gardens on Friday, but it was a quick flyover and I wasn’t sure.

There are also a few reports that seem to have been held for review. These include large numbers of Brant, Great Cormorant, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, American Wigeon, Eurasian Wigeon, Horned Grebe, and Red-breasted Merganser. For some reason, the GBBC database doesn’t believe these birds show up in the numbers we see them every year in Prospect Park and at Floyd Bennett field. The same thing happened last year. This should be straightened out manually over the next week.

Finally it looks like reports for Floyd Bennett Field are getting lumped in with Gateway National Recreation Area NY but not being included with Brooklyn.

Leave a Reply