Sora in Prospect Park

Migration’s getting weird. Normally Fall is when the rarities show up, but we’ve hit a triple this week. First there was the Blue Grosbeak Rafael Campos found in the Vale of Cashmere on Tuesday. Then Alex Wilson found a Yellow-throated Warbler on Three Sisters Island yesterday. Then last night John Ascher found the rarest bird yet, a Sora:

Sora rail

This is the first Sora seen in Prospect Park in about 12 years, though they’re a little more regular at Jamaica Bay. I got out bright and early to see it this morning shortly after dawn. For such a striking bird, it blends into the phragmites very well. Fortunately John had returned and was able to point out the bird to me.

I also got this QuickTime video of the bird walking around, though it’s roughly of the same quality as the famous Bigfoot or Ivory-billed Woodpecker films. (Warning: may crash some browsers.)

Total species count form about 6:30 A.M. to 9:15 A.M. was 39:

  • Pied-billed Grebe (3 Prospect Lake)
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Canada Goose
  • Brant (~170 flyover)
  • Mute Swan
  • Mallard
  • Ring-necked Duck (1 M, 1 F, Upper Pool)
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Blue Jay
  • Carolina Wren
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow (Peninsula forest)
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Vale of Cashmere)
  • Blue Grosbeak (Vale of Cashmere)
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Sparrow
  • Sora

Also, although I did not see these next two myself today, Phil Payne relocated the Yellow-throated Warbler, and Orrin Tilevitz found the first White-crowned Sparrow of the year for the park.

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