Sunday, April 28, 2013

Says's Phoebe Shows Up in Prospect Park Brooklyn...

Yesterday, yet another rarity for Brooklyn Prospect Park was found, when birder Ryan Bass spotted an interesting flycatcher that turned out to be a Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya. The Say's Phoebe, is in the Tyrant-Flycatcher family and a common bird in the western United States but rare in our area. I was on Long Island having just seen a splendid looking Red-headed Woodpecker with Andria, Tom Burke, Gail Benson and Steve Walter thanks to intel from Sam Janazzo who had returned to the area where he had first found the bird on Friday to find it again yesterday morning.

The report of the Say's Phoebe was not definitive, so I put in a text to my friend Heydi Lopes to get some additional information. I received a response that the ID was confirmed and Tom Burke also got word that the ID was good. The problem was the bird had gone missing. I played it cool and instead of immediately running out to Brooklyn decided to bird the barrier beach some more. I nevertheless kept checking in with Tom (who had departed LI for Brooklyn) and it was around 1:47 p.m. or so that I received word from Tom and Heydi that the bird was re-found in the same it area it was first seen in the morning. The chase was on!

45 minutes later after traffic and angst over getting parking that late in the afternoon, I walked into Prospect Park with Andria and set eyes on a Say's Phoebe, with its pale brownish gray chest that goes into its belly and the cinnamon color that goes into its under-tail. Tom and Gail in their usual altruistic selves, had waited all that time with the bird until I arrived with Andria who got her life and state Say's Phoebe.

This was not a life nor state bird for me having seen two on Long Island and my lifer in Arizona, but this was the most cooperative Say's Phoebe that I have seen and I spent well over two hours watching the bird and helping others to get on it as they arrived. Unfortunately, around 5:05 p.m. the Say's Phoebe suddenly picked up and flew off heading in a South Easterly direction and was not seen again all afternoon into the evening despite good coverage by several birders. When I left the park around 6:30 p.m. there was one birder vigilantly staking out the Sumac spot hoping for a return. Hopefully, it will be found again today and others will get to see this neat bird. Nice bird for Brooklyn following the Varied Thrush! Here are a few additional photos.

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