Results of Birdathon for Starr

Lenore Swenson at Marine Park. Photo credit: Sandra Paci

Lenore Swenson at Marine Park. Photo credit: Sandra Paci

Lenore Swenson, Sandra Paci, and Donna Evans teamed up on the International Migratory Bird Day Birdathon and observed 115 species in Brooklyn on Saturday, May 11, raising $13,637 for the Cerulean Warbler Fund in remembrance of Starr Saphir. They put on a remarkable display of birding skill and endurance!

Donations are still being accepted. Contact Sandra Paci if you are interested: sandypaci@earthlink.net.

The team birded for over 14 hours. They began at 6:30 a.m. in Prospect Park, where rain and dark skies made it difficult to see birds. Still they had 69 species there, including 17 warblers, with Cape May and Blackburnian on the list.

Then they went to Greenwood Cemetery to see Monk Parakeet. Then to Owl’s Head Park, where they had Purple Finch and Indigo Bunting.

Next it was Gravesend Bay for Purple Sandpiper. Then Dreier Offerman Park where they saw a Killdeer on its nest with eggs.

At Gerritsen Creek they had Least Tern and Willet. At Marine Park they added seven more species, including Clapper Rail, Common Loon, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

Finally they added seventeen more species at Jamaica Bay, including Tricolored Heron and American Woodcock.

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Lenore’s Memorial Walk for Starr — Results

Lenore at Summit Rock. Photo credit: Sandra Paci

Lenore Swenson at Summit Rock. Photo credit: Sandra Paci

Postponing the walk turned out to be a very good thing. Today, May 10, was by far the best birding day of the year. It rivaled the best May days of 2012. Winds turned to the southwest overnight for the first time in weeks, and the day began warm and sunny.

A large gathering of birders, at least eighty, honored Starr at Summit Rock. Lenore Swenson and others spoke about what Starr meant to them. Observers were treated to surrounding oak trees filled with migrant birds.

Lenore’s group tallied well over 50 species in the Ramble and adjacent areas. Some birds worth noting:

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Veery
  • Swainson’s Thrush
  • Wood Thrush
  • WORM-EATING WARBLER
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • American Redstart
  • Northern Parula
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • BAY-BREASTED WARBLER
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Palm Warbler
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • SUMMER TANAGER
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Baltimore Oriole

Starr’s memorial walk POSTPONED to Friday, May 10

There is a high chance of rain on Wednesday, so Lenore is moving the walk date to Friday.

The event is free and open to all, and it will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 10, at Summit Rock in Central Park, which is just off Central Park West and 83rd Street. You can reach Summit Rock by entering the park off of either West 81st or West 85th Street. This map shows you where it is.

Brooklyn Bird Club walk results

Some of Starr’s longtime bird walk members showed up on a sunny morning in and around the Ramble for a walk sponsored by Peter Dorosh and the Brooklyn Bird Club. Starr was honored with a memorial plaque from the BBC. Starr’s co-leader Lenore Swenson also joined the group and helped us find some good birds.

Overall species and individual bird counts were extremely low for this time of year, as has been the case for the last week. Weather patterns appear to be discouraging migration through our area.

Highlights of the walk were:

  • Great Egret (flyover)
  • Osprey (flyover, Strawberry Fields)
  • Chimney Swift
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Ovenbird
  • Northern Waterthrush (the Oven)
  • Black-and-white Warbler (at least 5)
  • HOODED WARBLER (male, Strawberry Fields)
  • Northern Parula (at least 5, mostly heard)
  • Yellow Warbler (Maintenance Meadow)
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (heard in Tupelo Meadow)

We also saw a text alert that Alex Hale, who was a close friend of Starr and had birded with her often, found — fittingly — a Cerulean Warbler along the Loch in the North End.

— David Barrett