Saturday’s blizzard pretty much precluded birding over the weekend, and a blizzard-induced food and TV coma (not to mention an aversion to ankle-deep slush and torrents of slush-melt) wiped out Monday as well. I did manage a loop of Prospect Park on Tuesday, binoculars in hand. I was hoping the winds might have blown in some new birds, and that the snow might have pushed them to the Breeze Hill feeders, but no such luck. It was the same familiar crowd of downy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmice and goldfinches.
A hawk perched high in a tree over East Drive struck me as a little different somehow, and so I stuck around for a closer look. Just as I was ready to dismiss it as an immature red-tail with an odd call (a persistent, nasal, “BEEEEY, BEEEEY”), it took off, its black-and-white banded tail fanned out for me to see, my Bird of the Week:
#86. Red-shouldered hawk
And that was it. Brooklyn Bridge Park on Wednesday yielded some fine-looking gadwall (one of my favorite ducks – not showy, but elegant) and a handful of cute bufflehead, but nothing new. The canvasback reported earlier in the week, when I was slush-bound, was nowhere to be seen. Nor was the Iceland gull (though my ability to spot and identify an Iceland gull if one were around is highly doubtful). A quick foray to Prospect Park this afternoon led to a hot tip about a winter wren (thank you, Kathy), but not to the bird itself.
So: one new bird, 114 to go.