Birder's Guide

MAR 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 32 of 73

tion, and you might find the park awash in migrants. It is also one of the only places in Brooklyn to watch a quintes- sential morning flight of migrating pas- serines. This phenomenon is mostly restricted to mornings preceded by nights with favorable migration winds, southwest or light west in the spring, west to northwest in the fall. Standing in the dunes at the western edge of the trees, you can see waves of warblers, kinglets, sparrows, flycatchers, and oth- er landbirds flying into the wind, many heading out over New York Bay toward New Jersey or Staten Island. It is also a good vantage point from which to view Gravesend Bay throughout the year, has records of Roseate Tern, Thick-billed Murre, and Black-headed Gull, and an- nually hosts Glaucous and Iceland gull in the winter. Cave Swallow has been seen here on favorable migration days in November. Before you leave Coney Island, don't forget to enjoy a quintes- sential New York pizza pie at the leg- endary Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana (opened in 1924), one of the few coal- fired brick oven pizzerias remaining in the city. This joint may have propelled pizza towards becoming an American food staple! Gravesend Bay | The pedestrian prom- enade running along the northern rim of Gravesend Bay, alongside the car commuter's nemesis that is the Belt Parkway, is always worth a check in the cooler months, with many possibilities of waterbirds depending on season. It is the best place in Brooklyn to reliably see large numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls during migration, and two taxa of Mew Gull, including the European "Common Gull", have been seen here. This is also a good vantage point for storm birding, which has produced, during hurricanes, a tropicbird of undetermined species, shearwaters, storm-petrels, jaegers, n This part of Brooklyn is not well-serviced by the subway system, but there are many bus lines, and vehicular access is easy. The Q35 bus goes all the way down Flatbush Avenue and stops right in front of Floyd Bennett Field, and the B3, which you can take from Gravesend Bay, stops at Marine Park. The Sheepshead Bay subway station on the B,Q line (B only on week - days) is proximal to Sheepshead Bay (which can have concentrations of waterfowl in the colder months), and it is a little over a mile from Plumb Beach. You can take the B4 bus to get most of the way from the subway station to Plumb Beach. Floyd Bennett Field is an ideal place for birding by bicycle. Map © Rad Smith n Purple Sandpiper. Photo © Douglas Gochfeld April 2018 | Birder's Guide to Travel 31 n Here is the bird that launched a thousand pairs of binoculars. This eye-popping male Painted Bunting became perhaps the most photographed individual of its species when it spent a bit over a month in Prospect Park from Thanksgiving 2015 into the new year. Pictured is a small sample of peo- ple "losing their s--t over this bird", as the New York Post quoted at the time. Photos © Douglas Gochfeld

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