Aiming to see a continuing Yellow-breasted Chat, Patrice Domeischel and I
met Bob Proniewych at Mill Pond Park, Bellmore, shortly after 8:00 today.
As we entered the park's west side, I saw a large accipiter, carrying prey,
flash past a gap between a building and a dense tree, I didn't see the
head, and thought it was an unusually large Cooper's Hawk. A minute later,
entering the park, we met Bob, who said he had just seen an immature
Northern Goshawk, which was near the ground when he came on it. He said he
had had a clear view of a strong white supercilium.

We set out in fruitless search for the bird, noting as we did so an odd
sound, coming from the pond, that we couldn't identify: a single, slightly
upslurred "eek," repeated at rather short intervals.  About an hour later,
walking back to this area from further north, Patrice observed that one of
two large birds standing in shallow water was a Sandhill Crane, very near a
Great Blue Heron.  It was an immature bird, and proved to be the source of
the unidentified call.  After 10-15 minutes, it flew up and out, following
a Great Blue Heron that had flown over.  Bob noted that he had seen it cock
its head to view the heron, before taking flight.

Observers might watch for both of these birds: the Goshawk in the park and
the Crane in ponds, marshes, or fields to the west.

The Yellow-breasted Chat was active and fairly conspicuous, seen both on
our northward walk and return, shortly north of a narrow footpath between
the park and the parking lot of Stella's Restaurant at the southwest corner
of the park.

Doug Futuyma

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