A Say’s Phoebe was found this morning in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, while Desi and I were having a fun nature walk at Oakland Lake in Queens with our friend Kerry. After our nature walk we had lunch, and while eating lunch more reports of the phoebe, which is a species I had never seen before in New York State, were coming in over email. I like Say’s Phoebes, I like adding new birds to my New York State list, and Desi and I had nothing in particular that we had to do for the afternoon so we headed to Brooklyn, with promises of ice cream for Desi if he was a good three-year-old while daddy looked for the bird.

The twitch was easy. We found parking on Ocean Avenue as soon as we started looking, we walked into the park and ran into a birder on his way out who let us know the bird was being seen and gave us even more exact directions than we had, we walked to the exact site to see a bunch of birders there already, and then we (and by we I guess I mean I) saw the bird.

Say's Phoebe in New York

Say’s Phoebe Sayornis saya in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York

Desi showed little interest in seeing the bird and even less interest in staying put so I let him play Angry Birds on my iPhone while I took some shots and oohed and aahed the phoebe that should be way out west somewhere but was, for some reason, in Brooklyn instead. Maybe its a hipster phoebe? Though its flycatching seemed to be unironic and I saw no sign or skinny jeans or thick-rimmed glasses. I guess it is just lost.

I was pleased that Desi kept getting distracted from his Angry Birds by fly-by butterflies, which he correctly identified as Cabbage Whites, though he also insisted on calling the yellow butterflies that flew by Cabbage Yellows. Eh, he’s three, he’ll learn.

Say's Phoebe in flight

I was busy being distracted by the phoebe. What a bird and what an easy twitch! If only they could all be so simple…

…and Desi and I both enjoyed our ice cream, thank you very much.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.