Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday's birds and Tuesday's report

Blue-winged Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Baltimore Oriole

4 photos by DAVID SPEISER -- 5/10/10

Tom Fiore reports on some of today's [Tuesday's] birds:

Hi Marie,

Since I understand so many birders got to see it, you may have had word (or saw for yourself) the male Blue Grosbeak that was first noted by a long-time birder Steve Chang, around the "oven" (which I still like to call by it's older birder's nickname, "Willow Rock" - and there are still willows there) in the Ramble this Tuesday morning.

Later in the day, I was walking the bridle path around the reservoir and heard a certain song that got me to investigate and was able to track the song to a rather shy Mourning Warbler, staying low in shrubs near the bridle path and singing only very intermittently at that late morning hour.

At the reservoir itself, a number of swallows and swifts persisted even though numbers seemed a bit lower than they'd been. A couple of Cliff Swallows, uncommonly seen in Central, were among the more regular Barn, Northern Rough-winged, and a few Tree Swallows as well as numerous Chimney Swifts. Today I was unable to find the Bank Swallows that were also present on Monday in these feeding flocks over the reservoir. This reservoir swallow-gathering seems to be an annual mid-spring phenomenon which is most apparent when winds are from a northerly or easterly direction for more than a short time. Once winds abate or the direction changes to one conducive to migrating north the numbers diminish, unless the feeding there is especially good. It's a little dizzying to try and observe but with practice one can spot a variety of swallows, when present.

Overall, the park is again showcasing the migration (particularly songbirds) quite well as it usually does by the middle part of May. With foliage so full already many birds are able to stay hidden but sharp-eyed birders are doing well finding a lot of them, too. It will be active for at least another two weeks, after which the park will take on the quieter aspect in the bird's world, with much nesting activity.

Enjoy this while it lasts,

PS from Marie: It was truly an incredible day today. On Steve Quinn's walk under the aegis of the American Museum of Natural History we saw and heard warblers galore, including : Yellow, Wilson's, Parula, Black-throated Blue, Canada, Yellow-rumped, Cape May, Magnolia, Nashville, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Black & White, Blackburnian, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat , Redstart among them! Then there were vireos, orioles, tanagers, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak-- all singing. We didn't see Tom's Mourning Warbler or any of the elusive skulkers. And we missed the Blue Grosbeak by about 30 minutes. [Quinn's walk ends at 9 a.m.] But it was one of the best days the group has had this [and perhaps any] year. And the morning began with an unusual sparrow right near our meeting place at the Naturalists Gate: a Lincoln's Sparrow.