Friday, April 30, 2010

Warblers Have Arrived

I was beginning to wonder - where are all the spring migrants?  There've been reports to the east and to the west of us - warblers, shorebirds and other neotropical songbirds.

We spotted our first Brown Thrasher, Green Herons, Barn and Bank Swallows on Wednesday.  We had several close encounters with woodpeckers - sapsuckers, pileateds, red-bellieds and flickers.   The juncos left 2 weeks ago and we've seen dozens of Vesper Sparrows, one Eastern Meadowlark and several White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows

Thursday we went out to photograph wildflowers and trees - and despite the gray skies, I expected to see our first warblers of 2010.

We took a spin through the coulees focusing on wildflowers and ferns.  A front was moving through, making it too windy for insects and birds and too windy to photograph wildflowers.

So we headed down to Silver Birch Lake County Park to look at a tree that I've been unable to identify.  That's where it happened.  Right in the parking lot.  An invasion of warblers.

Too high up to see in the bad light.  But their bobbing tails gave them away - Palm Warblers!  I wanted to get a photo, but it wasn't going to happen there.  So we headed over to Round Hill.  No birds there.

However, just before the intersection of Silver Birch and Round Hill Roads, we spotted a Hackberry tree full of little birds, bobbing their tails and flitting after insects.   A dozen or more Palm Warblers, close enough to the ground to watch and photograph.

On the way back home, we took a detour onto Kings Highway - to look for Ruffed Grouse.  We didn't see any grouse, but I heard the familiar dreet, dreet of the Eastern Towhee.   I stopped and looked.  There it was.  Another first for 2010.

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