Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sparrow Wings & Warbler Sings

I'm participating in a Spring Census count. Each team keeps a list of species for a particular town between the period of April 25th and May 17th. I like this idea a lot
for three reasons:

1) You don't have to count each bird, just keep track of the species.
2) I get to do it right in my own town which saves gas and I'm able to use my familiarity with the area to my advantage.
3) It's Spring! Great weather and lots of colorful birds. What could be better?

I visited several of my favorite local spots. I saw quite a few Savannah Sparrows at Wangunk Meadows along with Greater Yellowlegs, Bald Eagles, and FOY-Baltimore Orioles, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush.
I finally was able to get close enough to a Wood Duck to get a decent photo. there was a pair in a corn field next to route 17. Usually they fly away before I even get a chance to see them or they're half a mile away. Mrs. Wood Duck seems a little camera shy.

- I was able to find some other FOY birds in other locations around town as well. I climbed to the top of Great Hill to find my first of the year Black and White Warbler. At some powerlines on Old Marlboro Turnpike I found Prairie Warbler and Eastern Towhee. I was happy to see that the Prairie Warblers showed up this year since the power company cut down a lot of the cedars since last spring. In the nearby reservoir there were plenty of Blue-grey Gnatcatchers making their tiny squeaking sounds as they moved stealthily from tree to tree.

- Here is of bird species that I, and another birder named Joe saw over the weekend. Any guesses on what our species total will be by May 17th?

-Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser,Red-shouldered hawk,Red-tailed hawk,Wild Turkey, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper,Rock Pigeon,Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker,Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee,Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, house Wren, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, American Robin, European Starling, Eastern Towhee, Black and White Warbler, Yellow Warbler,Yellow-rumped Warbler,Pine Warbler, American Redstart (heard)Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Field Sparrow ,White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle,Brown-headed Cowbird, Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch,House Sparrow, Wilson's Snipe ,Bald Eagle ,Warbling Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Palm Warbler, Northern Waterthrush Black-throated Blue Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, Double-crested Cormorants, and Prairie Warbler.

Here is a short video of a Yellow Warbler singing. You can hear a second warbler singing in the background. I suppose they are trying to establish their property rights.

What new migrants have you seen this week?


Chris said...

Good idea to be part of an observing team of bird. I like that idea. You got nice shots the, the wood duck is awesome bird, I love it and would like to see it sometime!!! Good luck with the spring census count.

Kelly said...

...beautiful Savannah Sparrow photos. I've been searching all over Cincy to find one, but no luck yet.

Kim said...

Awesome photos Larry! I hope the Black and Whites and Prarie Warblers make it this way soon. I saw my first Yellow Warbler today and I saw the Blue-Gray Gnatcather on Plum Island this Friday. If I know you than you will get a ton of birds for this count. I can't wait to track it!

Unknown said...

Let me think - not migratory, but have not seen them this winter, male and female cardinal. The sparrows seem to have been here most of the winter(?). Since my eye sight is not too good at this time, I am fairly certain I saw a thrush.
Like the duck picture!

RuthieJ said...

Wow Larry, that's a huge list of birds.
I think our recent rainy weather may have slowed some migrants down for a few days, but I did spot some Northern Rough-Winged Swallows last night.

Dawn Fine said...

Great birds! We did a spring bird count today with a group in NC. Our group had 90 species..Summer and Scarlet Tanagers and Orchard Oriole were the last migrants coming in today...but recently blue and rose breasted grosbeaks. Indigo bunting..
and worm eating warbler.
Happy Birding.

Larry said...

Chris-Male Wood Ducks are cool birds.-They looks like they are wearing an exotic mask.

Kelly-thanks-I was very pleased this one let me get close. I was probably only about 6 feet away.

Kallen-They'll be there soon.-I always find my prairies near the power lines.-I've never been able to get a decent photo of one though.

Whitemist-That's good you re doing some bird observation.-You can find Savannah Sparrows during the winter but they are scarce.-They have finely streaked breasts and a pinkish bill. Some years back, Cardinals were rare to see in CT.

Ruthie-I like the way swallows fly in close to you when you get around a lot-No way I could get a flight photo with my slow camera though.

dawn-90 species-wow! What a day.-I'm looking forward to seeing those birds you mentioned.-Only the oriole so far.

Spencer said...

What a great picture of a savannah sparrow! Last week I saw a pine warbler, and this weekend I've had: indigo bunting, white-eyed vireo, swainson's thrush, rose-breasted grosbeak, yellow-rumped warbler, ovenbird, gray catbird, ruby-crowned kinglet, warbling vireo, blue-gray gnatcatcher, nashville warbler, palm warbler, northern parula, tennessee warbler, summer tanager, and, best of all, a cape may warbler, which is uncommon in these parts. And Thats only the migrant birds. Good Luck!

Ruth said...

We just returned from Point Pelee where we spent the weekend watching newly arrived migrants after their flight over Lake Erie. I have never seen so many birds in one small place and am still totally my list once I get through a few more pictures. Whatever I get, you would have seen twice as many here because you are better at IDing the birds.

Jayne said...

Just yesterday, I saw my Summer Tanager for the first time! Waiting on the Grosbeaks and the Buntings. What a great list Larry!

NCmountainwoman said...

I saw one of my very favorite migrants this week...a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. They will be here for only a few weeks.

Allison said...

Oh, I have definitely heard the warbler's song at our house, but I have yet to see one! I didn't know about the Spring Bird Count. And where did you see bald eagles?

Larry said...

Spencer-Thanks-Sounds like you are getting your share of birds now.-I'd like to see White-eyed Vireo and some of the warblers that you've seen.

Ruth-I'm only good at identifying birds that I know.I am really hesitant with new species but thanks for the vote of confidence.-I've read that Point Pelee is one of the best spots around.

Jayne-I don't believe I've seen a Summer Tanager-that would be a nice find for this year.

NCMountainwoman-They aresuch unique looking birds-One of my favorites too.

Tutta-Hartford Audubon is doing the Spring Census.-Click on their link on my sidebar and check field trips.-They offer a lot of free field trips throughout the year.-The eagle was seen near the Portland Fairgrounds. They are often around that area.

Mary C said...

That's quite a list of birds, Larry. I have a feeling you will more than double it by May 17th. As for seeing any migrants...well as I had's what I haven't seen with the hooded oriole. At least I'm thinking Mr & Mrs Oriole took off for better nesting areas.

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Hi Larry, it's been awhile since I visited you, but just had to listen to that yellow warbler, and I'm glad I did. You did a great job of photographing it and catching it's song. I know I've heard it on my walks but just never saw it in the trees. GREAT JOB!