Saturday, May 9, 2015

Warbler Mania!

I awoke to cloudy skies, cool temps (44) and foggy conditions.  Not very good weather for birding!  I started the day with a guided bird walk at Tower Hill Botanic Garden from 7-9AM.  We had pretty good luck in spite of the weather.  Highlights included:  Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Black-Throated Green Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, and Yellow-Rumped Warbler.  I didn't get many photos because of the poor conditions.

 Baltimore Oriole

 Eastern Bluebird

 American Robin

I happened to know the leader of the walk from our mutual membership in the Mass Butterfly Club, and when she mentioned she was planning to head up to Plum Island after the walk and invited me to join her, I happily agreed.

The sun began to peek through the clouds as we drove north.  Temps climbed into the 50s and later even into the 60s, although it always felt cool on the coast.  Soon we were witnessing numbers of beautiful warblers in relatively short, scrubby trees across from the salt pannes in Parker River NWR.  We had close, beautiful views of Northern Parulas, Yellow Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, Common Yellowthroat and Black-Throated Blue Warblers!

Here are the photo highlights of our visit to Plum Island, a truly wonderful one!  Warblers without warbler neck syndrome (from leaning back to look in treetops).  Close views!   Some of these birds were just a few feet away, and if they flew into another tree, another warbler moved in and took its place.  I have never had an experience like this with warblers.  It was a real treat.

 Eastern Kingbird

 Willet (I think)

 Common Yellowthroat
(the "bandit"

 Northern Parula

again (prettier tree)

 Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Yellow Warbler

 Barn Swallow

 White-Crowned Sparrow

 Great Crested Flycatcher


Black-and-White Warbler


Glossy Ibis

Piping Plover
(life bird!)

Purple Martin

Funny--the top of this collection of gourd nesting boxes was decorated with wooden Purple Martins that fooled me when I first saw them (when we arrived).  It wasn't until we were leaving, and stopped here again, that I saw a real Purple Martin!

I wrote a version of this blog post earlier, and when I attempted to add my bird species list for the day, I deleted all of the above.  So this is version #2, and I am happily exhausted from my day.  It was a most wonderful birding outing!  Thanks again to Wendy!

Species list:
  1. American Crow
  2. American Goldfinch
  3. American Redstart
  4. American Robin
  5. Baltimore Oriole
  6. Barn Swallow
  7. Black-and-White Warbler
  8. Black-Capped Chickadee
  9. Black-Throated Blue Warbler
  10. Black-Throated Green Warbler
  11. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
  12. Blue-Headed Vireo
  13. Blue Jay
  14. Canada Goose
  15. Chipping Sparrow
  16. Common Grackle
  17. Common Yellowthroat
  18. Double-Crested Cormorant
  19. Downy Woodpecker
  20. Eastern Bluebird
  21. Eastern Kingbird
  22. Eastern Phoebe
  23. Eastern Towhee
  24. Gadwall
  25. Glossy Ibis
  26. Gray Catbird
  27. Great Crested Flycatcher
  28. Great Black-backed Gull
  29. Greater Yellowlegs
  30. Killdeer
  31. Magnolia Warbler
  32. Mallard
  33. Marsh Wren
  34. Merlin
  35. Mourning Dove
  36. Mute Swan
  37. Northern Cardinal
  38. Northern Mockingbird
  39. Northern Parula
  40. Osprey
  41. Ovenbird
  42. Piping Plover
  43. Purple Finch
  44. Purple Martin
  45. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  46. Red-Eyed Vireo
  47. Red-Tailed Hawk
  48. Red-Winged Blackbird
  49. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (song only)
  50. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
  51. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  52. Scarlet Tanager
  53. Snowy Egret
  54. Song Sparrow
  55. Tree Swallow
  56. Tufted Titmouse
  57. Veery
  58. Vesper Sparrow
  59. Warbling Vireo
  60. White-Breasted Nuthatch
  61. White-Crowned Sparrow
  62. White-Throated Sparrow
  63. Wild Turkey
  64. Willet
  65. Yellow Warbler
  66. Yellow-Rumped Warbler

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