Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yellow Chat and Exciting Weekend Updates!

Early Saturday morning I ran into Ian. It was sunny and cool, but very pleasant. Together we saw a Wilson's warbler, an American redstart, a pine warbler and a female common yellowthroat in the scrub near the mulberry tree on the path to the upper gardens. Very exciting! I had never seen a Wilson's warbler before and all I knew was that this bird was bright yellow with a black cap. I looked it up and on seeing the picture, I was sure that's what I had seen! I'm so glad Ian came along and got to confirm my sighting.

Then Haynes arrived and we all explored the lower and upper gardens together. We saw our usual friends: chickadees, blue jays, catbirds, cardinals, goldfinches, robins, titmice, house finches, song sparrows and possibly a juvenile male yellow throat.

As we headed to the upper gardens, we came across 5 deer in the meadow. They were curious about us, but a little frightened, and bounded off into the woods. I think Ian saw a palm warbler and we heard and saw some very vocal white breasted nuthatches on the trees bordering the path. Haynes and Ian spotted the red fox which immediately dashed into the woods following the deer. Our friend "Lucy" the leucisistic song sparrow was on view on the fence of one of the gardens. She is one song sparrow we can keep track of. Saw mourning doves, mockingbirds and then a beautiful Coopers hawk (pictured right) circling around near the back of the upper gardens. Also saw an Eastern phoebe and another American redstart down in the soccer field area. Pond was quiet.

Today, I went early to see if I could catch the deer or the fox before the sun really came out. I was there around 6:45 a.m.. I saw another car and it had an Audubon sticker on it, so I knew another birdwatcher was nearby! It was Bev in the lower gardens. She told me a yellow breasted chat had been seen yesterday and she was hoping to see it. She also warned me that lots of birders would be coming to check it out. And so they did!

I didn't see much in the upper gardens, so I headed down below. Ran into Haynes who was hoping to see the chat. Also discovered that Mary Lou and friend were there too looking for the chat. Then Ian arrived as well. We spotted the chat in a bush in the middle of the gardens and then it flew to the brush that borders the parking lot. Got a great view of it, but couldn't get a picture. It just vanished into thin air! Eventually, everyone got to see it and we were all thrilled.

Hope this is an indicator of an exciting fall migration!

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