Sunday, May 15, 2016

Heard but not seen...seen but not heard...

Yellow warbler
Arrived at the park at my usual time - 7:30. It was a little chilly at 51 degrees - not as balmy as yesterday.

Tree swallows and yellow warblers were in great abundance in the lower gardens. While looking for warblers in one of the crabapples, I saw something moving in the leaf litter. It was quite a surprise to see an oven bird busily poking around with its beak. It never made a sound (seen but not heard).

Warbling Vireo
Strangely, the yellow warbler nest that we all saw last Sunday on the Mother's Day bird walk and is pictured in the previous post, has completely disappeared. What happened is all I can wonder. Luckily, some new nests have appeared which makes me feel a little bit better. It's so distressing to see all the work the little birds do to prepare the nest and make sure it is just right for their eggs and then it's just mysteriously gone. I finally spotted a rose-breasted grosbeak which was singing right over my head. It was very high up and the leaves on the tree were out, so it actually took quite some time to finally see it, but it certainly was beautiful. A couple of house wrens were singing. Our regulars of course were there - robins, catbirds, mourning doves, cardinals and song sparrows.

Red-eyed vireo
In the upper gardens, I was greeted by a very vocal Warbling vireo singing it's heart out. There were several orioles, one of which looked a little drab and disheveled. I think it's possible it was a young male. There was a group of 4 male cowbirds in a small crabapple. Caught a very brief glimpse of a common yellowthroat. It was cagey today but hopefully, there will be more chances to see it. A male ruby-throated hummingbird perched nearby and flew to the lilacs to see if there was any good nectar in the flowers. A red-eyed vireo was exploring the catkins in the oaks in the back of the gardens along with a pair of house finches.

I ran into a neighbor, Susan and we walked together to the soccer field/pond area. We could hear more than one Northern parula, but for the life of us, we never could spot them - hence part of the title "heard but not seen...". There were a few goldfinches, several yellow warblers and a female hummer as well as a red-bellied woodpecker. The star of this area today was a great sighting of a black-throated blue warbler.

Black-throated Blue Warbler
It was out in the open and very visible. Sadly, though I thought I was getting great photos, it turned out not to be so, but at least there is documentation of this beautiful bird. Down by the river Susan spotted a warbling vireo and it's nest. Woodcock meadow was fairly quiet.

There is a lot of bird excitement at this time of year. Between orioles and warblers chasing each other around, nest sitting, nest building and singing, it's quite busy at the park. I love this time of year. And it's not brutally hot. What a pleasure.

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