Apparently there was significant migration again last night. The radar was intense right through to morning again. Once again, most of the birds passed over us. That said, there was a slight uptake in the birds from yesterday. I did manage to find 8 species of warblers today. Also of note was a Philadelphia Vireo at both the Orchard and the Nature Trail. One Cuckoo was seen, but it flew through and perched in the dark undergrowth and I couldn’t identify it to species. A single Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at the Nature Trail. Two Common Gallinules continue near the Fisherman’s Spring. Five each of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets were seen. A better day than yesterday.
Addendum: A trip out late this afternoon to the Pine Boat Launch and Haven Road, two areas I hadn’t birded this morning produced another good mixed species flock at the DEC Parking Lot. Pine, Prairie and Black-throated Green Warblers were new for the day as were three Blue-headed Vireos. All of the other birds seen were also seen this morning. This gave me 11 warbler species for the day.
The forecast for last night was for a major migration movement in the northeast. Shortly after sunset the radar indicated it was in full swing. As the night progressed, so did the intensity of movement. This continued right on until approximately 5:30 this morning. In my mind, with the significant movement of the last four days combined with the fact that birds were moving from so far north, I was sure today would be fantastic. Not the case. In fact, almost everything that had been being seen over the last several days, was gone. Yesterday I tallied 16 species of warblers between the Bashakill and my yard. Those birds numbered over 60 individuals. Today, I found 6 species of warblers totaling 13 birds. Once again, near perfect migration conditions simply caused a major fly over of our region. What can we conclude from these facts? Well, I’m not really sure at all. What I do know is that the forecast for tonight is nearly as perfect as last night. What will this mean for us tomorrow? I’m not really sure about that either. I can’t help but wonder though with a somewhat compromised forecast for the following night, if that night might not bring a much better flight locally. We can only wait and see, and hope to learn something from all this information we are gathering. Good luck out there!
As I was finishing my last post I looked out my window. There is a rock in my side yard with a depression in it. It had rained just a short time earlier and the rock was filled with water. In the water were four warblers!! I grabbed my bins and camera and ran out the door. My yard was completely filled with migrating birds!! I have dense plantings of Rhododendron, Laurel, Crab Apple as well as many seeding plants. Around the yard is a barrier of Hemlocks with a few maples among them. Higher are huge pines and oaks. Bottom line is my yard has always been a bird magnet and at least once a year I get a huge drop in of migrating birds. Today was the day. I tried to get photos, but mostly all I got were blurs. It was a lot of fun sifting through all of these birds. I think I got most of them, here is the list: BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (3), CAPE MAY WARBLER (1), TENNESEE WARBLER (2), Black-throated Green Warbler (6), Magnolia Warbler (5), American Redstart (1), Ovenbird (1), Black and White Warbler (3), Chestnut-sided (1)! There were also two Dark-eyed Juncos mixed in. Chickadees, Nuthatches and Titmice as well as a couple of Red-eyed Vireos completed the line up. I hope this happens again over the next couple of days! The forecast is for major migration in our area, so lets keep our fingers crossed!
Addendum: As this was happening, I couldn’t recall ever having Bay-breasted Warbler in my yard before. I just looked it up and I was right, this is a new yard bird for me! The Cape May and Tennessee’s I’ve had a number of times before, but not the Bay-breasteds!
I had to do a few chores this morning so I got a bit of a late start. Fortunately, it didn’t matter! When I got out of my car at the corner of Haven Road and the Orchard, birds were flying back and forth across the road. I headed right down to the parked “Crane” where birds were working the thicket all around the equipment. I had three TENNESSEE WARBLERS (above) almost immediately! Warbler after warbler passed by and for once I got a pretty decent look at most of them. Black-throated Green, Hooded, Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Black and White, Canada and Chestnut-sided Warblers as well as Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula were seen! The birds eventually moved farther back into the woods so I moved into the Orchard. It was jumping! Additional species seen here included Pine Warbler and BAY-BREASTED WARBLER! (below) Several Scarlet Tanagers were flying around as well. I then spotted a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (2nd below) that immediately caught a worm and paid little attention as I got a couple of shots of it. The birds eventually moved up hill. As I went back out to the road to follow them up hill, a beautiful FOS PHILADELPHIA VIREO popped up in the apple tree at the entrance to the trail west of Haven Road. I thought I was able to get a couple of shots, but I missed the bird completely. I followed the birds up through the woods adjacent to the road. Here I had many more of the same. Scott Baldinger joined me soon thereafter and we walked out the Stop Sign Trail. Magnolias, Common Yellowthroats, a Black and White and several Black-throated Green were all seen in that area. Finally, back to Haven Road we scanned the marsh. A Bald Eagle flew through the back of the marsh putting up a Great Blue Heron. It startled a group of Great Egrets closer to us that flew around for a minute before putting down, there were 9 in all! Another great morning!
I birded the Bashakill today with Scott Baldinger. Eventually, we were joined by Marty Borko. It was another good morning. I had twelve species of warbler myself, but others had more. The Orchard was the best spot early in the morning, actually right around 9:30 am. The birds were quite active and the light was actually good for a change. Highlights for me were: Hooded Warbler ( a beautiful adult male), Worm-eating Warbler (in the same bush I had it two days ago), Magnolia, Pine, Tennessee (2), Bay-breasted, Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided and Black and White Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and Northern Parula! Other than a single Yellow-throated Vireo, I had only Red-eyed Vireos today. For the first time in some time, I had 3 Scarlet Tanagers! An Eastern Kingbird was surely a northern migrant as they have been gone from the area for some time. In the marsh I had 9 Great Egrets and 2 Great Blue Herons. Probably because I was sticking to the woods, I had only a single Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture today. Keep your eye on the next couple of days. Monday and Tuesday nights migration forecast is the highest this fall. We are in the deep orange range which indicates medium high migration! Lets hope it pans out!
I spent the morning birding the Bashakill with Scott Baldinger and my friends visiting from Florida, Bob and Mary Wexler. It was our second really good day in a row. Though I only had nine species of warblers today, the numbers were actually up from yesterday. Highlights of the morning included a beautiful juvenile Peregrine Falcon (above) perched in the dead tree in the back bay from the Pine Boat Launch Tower, eight Great Egrets with four Great Blue Herons, also at the Pine Boat Launch, and the list of warblers. Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black and White and Pine Warblers, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and Ovenbird. The only Vireos this morning for me were Red-eyed and Yellow-throated. Pewees and Phoebes were plentiful. Bald Eagles and Osprey were my only other raptors. I believe the other birders had some additional species before we met up. Good birding!
Last nights radar indicated major migration across the northeast! There was considerable overflight for our area, but finally, some birds put down. At first I wasn’t having much success, then I arrived at the Bashakill. I ended up birding with Karen Miller, Scott Baldinger and Bob and Mary Wexler. We spent a brief time with Bruce Nott, who filled us in on the good things he had found. I started out at the Pine Boat Launch. A small mixed species flock there had only Chickadees, Nuthatches and Pine Warblers. Since they were vocalizing so much, I spished to see if anything else might come in. Right along the road, two LINCOLN’S SPARROWS (above) popped up giving great views! I thought it was a bit early for them, but was happy to see them. I then went to the Deli Fields where little was happening. I then worked my way to the Orchard where I met Karen. As Karen was showing me a bird, just a short way off the road, I saw a WORM-EATING WARBLER pop up! I was able to get Karen right on the bird and it gave great views as well. Unfortunately, as soon as we tried for a photo, it dropped out of sight. We found it a couple more times, but never were able to get a photo. This is my first Worm-eating Warbler in the county in two years. They used to be much more common here. We eventually met Scott and Bruce and then headed to the Nature Trail where Bruce had had some good birds. We were able to connect with the large flock which contained Black-throated Green, Black and White, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia and Blackburnian Warblers, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula and Ovenbird! I had a total of eleven warblers which is more than twice what I’ve been seeing! Though there is supposed to be no migration tonight, birds that are still around but haven’t been found yet are a good possibility for tomorrow! Good luck!