Winding Waters Chats…………………………..How many?

This was my only opportunity for a shot of the Chat.

This morning I headed to Winding Waters to try for the Yellow-breasted Chats that have been being seen there. It wasn’t difficult at all. Before I could even reach the spot, I heard the male singing. I was joined almost immediately by one of the New Jersey birders, his name escapes me. We watched the Chat that sang frequently and would pop up from time to time. I got one shot of the bird who turned around just as I snapped the shot. I never got another opportunity as the bird would be up for only seconds. The bird went down in the thicket after about twenty minutes of activity. It was then quiet. We never saw any bird fly out of the spot. As we stood for about five minutes, I said, ” I hear a Chat singing way down the trail!” I was talking about the trail to the left along the river after the “Y”. The other gentleman couldn’t hear it, but I suggested we head out the trail. We were only half way when he said he could hear it. The singing increased. We found the bird in a maple just before what I call “the tunnel”. This is the spot where you enter the portion of the trail that is completely covered by the canopy. The bird sang there, but we couldn’t see it until it flew down into a small brushy thicket in field on the right side of the trail. It immediately stopped singing and we didn’t hear it again. We headed back to the original site at that point, but didn’t hear the bird there at that time. The other gentleman left, but I hung around, not hearing Chats anywhere. I was watching Orchard Orioles build a nest and followed the bird activity back to the area where we had seen the Chat in the maple. I started trying to photograph a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers when suddenly on the side of the trail right next to me, a Chat popped up in a Honeysuckle. I had a several second look, but the second I moved, it dove back down into the bushes. I never saw it again. A short time later, just as I was leaving I thought I heard the Chat again at the original location. My question is – Are there more Chats present than we realize at Winding Waters? If you are out at the site, pay close attention to any song in the area of the “tunnel”, I think there may be an additional pair of Chats in that spot.

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2 Responses to Winding Waters Chats…………………………..How many?

  1. Lisa O'Gorman says:

    Hi john!! I’ve finally bookmarked your site!! I got to see the chat with binoculars in the bushes & got a side view of him looking at me!! It’s a life bird. Going to try to get out there next couple days to get other look.

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