Friday, December 31, 2010

End of year wrap up

Prothonotary Warbler, Magee Marsh, Oh, May 14, 2010
Prothonotary Warbler, Magee Marsh, OH, May 14, 2010
Yellow Warbler, Magee Marsh, OH, May 14, 2010
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magee Marsh, OH, May 14, 2010
Bay breasted Warbler, Magee Marsh, OH, May 14, 2010
American Redstart at nest, Prescott Peninsula-Quabbin, MA June 7, 2010
American Redstart building nest, Prescott Peninsula-Quabbin, MA, May 16, 2010
Painted Redstart, Madera Canyon, AZ, April 1, 2010
Rufous-capped Warbler, Florida Canyon, AZ, March 31, 2010

As the year comes to and end and all the warbler have left for points south I will take the time to review some of my warbler sightings over the past year. First a review by the numbers. I managed to see a total of 39 species of wood warbler this year and added a total of three new species to my life list including Rufous-capped Warbler, Olive Warbler and Lucy's Warbler. All of these were added during a late March/early April trip to Arizona. I found a total of 30 species here in Massachusetts and a total of 20 species at home. The best addition to my house list was a Kentucky Warbler found in a mixed species flock in May. There were many other highlights throughout the year including the wide variety of species seen and photographed during a May trip out to Ohio, finding many nesting species during the fourth year of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, finally photographing a Connecticut Warbler, and spending hundreds and hundreds of hours outside listening to the songs of all these warbler species.

What will next year bring? Who knows but I cannot wait to find out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Audubon" type Yellow-rumped Warbler

"Audubon" type Yellow-Rumped Warbler
I managed to locate another warbler species (Orange-crowned Warbler) for the year during a recent trip out to central and northern Arizona. In addition to the two subspecies of Orange-crowned Warbler I found out there including a bright lutescens I also found several Audubon-type Yellow-rumped Warblers in several habitats including this individual along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. These will likely be the last species and subspecies of warblers I will find this year but you never know.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November warblers

During a morning outing at UMASS I came across at least five Yellow-rumped Warblers despite the frosty temps. This was the only warbler of the day and likely the only warbler for the month now that the temperature have taken a nose dive.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A few warblers left as mid October passes...

I still have a few warbler sightings to report over the last week as October passes the half way mark. The vast majority now are Yellow rumped but there are lesser numbers of others including Palm, Pine, Common Yellowthroat and today, Blackpoll. Soon they will all be gone to points south but I will still try to find them as late as I can in the season around here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Arcadia meadows warblers

I spent a couple hours before work exploring the area of the Arcadia Meadows starting at dawn. The number of Palm Warblers around today was impressive with a minimum count of 78 with the majority being 'Yellow' Palms. Other warbler species around in good numbers were Yellow rumped. The other species seen included a male Black throated Blue, a Black and White, a Magnolia, a Blackpoll and a few Common Yellowthroats. A total of seven warbler species for the morning was quite respectable starting the second week of October.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October warblers

I made a trip over to Arcadia Meadows starting at dawn and staying for a bit under two hours. The north winds of last night cleared out many warblers but brought in many sparrows. I still managed to find seven warbler species with the following totals seen:

Northern Parula 1
Magnolia Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Palm Warbler 8
Blackpoll Warbler 5
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 13

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cape May Warbler

Among the warbler in my travels this morning was a Cape May which I found at dawn along the road in from Gate 22 at Quabbin. Although the views were less than great the bird showed well enough to ID. There were twelve warbler species I came across today with the numbers of Yellow rumped, Blackpoll and Palm continuing to grow and the numbers of other continuing to drop. The inevitability of the changing of the seasons.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eighteen species of warbler today

I spent the entire day outside exploring Quabbin Gates 22, 16, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8. I finished the day with a total of eighteen species of warbler with the highlights being Wilson's, Blackburnian, Bay Breasted and a bright adult male Yellow.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia Meadows, September 17, 2010

Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia Meadows, September 17, 2010

Given the weather forecast of early clearing leading to sunny skies with lighter north winds made me decide to make the trip across the river once again to hawk watch at Goat Peak. I first arrived at dawn at Arcadia before going up to hawk watch. There was a bit of drizzle but it quickly stopped. There appeared to less warblers around then on previous trips there over the last few days but it may have been the weather. I wasn't sure I was going to have much luck and then I came across the best warbler of the day. The highlight was the Connecticut Warbler I came across after about an hour here. It showed itself well as it moved about in the dense thicket. It started raining at this point but I stayed and got continued great views and managed at least a few marginal shots. The distance and lighting were terrible but at least I got great looks. My impression was it was a adult female given the plumage I got looks at. It was interesting to see the size comparison as a Black throated Green Warbler flew down next to it and a brief second. The only other big arrival I could find here this morning were Palm Warblers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Arcadia meadows

Another good day down in the Arcadia Meadows for warblers. I found fourteen species down there plus another in a different location for a total of fifteen species for the day. Species seen included Yellow, Blue winged, Prairie, Palm, Pine, Black throated Blue, Black throated Green, Magnolia, Blackpoll, Nashville, and Yellow rumped Warblers, plus American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Parula and Common Yellowthroat. I oddly missed finding some more common species like Chestnut sided and Black and White.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Arcadia meadows, Mount Tom and Lawrence Swamp

Black throated Green Warbler, from Goats Peak tower at Mt Tom State Reservation

Common Yellowthroat, Arcadia Meadows, Northampton, MA

I decided at the last minute to head over to Northampton this morning and check out Arcadia Meadows (AKA West Meadows) and then head up to Goats Peak at Mount Tom for some hawk watching. As I got into Hadley the fog got very thick and I thought I may have made a mistake on the choice of locations this morning but it turned out to be a great morning. Despite the fog the Arcadia area near the Ibis Pool and other hedgerows was great. Lots of good stuff and some incredible looks. I had a surprising total of four Yellow Warblers here plus a Tennessee and Prairie. After a great beginning to the morning I headed up to Goats Peak tower. I had some nice movement of warblers on the way up with one group containing a Bay Breasted and several Blackpolls plus others. On the tower I had a few more groups move through during the morning. It is always interesting to be looking down on the warblers. Overall seventeen species of warblers made for a great day with the following seen Black thoated Blue, Black throated Green, Black and White, Bay breasted, Blackpoll, Tennessee, Yellow, Nashville, Prairie, Magnolia, Chestnut sided, Pine, Yellow rumped, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Northern Parula and Common Yellowthroat

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quabbin west gates and Quabbin Park...and a remembrance

Northern Parula, Gate 22

I started another trip to Quabbin at Gate 22 this morning and ran into some migrants just down the hill from the gate. The birds here included my first of season Nashville Warbler, half a dozen Northern Parula's, and eight other species of warblers. Gate 16 and 11 had few warblers around but Quabbin Park had one really good spot. There was a large mixed species flock that contained several species of warbler including Nashville, Ovenbird, Blackpoll and several each of Northern Parula, Black throated Blue, Black throated Green and Black and White and others. Overall for the day I totalled 14 species of warbler which I was quite happy with given the less than ideal weather conditions. In addition I had a still singing Prairie Warbler at Quabbin Park..

Today is also a sad day. It has now been six months since I lost my good dog, best buddy and frequent birding companion Kody. He is missed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cape Cod warblers

I spent the weekend on Cape Cod and despite some great migration weather and a bit of looking I turned up only five species of warbler there including Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Pine and Northern Parula and Common Yellowthroat. I certainly hope I have a little more luck now that I'm back home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Western gates again...22, 16, 11, and 10.

Black throated Blue Warbler, Gate 16, September 6, 2010
Another trip up the west side of Quabbin this morning brought more good sightings. Its alwasy interesting to see how the diversity and numbers change from day to day. I started at daybreak at Gate 22 and then onto Gate 16, 11 and 10 finishing up around noon. I found a male Wilson's Warbler at Gate 16 and a few mixed species flocks at various spots. I managed a total of 13 species of warblers . Besides the Wilson's Warbler I had Canada, Chestnut sided, Black throated Blue, Black throated Green, Pine, Yellow rumped, Black and White, and Magnolia Warblers and American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird and Northern Parula.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

West gates at Quabbin

Black and White Warbler, Gate 11, September 5,2010

Northern Parula, Gate 11, September 5, 2010

I made yet another early morning trip up the west side of Quabbin. I began this morning at dawn at Gate 22. After a close encounter at dawn with a large bull Moose I made the trek down to the water and back. The woods along the way held a few mixed species flocks with a total of seven species of warbler here with the highlights being a still singing Black throated Blue Warbler, my first Northern Parula of the season and two Tennessee Warblers together. I got a marginal record shot of one of the two Tennessee's.

Tennessee Warbler, Gate 22, September 5, 2010

My next stop was at Gate 16 which held a few nice birds including a total of nine warbler species including another Northern Parula. The breeze continued to pick up so I decided to move down to Gate 11 to try and get there before the wind got any worse. However by the time I started down Gate 11 road the breeze had turned into a wind with gusts over 30 mph. I almost gave up on finding anything in these conditions but thought I would give it a try anyway. I'm glad I tried as I came across a nice mixed species flock feeding both high and low and moving down the road. I found four Northern Parula's including one still calling, a Blackpoll, several Black thoated Greens and others. For the morning I had a total of twelve warbler species.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I made another early morning stop along the rail trail in Amherst. I had one little mixed species flock which contained a Tennessee, Prairie, Blue Winged, Pine and Black and White Warbler plus an American Redstart, Common Yellowthroats. I wish I had more time to try and find some others but that will have to wait for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Palm Warbler yesterday

On a morning walk along the rail trail in Amherst I had a Palm Warbler among the other handful of warbler species including Pine, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Black Throated Blue Warbler eating ants

Black throated Blue Warbler feeding on flying ants, Gate 16, August 29, 2010

Black throated Blue Warbler feeding on flying ants, Gate 16, August 29, 2010

I made my way back to the west side of Quabbin today hitting Gate 22, 16 and 10. The numbers of birds seemed to be down a bit from yesterday but that could be that the birds were less concentrated due to the weather being warmer and the birds not having to congregate in the sunny spots this morning. There were still some nice birds around nonetheless. The highlights were another Tennessee Warbler, this time at the end of Gate 22. The other neat sighting was watching this Black throated Blue Warbler feeding on flying ants as they left their burrow and climbed this stump to fly off. It was a feeding frenzy for the warbler and the bird hardly noticed my presence.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Warbler along the western gates of Quabbin

A short post that I will add to but thought I would mention warblers continue to filter in and I came across a nice one today at Gate 16 when I found a Tennessee Warbler in among the other usual species. The weather has been quite good for migration the last couple nights and it appears migrants are starting to move.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mixed species flocks

Magnolia Warbler, Quabbin Gate 16, August 21, 2010

Yellow rumped Warbler juvenile, Quabbin Gate 16, August 21, 2010

Black and White Warbler, Quabbin Gate 22, August 21, 2010

Black throated Green Warbler, Quabbin Gate 16, August 21,2010

I made a series of stops this morning on the west side of Quabbin starting at daybreak at Gate 22 going to the water and then onto Gate 16 and finally to Gate 5. There were several mixed species flocks encountered today with a total of twelve species of warbler seen. Its always exciting to see what variety of species you can come across in these mixed species flocks. There is always the chance of something unusual. Even without an unusual bird you are kept looking as various birds come in and you try to decipher the various plumage's of the various ages of birds. The Black and White Warblers continue to occasionally call and I had one Black throated Blue Warbler calling a few times. Overall there is no obvious migrants yet as all the species seen do breed in the area. The overall warbler list for the day included Magnolia, Black throated Green, Black throated Blue, Black and White, Blackburnian, Canada, Chestnut sided, Yellow rumped, Pine, American Redstart, Ovenbird and Common Yellowthroat.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mystery warbler

Among the various warblers today on a trip into central Quabbin I came across this one. It was in a mixed species flock I pished in. I have my thoughts on it but would love to hear other opinions. The yellow band around the mid section was brighter than the photo shows (sorry best photo I could get of it). I have a couple other photos but this is the best of the bunch. Among the other warbler highlights today was a total of 13 species including a late Louisiana Waterthrush, an Overbird that almost flew into me and many juvenile birds among the adults.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quabbin at dawn

I made a trip up to the north part of Quabbin (Gate 22 area) this morning to visit some areas I knew Chris Ellison use to visit. Chris died suddenly and unexpectedly last week (see my other blog for more info). The trip proved yet again how good a birding spot Quabbin is. I ran across my first mixed species flocks of warblers. Species included Canada, Chestnut sided, Pine, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Common Yellowthroats and American Redstarts

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yellow Warbler family

Yellow Warbler, Covey WMA

A walk this morning at Covey WMA produced a few nice sightings including a family group of Yellow Warblers and a Louisiana Waterthrush singing a partial song over and over. The Yellow Warblers will likely be moving out over the next few weeks as they head south for the winter. They are usually one of the first breeding warblers to make the move. The birds today were quite difficult to get any good pictures of but I managed some marginal ones.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chestnut sided Warbler fledgling

Chestnut sided Warbler, juvenile, Quabbin

Among the eleven species of warbler I came across today was a recently fledged Chestnut sided Warbler being fed by the adult male. It is always interesting to watch the nearly continuous feeding of the rapidly growing young during this time of year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

the season has gotten quiet

The amount of warbler song has dropped considerably the last week or so. Where I use to hear Ovenbirds and American Redstarts they are no longer singing at all. The birds are obviously still around but have gotten quiet. A few species continue to sing a bit such as Black throated Green and Black throated Blue plus the occasional Magnolia and Yellow. The Common Yellowthroats are still somewhat vocal but even they have trailed off. Soon the end of summer and the beginning of fall will bring the mixed species flocks that are so much fun to work through.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yellow-rumped Warbler fledglings

Yellow-rumped Warbler fledgling, Quabbin Gate 16, July 12, 2010

On a brief walk down Gate 16 road I came across this family group of recently fledged Yellow-rumped Warblers. The adults were madly feeding the at least five fledglings. The fledglings were quite active as they moved around the pines along the shore looking for food and begging for more attention from the adults. It does appear the adults were quite successful in fledgling a good number of young.

Yellow-rumped Warbler fledgling, Quabbin Gate 16, July 12, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trip to northern New Hampshire

Mourning Warbler, East Inlet Road, Pittsburg, NH, June 25, 2010

Blackpoll Warbler, Pittsburg, NH, June 25, 2010

Boreal habitat, Pittsburg, NH

Bay-breasted Warbler, East Inlet Road, Pittsburg, NH, June 25, 2010

I made a recent trip up to Pittsburg, New Hampshire and had some great luck with tracking down the various boreal breeding warblers. Over the course of three days I managed to find a total nineteen species including the following: Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black and White, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Canada Warbler. Many of these species were quite common. Although I got some great looks I was not able to get as many good photos as I had wanted. It was nice to see all these species busily carrying food to nests as they raised the next generation in the 'Great North Woods'.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Updates on some previous posts

Over the last few days I have checked on a few particular warblers I had been watching. The American Redstarts in the last few posts have fledged. I managed to find one fledgling being fed by an adult nearby. The Cerulean Warbler has not been heard by me at Quabbin Park in few weeks now. It either moved on or found a mate and has quieted down. I admit I have not been by there enough to be sure or exactly what the outcome has been. In addition I missed on finding the Cerulean that had nested for a few years at central Quabbin. Again I have not been to the area enough (due to storm downed trees). Overall the breeding season for warblers is moving right along with lots of adults carrying food or still building nests and some fledglings out and about.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lots of breeding activity

American Redstart feeding young, Central Quabbin, June 14, 2010

Blackburian Warbler, female, collecting nest material, Central Quabbin, June 14, 2010

Made a trip into central Quabbin and had lots of breeding activity with the various species of warblers there. I returned to the nest of American Redstarts and the three young in the nest looked about ready to fledge. Both parents made nearly continuous trips to the nest feeding the young. As some warblers have already fledged young some continue to build nests including a redstart and a Pine Warbler, which must be on a second brood now. Several other species were seen carrying food to hidden nests or fledglings. Another interesting sight was the above photographed Blackburnian Warbler that was collecting webs for a nest. She was covered with spider webs! A total of fifteen species of warblers were seen or heard on central Quabbin this morning.

Monday, June 7, 2010

American Redstarts at nest

American Redstart, Central Quabbin, June 7, 2010
American Redstart, Central Quabbin, June 7, 2010
American Redstart, Central Quabbin, June 7, 2010

I first found this nest when the female was just starting to work on it. I returned to it today to find both the male a female bringing food to the nest to some very freshly hatched young. At times the female would sit back on the nest and the male would deliver food to her and she would then move to the edge of the nest and feed the young. Other times she would move away and the male would feed the young directly. While watching the activity at the nest I had a feel something was watching me and I turned to find a Bobcat standing about 40 feet away from me. More about that on my other blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cerulean Warbler still there....

The Cerulean Warbler seems to have survived the severe storms of the middle of last week and he continues to sing vigorously at Quabbin Park. Hopefully he will be able to attract a mate soon.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cerulean Warbler back at Quabbin Park

Cerulean Warbler, Quabbin Park, May 22, 2010

After a several year absence I finally found a singing Cerulean Warbler at Quabbin Park. They previously bred in the area I found this one this morning. Perhaps this one will be able to attract a mate and reestablish these warblers as breeders back at this location. Sorry for the low quality shot but he just would not come down very low at all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Black Throated Green Warbler

Black throated Green Warbler, Magee Marsh, OH, May 9,2010
I will begin a review of some of the warblers I have seen including those on my recent trip to Ohio. There were several Black thoated Green Warblers that were quite accommodating and one in particular that came so close I could no longer focus the camera or binoculars on him. He was literally at an arm length away as he fed along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trip to Ohio for warblers

Cape May Warbler, Magee Marsh

I just arrived back after a quick trip out to northwestern Ohio. It was a great trip despite the less than ideal weather conditions. I visited the famous Magee Marsh area as well as a couple other nearby areas such as Ottawa NWR and Metzger Marsh. I ended with 26 species of warblers. It looks like I missed a really big day out there by one day but I'm still happy with my trip. Highlights included Mourning, Golden winged, Cape May, Bay Breasted, Wilson's, Canada, Blackburnian, etc. I will post photos over the next few weeks. I post one for now.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler (photo taken last year in Amherst)

Despite the poor weather with bouts of rain and thunder I managed a great sighting at the house. In among a nice selection of warbler feeding in the oaks I had a Kentucky Warbler. He only stayed for a brief time, calling a few times before he moved on. I was not able to get a photo today so I'm including one taken last year of one in Amherst. You never know what will show up in the yard. I managed a total of 13 species of warbler in the yard today bringing my overall yard total of warbler species to 22.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Migration continues to pick up

I spent the day conducting work on the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. The number and variety of warblers continues to increase by the day. As a sample here is the variety I had in Central Quabbin this morning.

Blue-winged Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 3
Northern Parula 4
Yellow Warbler 23 carrying nest material
Chestnut-sided Warbler 44
Magnolia Warbler 8
Black-throated Blue Warbler 24
Yellow-rumped Warbler 8
Black-throated Green Warbler 35
Blackburnian Warbler 9
Pine Warbler 17 making nest
Prairie Warbler 1
Cerulean Warbler 1 in same area they have bred for last few years
Black-and-white Warbler 18
American Redstart 43
Ovenbird 97
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 89

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Big influx overnight

The change in weather was very productive in regards to warbler numbers and diversity. Many first of the season sightings for me today. I covered the same areas as yesterday but ended up with a vast increase in numbers. I ended the day with a total of 17 species including the following: Nashville Warbler,Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush and Common Yellowthroat. A very nice way to start May.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Warbler diversity increasing

A morning spent exploring the central part of Quabbin resulted in a variety of first of year warblers including a half dozen Black throated Green Warblers, a couple Yellow Warblers, a Blackburnian Warbler, a few Black and White Warblers, a continuing Black throated Blue Warbler (present in same area since April 23..very early) and lots of Pine and Yellow rumped plus a few Palms. A total of eight species of warbler is my high for the season so far. What will tomorrow bring?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rufous capped Warbler

I will begin a review of all the species of warblers I have seen over the years by looking at one of my most recent additions. I managed to catch up with this guy in Florida Canyon in Arizona on March 31, 2010.

The Rufous capped Warbler had been present in Florida Canyon off and on for months. I really was hopeful to get a look at this warbler. We arrived in Florida Canyon mid morning and started up the canyon, having to jump across the stream in several areas. I went further upstream alone and had no luck. When I returned back down canyon I was encouraged to try again by the wife and luck was on my side the second time. I'm certainly glad I went back to try again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some early warblers

Spent the day atlasing for the fourth year of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. Covered a couple of blocks in Central Quabbin. Started the morning off with a singing Black Throated Blue Warbler which is on the early side. Also good numbers of Yellow rumped, Pine and Palms. The Pines had several pairs together with at least one gathering nest material. Ended the day with a Black and White Warbler. Despite alot of effort I was unable to find a single waterthrush of either species despite some good habitat. All and all a nice day and added two new species for the season.

Monday, April 19, 2010

First four warbler day of the season.

Today was the first day I managed to get sightings of four warbler species in one day here in Massachusetts this season. The Pines and Palms have been fairly easy to run across lately and the Louisiana Waterthrushes have been calling from their typical spots for a week now but today was the first day I had Yellow rumped Warblers in the mix too. In a few weeks a four warbler day would be easy (and disappointing!) but its a nice step in migration.