Saturday, December 10, 2016

Elfin woods Warbler and Adelaide's Warbler on a trip down to Puerto Rico -Dec 1-5


Elfin woods Warbler, Bosque Estatal de Maricao, Puerto Rico, Dec 3, 2016
Elfin woods Warbler, Bosque Estatal de Maricao, Puerto Rico, Dec 3, 2016
Elfin woods Warbler, Bosque Estatal de Maricao, Puerto Rico, Dec 3, 2016
Elfin woods Warbler, Bosque Estatal de Maricao, Puerto Rico, Dec 3, 2016
Adelaide's Warbler, Ceiba-Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, Dec 2, 2016
Adelaide's Warbler, Ceiba-Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, Dec 2, 2016
Adelaide's Warbler, Ceiba-Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, Dec 2, 2016
Adelaide's Warbler, Ceiba-Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, Dec 2, 2016
I recently made a trip down to Puerto Rico with the intention of catching up with the two endemic warbler species down there, the endangered Elfin woods Warbler and the more widespread Adelaide's Warbler. The Elfin woods Warbler was only described to science in the 1971/1972 time frame and occurs in only a couple of spots on the island.  I managed to catch up with both species with the Adelaide's Warbler seen and heard in multiple locations including a very obliging individual at the old Roosevelt Roads naval station that came in and perched on the mirror of the car. The Elfin woods Warbler was a bit tougher to catch up with. It was missed in El Yunque but I caught up with a few of them in Maricao forest in a mixed species flock on Saturday and got some identifiable photos. We had them once again in nearly the same spot on Sunday but they remained even more hidden and afforded no opportunities for photos. It is a unique looking species that seemed to be hanging out in a mixed flock that included a Black and White Warbler and a couple Black throated Blue Warblers as well as a few Puerto Rican endemics. It is surprising this species remained unknown to science for so long but I guess not enough people were looking in the right spots. The two warblers on the island became warbler species #62 and #63 for me.
Prairie Warbler, Cabo Rojo NWR, Puerto Rico, Dec 4, 2016
Palm Warbler (western), Ceiba/Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, Dec 2, 2016
Black and White Warbler, Bosque Estatal de Maricao, Puerto Rico, Dec 3, 2016
Besides the two endemic warbler species I also found a number of migrant warblers including Northern Waterthrush, Black and White Warbler, Northern Parula, Black throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler (western), American Redstart, Yellow Warbler (golden subspecies) and Prairie Warbler. Most were seen in small numbers but the amount of Prairie Warblers at Cabo Rojo NWR in the southwest part of the island was amazing. While checking out some of the mudflats near sunset there was a steady stream of Prairie Warblers moving by totaling several dozen. Every small bush seems to contain several individuals at once...the most Prairie Warblers I have ever seen in one location.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A fabulous fall for Connecticut Warblers including my first one in the yard yesterday

Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 22, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 22, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 22, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 22, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 17, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 17, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Sep 16, 2016
Connecticut Warbler, Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River, Hadley, MA, Sep 10, 2016
Yesterday while stuck at home while I got some work done on the house I managed to turn up a new warbler species for the yard when I found a Connecticut Warbler.  This became my 28th warbler species in the yard and one of the most unusual ones.  Despite having seen other unusual species here such as Kentucky, Orange crowned and multiples of Mourning, Bay breasted and Cape May Warblers I have still not had a Blue winged Warbler in the yard!  Very strange indeed.  This fall has been an incredibly productive year for finding Connecticut Warbler here in the valley.  I have found a total of eight so far this season spanning the dates from September 9 until yesterday at various locations including Arcadia, the Honey Pot and Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River with multiples seen on a couple different days.  Most years I have between one and three total and never multiples on the same day.  I have also managed to get some of the best photos I have ever gotten of this usually tough to photograph species. (* the final tally for the year ended up being a whopping ten individuals with the last one added in early October)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another Connecticut Warbler and many others in the last few days


Connecticut Warbler, Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River, Hadley, MA, Sep 10, 2016
Northern Parula, Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River, Hadley, MA, Sep 10, 2016
Black throated Green Warbler, Quabbin Park,  MA, Sep 10, 2016
Nashville Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 11, 2016
Prairie Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 11, 2016
Yellow Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 11, 2016
Common Yellowthroat, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 11, 2016
Common Yellowthroat, Honey Pot, Hadley,  MA, Sep 12, 2016

I continued to have some good luck with fall warblers for the last few days including another Connecticut Warbler at Silvio Conte NWR-Fort River on the 10th and one that was cooperative (at least as far as CT warblers go).  I had a total of 22 species of warbler during the three day period between September 9-11.  Besides the previously mentioned Connecticut Warbler and Yellow breasted Chat highlights included Tennessee, Cape May and Bay breasted Warblers.  That brings my total warblers in the county for the year so far to 31.  The likelihood of adding any more species at this point is quite low but you never know...it would take a rarity at this point.  My overall total of warbler species for the year worldwide is at 35 with the additional species coming from Costa Rica and Florida.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Yellow breasted Chat and Connecticut Warbler at Arcadia (and others too)

Yellow breasted Chat, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016
Yellow breasted Chat, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016
Connecticut Warbler (yes really), Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016
Common Yellowthroat, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016
Palm Warbler (western), Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016
Magnolia Warbler, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Sep 9, 2016

I spent a few hours at Arcadia this morning and as I was walking down the trolley line I had a Yellow breasted Chat briefly pop into view. After several minutes of looking and trying to get this notoriously skulking species to pop back out I had it call once. I then got another view of it as it sat behind some vegetation and I fired off several shots with the camera before it dropped from view once again. As I dropped the camera down and looked back up two more birds showed up at eye level just a few feet from where the chat had been...one was a Common Yellowthroat but the other was an adult male Connecticut Warbler!  The Connecticut Warbler was partially hidden from view but I got great views of it in the binoculars. My attempt at photos was less successful and I got just a few blurry shots of a gray and yellow bird. I would have been happy to get either one of these species today but getting them both one right after the other was great. Two rare warblers within just a few feet of each other...good stuff. The Yellow breasted Chat can be very tough to find in the county and this is only my third record (the other records for me occurred on Sep 9, 2014 and Sep 21, 2005). Oddly all three of my sightings of this species have occurred within a quarter mile or less of each other at Arcadia.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A long overdue update

Olive crowned Yellowthroat, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, Dec 20, 2014
Tropical Parula, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
Slate throated Redstart, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
Slate throated Redstart, Bosque del Tolomuco, Costa Rica, Apr 3, 2014
It has been a very long since I have made any posts to this blog but I figured I might as well do one now.   Since my last post (way back in early January 2014) I have made five trips to Costa Rica, a trip to Ecuador as well as a few trips to Florida.  I have added several new warbler species to my life list during this time including Olive crowned Yellowthroat, Tropical Parula and Slate throated Redstart in Costa Rica and Black crested Warbler, Golden bellied Warbler, Russet crowned Warbler and Speckled Redstart in Ecuador bringing my total number of warbler species to 61.