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.