Sunday, May 14, 2017

First half of May ends with a Brewster's and Lawrence's Warbler, three Cape May Warblers and lots of others

Lawrence's Warbler, Mineral Hills Conservation Area, Northampton, MA, May 13, 2017
Brewster's Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 13, 2017
Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybrid, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Blue winged Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Black throated Green Warbler, UMASS, Amherst, MA, May 7, 2017
Cape May Warbler, UMASS, Amherst, MA, May 7, 2017
Black and White Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Ovenbird, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Northern Parula, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Blackburnian Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 9, 2017
Cape May Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 10, 2017
Pine Warbler collecting nest material, Quabbin Park, MA, May 10, 2017
Black throated Green Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 10, 2017
Prairie Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 10, 2017
Chestnut sided Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 10, 2017
Cerulean Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 11, 2017
Worm eating Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 11, 2017
Yellow Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 11, 2017
Despite the continued cooler than normal weather with quite a bit of clouds and occasional rain the birds continue to arrive over the last week.  Among the many highlights were three different male Cape May Warblers, a Brewster's and Lawrence's Warbler yesterday, the continued Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybrid and my first Bay breasted, Wilson's, Canada and Blackpoll Warblers.  As of today I have found a total of 28 species of warbler around here plus the various hybrids.  Finding the two named 'winged' hybrids on the same day is not something I have ever done before.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Notable warblers the last few days including Orange crowned Warbler and a Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybird



Northern Parula, Quabbin Park, MA, May 3, 2017

Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybrid, Quabbin Park, MA, May 3, 2017

Black and White Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 3, 2017

Yellow rumped Warbler 'Myrtle', Quabbin Park, MA, May 3, 2017

Pine Warbler collecting nest material, Quabbin Park, MA, May 3, 2017

On Wednesday I started out at dawn around UMASS beginning at Orchard Hill where I finally found my first Nashville Warbler of the season.  The hill was good but not nearly as good as it previously was as lots of edges and tangles have been cut down with some of the best habitat greatly altered and devoid of birds. After the hill I stayed on campus but moved over to the northwest area where it was fairly active giving me some good stuff including my first calling Tennessee Warbler.  After a brief stop along the rail trail I headed back toward home and finished up my morning at Quabbin Park.  Best bird at Quabbin Park was a hybrid Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler.  The bird looked and sounded like a typical Blue winged Warbler except it had a yellow wing patch..interesting looking bird.  More details on these stops, with photos and audio can be found on the full eBird lists attached below.

UMASS Orchard Hill http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36504692
UMASS northwest campus http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36505501
Rail trail Amherst http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36506477
Quabbin Park http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36508606


Cerulean Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 4, 2017

Cerulean Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 4, 2017

Orange crowned Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 4, 2017

Orange crowned Warbler, Skinner SP, Hadley, MA, May 4, 2017

Yesterday I decided to try my luck in finding the Cerulean Warblers and Worm eating Warblers on top of the mountain at Skinner SP but before heading there I started out at Mitch's Way (link to list here:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36532175
It was a bit cool to start the morning with temperatures in the mid 30's but at least the biting insects were kept to a minimum.  Once I finished up at Mitch's Way I headed over to Skinner SP and made the hike up the mountain (the road is closed to vehicle traffic until May 13 so no choice but to hike).  I came across my first Worm eating Warbler just below Taylor's Notch and while trying to get some photos of it I found the best bird of the day when I found an Orange crowned Warbler silently working its way through the mature forest.  Orange crowned Warbler is very unusual around here in the spring and this is only my third spring record.  I started hearing Cerulean Warblers once I hit the steep curves just below the summit and I eventually found at least three males with lots of calling and interaction among them.  One of the birds was making an odd abbreviated call I had not heard before (video at link here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54277284@N05/33643223233/in/dateposted-public/ ).  A really productive walk on a sunny day in May.  Full list with additional photos here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36532175

Black throated Blue Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 4, 2017

Yellow Warbler, Quabbin Park, MA, May 4, 2017

Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybird, Quabbin Park, MA, May 4, 2017

After hiking back down the mountain I decided to head back east and spend the rest of the morning around Quabbin Park.  I ran across a number of migrant flocks as well as increased numbers of on territory breeders.  The odd Blue winged x Golden winged Warbler hybrid was still around and I got some additional photos. I turned up a total of 20 species of warbler for the day and got great looks at many of them (as well as some decent photos).  Full lists for the morning below:

Mitch's Way:  http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36530710
Skinner SP: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36532175
Quabbin Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36532744


American Redstart, Home, Belchertown, MA, May 1, 2017

I checked the motion camera mounted above the pond yesterday and found that I had a visit from an American Restart on May 1st.  I have not seen or heard a redstart in the yard yet this year but it is nice to have the motion camera looking out for what I miss. The redstart became a new species at the water feature (#32 so far) and the seventh species of warbler.

The forecast for the coming days look to feature more rain, below average temperatures and overall cloudy weather.  Migration will likely slow but once the weather changes to more favorable conditions there should be a big influx.