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
UMASS northwest campus
Rail trail Amherst
Quabbin Park

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:
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: ).  A really productive walk on a sunny day in May.  Full list with additional photos here:

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:
Skinner SP:
Quabbin Park:

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.

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