Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30 - Garret Mountain fallout

It seems like several pieces of the puzzle that makeup a spring fallout scenario occurred as several days of northwesterlies bottled up the migrants and were then followed by southern winds combined with last night's full moon & this morning's cloud cover to produce amazing results here today. I saw 20 species of warbler, which would certainly be a personal high-water mark for the month of April.

Highlights included record early arrivals of Tennessee & Canada warbler, plus several Blue-Winged, Blackburnian, and Nashville. Northern Parulas, Yellow, Chestnut-Sided, BT Blue, Yellow-Rumped, BT Green, Pine, a couple of Prairie, Palm, Black-and-White, Redstart, Ovenbird and both Waterthrushes, plus Common Yellowthroat made up the list.

Other goodies were Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Orioles, Veery, Wood Thrush, Chimney Swift, Broad-Winged Hawks, Solitary Sandpiper, Green Heron and Kestrel.

The numbers of bird were equally impressive. Several dozen Blue-Headed vireos were around, as were more than 100 Hermit Thrushes. A truly incredible morning.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29 - Garret Mountain

I spent about 90 minutes here today and was rewarded with the best migration of the year this far.
Numerous Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, Black-and-White Warblers were about, as were hundreds of White-Throated Sparrows and many Hermit Thrushes. Blue-Headed Vireos put in a strong showing, but in spring it is always about the new arrivals & today there were plenty.

Black-Throated Green, Black-Throated Blue, Yellow, and Northern Parula were found. Also I heard Baltimore Oriole.

With the warming weather I suspect that the next 2-3 days will be even more diverse than today...

April 28 - Walker Avenue

Another quick stop on the drive home from work produced the continuing Blue-Winged Teal and even better views of the Wilson's Snipe (I got the name right this time !)

Also an Eastern Kingbird put in a quick appearance. Osprey flew overhead & numerous swallows continue.

April 28 - Garret Mountain

Let the migration begin in earnest ! I had my FOS warblers of Black-and-White and Black-Throated Green this morning. I believe I also heard Northern Parula, but can't be 100% sure, so counting this species will have to wait a few days until I can get my eyes on some...

Yellow-Rumped & Palm warblers continue, as does the pair of Brown Thrashers that seem to be nesting up on the ridge this year.

April 27 - Walker Avenue

A return here produced the continuing Blue-Winged Teal, both Greater Yellowlegs & Lesser Yellowlegs, as well as several Snipe. I can't recall if the current name is Wilson's or Common, so let's just leave it as Snipe !

April 25 - House Wren returns

I stayed home today due to the rain & to finish up the bathroom renovations, but was surprised to see that a House Wren had returned to my deck !

April 24 - Great Bay Boulevard, Tuckerton

After a nearby family visit, I took a quick drive down this road. I was able to find my FOS (first-of-spring) birds of:
Black-Crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
Snowy Egret
Carolina Chickadee
Laughing Gull
Forster's Tern
Clapper Rail

April 23 - Walker Avenue

A quick stop after work yielded several Blue-Winged Teal, a Green-Winged Teal, and a pair of Great Egrets. Numerous swallows were about and the species I found were Northern Rough-Winged & Barn.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22 - Dos Vireos

This morning I began my spring ritual of birding Garret Mountain each morning for a little bit before work. Migration was lighter than expected, and I did not stay long.

Highlights were several Blue-Headed Vireos, and a single Yellow-Throated Vireo shown to me by Chris T. The Yellow-Throated Vireo was early in the season, as my prior early-arrival record was from April 28 back in 2004.

The only warbler species I saw were Yellow-Rumped and Palm. A few Brown Thrashers were seen. I'll return tomorrow, hopefully with better results.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 11 - Garret Mountain

A few hours this morning with friends brought some new arrivals to my eyes. Notably were the Louisiana Waterthrush, and an early Hooded Warbler.

A leucistic Eastern Phoebe was something I had never seen before, in fact when I first saw it flying I thought someone had released a pet Canary !

Also seen today were Pine & Palm Warblers, Blue-Headed Vireos, Brown Thrasher, Northern Rough-Winged Swallows, Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

April 3/4 - North Carolina

During a family visit down south, I managed to spend just over an hour each day at the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, North Carolina. It was interesting to see how much further along the spring bloom was down here as opposed to my home area in New Jersey. It seems like Spring is 3+ weeks strong here in NC, with most trees already sporting small leaves, and tons of pollen covering everything.

I did manage to see my target bird of Brown-Headed Nuthatch. I had seen this bird once before in 2005 in Cape May, NJ. So, it was a nice treat to see several of this species and also to get very fine looks at it.

Other goodies were watching a Barred Owl take a squirrel not more than 15 feet away from where I was. Then hearing it hoot up a storm, evidently letting all know that lunch is ready.
Also seen were White-Eyed Vireo, Yellow-Throated Vireo, Ovenbird, Yellow-Rumped and Pine Warblers, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Hermit Thrush, and Eastern Bluebird.

Hopefully I will return to North Carolina next year & will have time to try for some of it's rare birds.