Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18 - Garret Mountain

This morning began with sounds of a Mourning Warbler at the top of Wilson Avenue. In the large Oak above the roadway a very cooperative bird put on quite a show for nearly 15 minutes.  Seeing & hearing this guy at close range, while is was very actively feeding was the highlight of today.


However many other fine looking spring birds showed off their breeding plumage today.  There were Common Loons flying overhead, and Red, White & Blue Tom Turkeys fanning their tails for potential mates. A pair of Green Herons chased each other around Barbour's Pond, at one point scaring up a Black-Crowned Night-Heron, which is a rare bird here.  The Killdeer young have already fledged and were joined on the southern mudflats by a pair of Spotted Sandpipers showing off their namesake spots.
A pair of Yellow-Billed Cuckoos were actively flying about & calling, as were several Great Crested Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds.  Vireos were also present with the resident Warbling pairs alongside the Red-Eyed, and even a few Blue-Headeds remain here before heading to their northerly breeding areas.Gray-Cheeked Thrush are now in, joining their Swainson's cousins & the melodious wood Thrushes and Brown Thrashers.

In addition to the Mourning Warbler, we saw Ovenbirds and a Northern Waterthrush. Later Bill and I explored the more remote areas of the park and came up with Nashville and Bay-Breasted Warblers, ad heard Hooded Warbler.  Still present are Northern Parulas, American Redstarts, Magnolias and a few Blackburnians.  Blackpoll Warblers are common now as well as Candas.  We found one Wilsons Warbler to round out the total of  20 species seen today.