Mariton: Another Cloudy Tuesday
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
We started the weekly bird walks back in 2003 and have had unbelievable luck with the weather over all those years. We have gone out every Tuesday so far this year, but have had precipitation along the way. This week there were some rain drops on the windshield in both directions, but no precipitation during the walk. Clouds are another matter, and there have been few cloud-free days this spring . A cloudy background can make it difficult to see details and color on the birds we are watching. This is particularly perplexing for the photographers. A white background just doesn’t showcase these beautiful birds in the best light. (Rain and cameras aren’t a great combo either.)
Tuesday we had another unbelievable day with several “Price of Admission” sightings. It is a corny joke (the walks are free), but it signifies a highlight sighting. On Tuesday, most people got a great look at a Hooded Warbler. I have heard them on occasion, but this was my first sighting. So the Hooded Warbler was my Price of Admission bird. Unfortunately getting a photo of this spectacular bird wasn’t possible.
Another very uncommon bird was an immature Cape May Warbler. This posed long enough for a photo and a lot of discussion over the field guides. Carole sent the photo around when she got home. Looking at the photo and multiple resources, we still feel comfortable that this was indeed an immature Cape May Warbler.
Carole got a great photo of this Yellow-throated Vireo. These can be tough birds to locate, but everyone got to see one of these spectacular birds. This one is carrying nesting material and we were able to locate its nest in the forest canopy.
There were lots of American Redstarts and it was good for me to hear their song over and over again. We also found a Redstart’s nest. Other great birds of the morning included the Cerulean Warbler, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Black-throated Blue Warblers.