Mariton: They Are Coming

April 21, 2011

Mariton’s Tuesday Morning Bird Walks start on Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30 a.m.  While I don’t expect to see lots of warblers, I am beginning to see new neo-tropicals everyday.  This is a great time to get used to the binoculars again, spot some easy birds before the leaves emerge, and start tuning the ear to bird songs.

The neo-tropical migrants are indeed returning.  I have  been hearing Black and White Warblers for about a week.  The other day I heard an Ovenbird in the distance.  Yesterday, I came across some Palm Warblers while working on the trails.  Later in the day, I found a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers near the Nature Center.  Gnatcatchers have a nasal buzzing pssst that is quite distinctive, but easily dismissed as an insect.  This morning, I looked up and saw a kettle of  a dozen Broad-winged Hawks.

Yesterday morning, I walked into a flock of about 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Technically we can see Yellow-rumpeds during the winter, however, these birds acted like they had been migrating all night.  They visited every Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) blossom looking for insects.  Because the Yellow-rumpeds were feeding in Spicebush, they were at eye level.  Here is a photo that Carole Mebus sent me from last year.  You can see that these are quite pretty birds, and now is a good time to see them.

Mebus Yellow-rumped Warbler