Mariton: Tuesday Birding
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manger
That’s not what I’m looking at. by Erich Boenzli
The Bird Club went to Wy-Hit-Tuk on Tuesday and walked down the Towpath. We left cars at both ends of the route and shuttled people. This allowed us to bird more territory without back tracking. It seemed to start slowly with mostly Rough-winged Swallows, Phoebes, Yellow Warblers and Warbling Vireos. As we walked along, I suddenly realized how many bird species we were seeing. Erich kept track and counted 57 species.
Black-billed Cuckoo by Ed Norman
My Price of Admission bird was probably this Black-billed Cuckoo. We often hear them, but don’t always get good looks at them. Ed saw a bird land in a tree and correctly identified it as a cuckoo. It moved around behind branches and leaves, so it was awhile before we could see enough of the bird to positively identify it as the Black-billed. It never sang.
Swainson’s Thrush by Carole Mebus
Another candidate would be the Swainson’s Thrushes (yes, that’s plural). This species doesn’t breed in our area, so we have to head north to hear its wondrous song. They migrate through quietly and can be easily missed. It can be a tough bird to identify, especially if hidden by foliage. A little patience paid off for us.
Third candidate for the Price of Admission goes to Virginia. She located this hummingbird nest without seeing the female fly to it.
Hummingbird Nest by Carole Mebus
It is a lot easier to find when you watch the bird fly to it.
Hummingbird on Nest by Ed Norman
Green Heron by Carole Mebus
When we first saw the Green Heron pictured above, it was perched with its bill pointed straight up. This is the pose that American Bitterns use to blend in with cattails and reeds. It doesn’t work quite as well for a green heron in a tree, but it was still stunning.
We found several nests this morning. Viana opined that because leaf-out is a little later this year we are seeing the nests and even more warblers than usual. She might be onto something. We saw Baltimore Orioles building nests. We watched female Red-winged Blackbird nest building. We found a Yellow Warbler’s nest. We even saw a Warbling Vireo building a nest.