Friday, April 23, 2010

Add Hooded Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Eastern Kingbird

[This Mourning Dove, and mate, were busy collecting nesting material at Higbee this morning. Click to enlarge.]

It was a weirdly good, or weirdly slow, Higbee Beach WMA walk this morning, depending on how you look at it. It seemed pretty dead, i.e. few birds, and there were indeed few birds in volume. . .but a single Yellow-throated Vireo sang near the parking lot. Then a single Blue-headed Vireo chimed in. Then a Prairie Warbler in the first field. Then a season-first male Hooded Warbler, glimpsed by Dave La Puma and induced to sing with a few whistled weeta-weety-o's, in the woods near the junction of the first and second field. Then I heard a Willet and Karl Lukens spotted the flock of 9 overhead with a Whimbrel in the lead. Near the end of the walk Chuck Slugg picked another season-first, that being an Indigo Bunting in the first field that, after perching in the tree island, bzzt'ed and flew north. Multiple Common Yellowthroats and White-eyed Vireos sang, and we managed a couple Yellow-rumpeds - and I mean managed, there really weren't many birds.

My favorite sighting was the Mourning Dove pair busily nest building, with a pair of Field Sparrows picking seeds contentedly along the path a close second.

Tony Leukering detected yet another season-first at Villas WMA this morning, that being an Eastern Kingbird at the southeast corner.

Dave La Puma and I pulled our usual 10 minute pre-walk vigil at the Concrete Ship, where 40 or so Northern Gannets were flying into the northwest wind, into the bay, a few Red-throated Loons were around, as were more than a few Forster's Terns, and the Black Scoter count was a whopping 3 - we later had a flyby flock on the Higbee walk but, clearly, a whole bunch of things have pulled out, which makes Janet Crawford's Lesser Scaup at Heislerville yesterday interesting (WSB teams take note). Heislerville held a few shorebirds despite continuing high water in the impoundment.

Reports from Higbee today, and Belleplain and Heislerville yesterday, are up on Field Trip Reports.

Finally, there's still time to get on the always good Crusing for Loons and Shorebirds trip on the Osprey Saturday, 1:30 p.m. from the Miss Chris Marina. Call CMBO to register 609.861.0700; registration at the boat is also possible if there is still room, call the Osprey at 609.898.3500.

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