In contrast to the dike, the fields were pretty quiet by all accounts, although a quick look after I left the dike revealed two Cape May Warblers and three Veeries at the north end of the main trail. An Olive-sided Flycatcher was the highlight of our Beanery walk this morning, with a smattering of warblers, two Yellow-billed Cuckoos and other migrants making for a fun walk. I haven't heard the final score from the Hawkwatch yet today, but when I stopped by there before lunch there was a nice movement of birds shaping up - my brief visit produced three Bald Eagles, Peregrine, Broad-winged and Red-tailed Hawks, male Northern Harrier and a run of American Kestrels.
Finally, if you are in town, it's worth staying out a little later of an evening now and checking ponds at The Meadows; both Sora and Common Nighthawk were there last night, so I reckon there will be a few pairs of eyes scanning this evening.
This morning's American Redstart flight was early enough in the season to include a high percentage of colorful adult males [photo by Mike Crewe].
Even in flight, that white 'pocket handkerchief' helps to make a Black-throated Blue Warbler readily identifiable [photo by Mike Crewe].
A small run of Scarlet Tanagers accompanied the warbler flight at Higbee Dike this morning [photo by Mike Crewe].
A heavy head, chunky bill and a lot of white in the wing are good pointers toward an adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak [photo by Mike Crewe].
In complete contrast to a grosbeak - small-headed, small-billed and without wingbars all add up to Blue-gray Gnatcatcher [photo by Mike Crewe].
In the 'one that got away, subsection bird' category, comes the little guy on the left. I was trying to photograph the American Redstart on the right and discovered the Nashville Warbler on the left only after I downloaded the photo! Now, would you count it on your list?! [Photo by Mike Crewe]
And finally, 'the one that got away, subsection photograph' category. I could pretend that I used a slow shutter speed deliberately to create the feeling of movement here, but really, I messed up by having the camera on the wrong setting! I was photographing the Merlin on the right as it headed straight toward the Hawkwatch Platform when the crazy guy on the left came hammering in and made a fool of himself! As we've said before, Merlins really can't pass anything moving without giving it a good seeing too... [photo by Mike Crewe].