[Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Crazy first 1/2 of May Migration
I may have to break this update into two parts. Since last post I have had 45 FOY birds, with a possible review species, and a repeat review species thrown in there for good measure. It took a while for things to get going, but the week of 5/9 it really took off and took off quick.
Hercules and I have been able to get in some good walks at Brooks Nature Area. He loves to go swimming in a section that is open to Stuart Lake. I did get a FOY Marsh Wren that was very vocal from the lookout on 5/4. 5/5-5/6 I had a Red-headed Woodpecker show up to the feeders in the yard, which is not a very common sight. Also on the 6th I had a FOY trifecta of 3 birds I can't always count on every year. Especially when all 3 are breeding plumage males. Black-throated Blue Warbler, Purple Finch and Orchard Oriole (first time with fully-dressed Orchard Oriole).
May 7th, as we finished our walk, I saw a hawk gliding north. It struck me as somewhat Cooper's hawk-like, but I decided to snap some pics to confirm. I looked at them closer, and sure enough it was a FOY Broad-winged Hawk. I never really got a chance to get out and do any hawk-watching to see any big flights. May 8th got FOY Blue-winged Warbler, and the D DR S Marsh area paid off with a Sedge Wren calling. I also came across a juvenile Bald Eagle with what appeared to be a fox, or a cat. Very orangish color of whatever it was that it caught.
Monday May 9th started the first day that really flagged high for migration. That night of 5/8-5/9 BirdCast estimated almost 3.5 Million birds crossed the county. That morning also brought me a hefty 15 FOY birds. The most I have had on a single day, outside of January. This included 18 species of warbler including FOY Blackpoll, Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Northern Parula, Cape May, Redstart, Tennessee and the highlight a Golden-winged Warbler. I also was able to catch a pic of an American Crow with some heavy-duty molting happening. I think this explains the Crow I saw prior that I thought had some leucistic markings under the wings similar to a Golden Eagle. I'm surprised the thing can even fly.
May 10th was another stellar day with 20 warbler species including great looks at a FOY Cerulean Warbler, and managing to snag a new bird for Woodland Park with a White-eyed Vireo briefly calling. Other FOY were a Mourning Warbler that gave me a brief view, and a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Made sense it would be a good day with 4.1 Million birds passing through overnight.
One other really great potential find during this time period was a very yellow Palm Warbler at Brooks on 5/4. Every since my submission to the MBRC was shot down in 2014, I make sure to try to get shots of any heavier yellow Palm Warbler. This bird stuck out for sure. It seems to tick all the boxes, with only concern being maybe some small patch of white in the vent. I looked at pics, and posted to Whatbird, and this doesn't seem to be an issue with Eastern (Yellow) Palm Warblers. It has the bright yellow supercilium, and the yellow eye-arcs along with yellow wash all the way down the body. I just need to take the time to do up the paperwork for it, and cross my fingers.
Will work on further updates for what was a great week for birding for me, and the county.
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My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)