Thursday, May 8, 2008

Warblers and more - Hampshire Co., May 8th

Well things are certainly moving along. Only two days ago I noted my first Black-throated Blue Warbler of the spring, but today I heard multiples, and Susannah even had one singing in front of our apartment. After a couple of clear spring-like days, the rain bearing front that passed through Massachusetts overnight and into the day certainly left a lot of birds behind, and most of them were warblers.

On the bike path at Amherst near Snell Street, a high feeding warbler flock contained some nice diversity including Blackpoll, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, along with 10 plus Northern Parulas and a couple of Red-eyed Vireos. Great-crested and Least Flycatchers were present as well, and a Blue-winged Warbler sang from classic habitat further along the bike path.
On short side trip to Skinner State Park on Mount Holyoke was most productive turning up the two 'hoped-for' key warblers, both of which were singing vigorously despite the gloomy conditions. The Ceruleans were most impressive with a total five seen or heard singing, including two males close to the upper parking area. Lower down the slopes, three or four Worm-eating Warblers were audible including one that gave great views close to the road. About three Hermit Thrushes could be heard singing at this site too. Black flies are on the increase but it's still an absolute pleasure to be out.

Select images from the last few days are included below.


Magnolia Warbler - male, Winsor Dam, Quabbin, May 7th.

Pileated Woodpecker - Amherst Bike Path, Amherst. May 8th.

Cerulean Warbler - Skinner SP, Mt. Holyoke. May 8th. One of five at this site.

Worm-eating Warbler - Skinner SP, Mt. Holyoke. May 8th.

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Adult at nest. Hampshire County, MA. May 2008.

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