Monday, May 6, 2013

MA - arrivals trickle in

Gill - The last two days have seen just a tiny handful of summer migrants putting in their first appearances around the yard. Yesterday morning (May 5th), an Eastern Kingbird was calling from the tall maples surrounding the house but never came close to being photogenic. Susannah also heard the first Veery of the year singing from the yard in mid-morning, but that particular bird eluded me! Yesterday's Northern Parula continued singing high up in the maples. Out on the road there was a Louisiana Waterthrush singing above a patch of skunk cabbage right next to Main Road about a mile due NE of the intersection with Rte 2, and a Prairie Warbler was singing from the power line cut at the southern end of West Gill Road, again not too far from the intersection of Rte 2. Chimney Swifts appeared over the yard in numbers for the first time this year.

Image set, mostly from May 5th and all from our yard in Gill, Franklin Co., MA;


May 6th dawned extremely chilly, being cold and damp with clear evidence of a frost. Early migrants must have be shivering for the first few hours of the day. Purple Finches were vocal in the first hour from sunrise including two birds singing on Center Road and another on Lyons Hill Road. More surprising was a singing Pine Siskin, also on Center Road, the first time in a while that I've seen or heard Pine Siskins locally. The best new migrant, however, was a singing Cape May Warbler at Giving Tree School off Main Road at about 08:30hrs.

As if to keep me on my toes, a male Baltimore Oriole which arrived on May 4th has been giving occasional, random bursts of a perfect Scott's Oriole-type song. I heard three bursts of this song type on the 4th and again another burst of song today (May 6th). The Scott's-type song appears to be interspersed within typical Baltimore Oriole song, but had I been in the Hill Country of Texas I would have turned my head fully expecting to see a male Scott's Oriole singing at the top of a Maple! I'm hopeful of capturing a few sound recordings of this bird as it seems to be working a circuit between our yard and the surrounding yards as the quality and clarity of the Scott's-type song certainly caught me off-guard having heard it only a few weeks ago in Central Texas.

Baltimore Oriole - male. Easy enough to hear but somewhat elusive when it comes to pictures.
This bird seems to be giving the odd burst of a Scott's Oriole song within its more typical Baltimore Oriole song. Hopefully, a few sound recordings will appear in future posts. 

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