Field ornithology day 5 - good birding spot #2

Today I arrived at the boat launch parking lot near Delta Park around 6:50 am. It was another clear blue day, with the temperature a comfortable 55° F. By the time I left, around 11:30 am, it had gotten up to almost 80°, with more to come - today would prove to be really hot, but thankfully not awfully humid.

Luke was waiting for me when I got to the parking lot, and as we said hi I noticed some movement in the tall trees surrounding the dirt parking lot. I looked up, and found myself face to face with a Bay-breasted Warbler. This was probably the highlight of my day - a bird I had never seen before, and a particularly beautiful one at that. I also heard its song, which was distinctive but which I suspect I'll forget before too long! Too many songs to try to keep straight in my head.

From the parking lot we walking in towards the sand dunes and mud flats. On our way we saw a female Common Merganser, a Ring-billed Gull, and three or four Great Egrets. We arrived at the water's edge only to find that it was so high that the mudflats were basically totally obscured. Not to be stymied, we turned around and headed to the bike path. On our way back we saw a Mallard and a few Canada Geese.

Once on the bike path, we starting really hearing a lot of songs. A Carolina Wren was immediately recognizable, as was a Scarlet Tanager which we were lucky enough to see as well as hear. A Hairy Woodpecker flew in front of us, and we heard and then found a Red-eyed Vireo singing a little lower down than normal. To our left was some flooded forest - Luke noticed movement in the water, and as it turned out a Wood Duck pair was serenely gliding along.

Next we saw a Common Grackle, and heard Tufted Titmice singing. American Robins were hard to distinguish from the Scarlet Tanager, but we did it. As we walked further down the bike path, we started hearing the "weep" of a Great Crested Flycatcher - and there it was in a nearby tree. Yellow Warblers and White-breasted Nuthatches joined in the morning chorus.

After a while we got to the bridge over the Winooski, and found a new suite of birds there, including Double-crested Cormorants, more gulls, a distant and unidentified tern, and many Barn Swallows. We crossed the bridge, heading to Durway, and encountered the first of many American Redstarts as well as a few Warbling Vireos along the bike path. At the entrance to Durway, we were stumped for quite a while by what turned out to be (big surprise) an American Redstart - they continue to infuriate, if only they weren't so cute! We also heard Common Yellowthroats and a Hermit Thrush, and saw a few Veery's flitting around in the underbrush.

We walked the path at Durway past the old rusted out car and the fallen down "end of trail" sign. Just before we arrived at a medium-sized clearing, we saw movement in the canopy and found ourselves looking right at a Blackburnian Warbler. Although I'd heard a few this week, this was the first I'd seen. It was a treat. Walking into the clearing we encountered a birder who we'd met at Geprag's earlier in the week. She was looking at a mystery warbler, which I never got a good glimpse of. As I tried to, though, I did see a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a few Chestnut-sided Warblers, so it wasn't entirely unproductive. A Least Flycatcher called from the edge of the woods and then made an appearance, not as glamorous as the Blackburnian but still a nice sight.

From the clearing, we continued along a faint path until we got to a marshy area full of buttonbush. I hoped to see or hear a Willow or Alder Flycatcher here, but maybe the habitat was wrong or maybe it was just too early. At any rate, we did see an American Goldfinch and a Tree Swallow, as well as a whole bunch of Robins and a Brown-headed Cowbird. We walked a little further, then turned around and headed back out of Durway by way of a circuitous route that took us across the path of three lovely deer. On our way out we heard a House Wren, a bunch of American Redstarts (as always), and a mystery bird which Allan says sounded like a Blackpoll Warbler. Perhaps a slightly lost migrant!?

Back on the bike path, we heard and then saw a Baltimore Oriole, then heard a Belted Kingfisher fly overhead making its harsh rattling call. Finally, we arrived back at Delta Park and decided to give it another try. We saw a Spotted Sandpiper and heard a Marsh Wren, which was nice, but possibly not worth the absolute soaking my bottom half got when I tried to cross some apparently solid ground and found myself up to my waist in mud with a deceptive surface coating of reeds. On our return to the parking lot it was really heating up, and things had gotten rather quiet. No more Bay-breasted Warblers singing. That wrapped up our final day. Overall, a nice one and a good end to a wonderful week of birding! Thank you Allan and Jim for facilitating and answering lots of questions. I'll look forward to our field trips in the fall.

Posted by sam_blair sam_blair, May 23, 2020 01:04

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Common Merganser Mergus merganser

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Great Egret Ardea alba

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hairy Woodpecker Dryobates villosus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Wood Duck Aix sponsa

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Veery Catharus fuscescens

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Goldfinch Spinus tristis

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

House Wren Troglodytes aedon

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

Observer

sam_blair

Date

May 22, 2020

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