Date: 9/23/18 10:20 am From: David Smith <lacsmith12...> Subject: [MDBirding] Best Yard Warbler Day & More
Spent Saturday morning birding up in Gambrill State Park on a Frederick Bird Club field trip. Things were pretty slow in general, with just one nice mixed flock, including 7 species of warblers, scarlet tanager, and red-eyed vireo in the picnic area at the campground near the entrance to the park. However, later in the afternoon in my backyard along the South Branch Patapsco River in Mt. Airy, the bird activity picked up considerably, leading to a high warbler species tally for the yard. During the mid afternoon, birding was generally slow with the exception of the numerous hummingbirds zipping back and forth between the 6 feeders and flowers in the garden. I estimated at least 8 individuals but there could easily have been more. I also heard and then saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch probing around our white pine and Norway spruce trees in the backyard. A nice adult Cape May Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo also made appearances in those trees. But it was in the late afternoon and evening that the activity really picked up. I first noticed a warbler-sized bird in our cutleaf maple shrub next to the water feature. When it flew to the water feature for a drink I noticed it was the male Cape May Warbler. A Northern Parula joined the Cape May for a quick drink. A Tennessee Warbler was nearby in our fringe tree. My attention was then drawn to our apple tree in the back near the forest edge by a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher flitting through the branches catching insects. When I got back there I realized that the trees at the forest edge were alive with warblers. It was starting to get dark, but the lighting was good and I was able to pick out Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, and a yard first, Canada. All totaled I had 9 species of warblers, two more than we had up at Gambrill earlier in the day. These birds were obviously foraging toward dark in preparation for a night flight south ahead of the pending front. Sensing it might be a good migration night, my wife and celebrated the coming autumnal equinox with a fire in the fire pit listening to the night sky. We were not disappointed, as within an hour of darkness and the rising of a waxing gibbous moon, we heard several Green Herons, a Great Blue Heron, several Wood Thrush and Swaison's Thrush, and a Veery winging their way south.
This morning, Sunday, September 23, I heard two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks calling in the yard and the throng of hummers persists. Time to make more juice!
David Smith Mt. Airy
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