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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