Date: 5/25/19 5:22 pm From: Pam Hunt <biodiva...> Subject: [NHBirds] Ceruleans and Grasshoppers in Hinsdale (also Keene Airport birds)
This morning I was doing field work in Cheshire County, mainly in search of Cerulean Warblers at the "traditional" (but not always guaranteed) spot at the Wantastiquet Mountain Natural Area straddling the Hinsdale/Chesterfield border. After trying for and missing the species year the last two years (but Ben Griffith did have on in 2018) I lucked out today, and heard and then saw a male near the first hairpin tun after the second gate. It spent most of it's time downslope. Beware the Cerulean-sounding Black-throated Blues in this area. I had one in each of the last two years, but the two BTBs today were singing normal songs.
Other highlights of the 34 species here were a Louisiana Waterthrush, lots of redstarts, and lots of Blackburnian Warblers, including a female gathering nesting material in the power line cut.
From there I checked out the old Hinsdale greyhound track, where I located four different male Grasshopper Sparrows.
At the Hinsdale Setbacks there wasn't much migrant activity, but 4 Blackpolls and a Tennesee were obvious non-breeders. A young male Orchard Oriole was a nice bonus at the southern gated section of trail.
BEFORE all this I visited the Keene airport in Swanzey, where I heard two Grasshopper Sparrows: one just south of the fence near the go-cart track and the other off Rt 12 near the end of the runway. They were VERY hard to hear even between 5-5:30 on a Saturday with almost no traffic. There was also a distant meadowlark in the vicinity of the runway junction. Along Airport Road on the way to the sewage plant were FOUR American Bitterns (3 at once near the NW end of the runway!), Wilson's Snipe, single Bay-breasted and Tennessee Warblers, and a Lincoln's Sparrow.
All in all a most excellent morning of birding at some Cheshire County hotspots, with 95 species in five locations between 4:50 and 10:05! In the spirit of recent big days of one sort or another, I *didn't* have several common species like Rock Pigeon, Chimney Swift, Turkey Vulture, Common Raven, or House Finch.
May's almost over! Get out and enjoy it while you can!