Revised 2011 bird total:
437 species

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A wave of warblers

Hooded Warbler male, year bird # 257

Today played a key part in my big year, I added 5 new year birds including one that I thought I was going to have to really work for but it showed up without much effort at all.  Just the way I like it!

I started off right at sunrise or very shortly thereafter at a well-known warbler location, Pocosin Cabin area in Shenandoah National Park.  It started out slow with only birds that I've already seen plenty of times like American Robins and Eastern Towhees.  It started to pick up though and I was after the year birds.  American Redstart was the first year bird of the day, lots were around in fact.  First I spotted a male which gave great looks.  The day was already a success but I was after more difficult to get birds.  A male Hooded Warbler was a nice surprise and a year bird.  A female was also around.  A very welcomed surprise was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that gave awesome looks, and the best photo opportunity of the day.  By this time the birds were rolling and the RB Grosbeak was year bird # 259.  Could I really be at   260 by the end of the trip?  Yes indeed, with an Ovenbird quickly showing up for year bird # 260!

                                               Rose-breasted Grosbeak male, year bird # 259

At the end of the Pocosin walk I had 4 year birds under belt.  I had a few other places to check for warblers and if I got one more year bird I would have been at 261 for the year.  Bingo, at Lewis Mountain Picnic Area, also in Shenandoah Nat. Park my 'eye was on the prize' and I was looking at a Blackburnian Warbler male, year bird # 261 and also a lifer for me, plus a bird that I thought I was really gonna have to work for this year!

Also, the other evening I had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at my place which was a year bird.

An awesome day.


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