Saturday, April 26, 2014

Belleplain SF 4/26--Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler

Today was what I think of as our annual NJ Warbler trip to Belleplain State Forest, led by Pete Bacinski and Mike Mandracchia. Belleplain is great place to get warblers in migration. The only better places are way up in north Jersey. Unfortunately, like last year, migration seems to be late so Pete thought that there was "a dearth of birds" in the forest. Migration has a lot of moving parts--the length of the day signals the birds to start moving but the weather patterns can hold them up or move them away from where they might "normally" touch down. Overall, birds seem to be arriving in the north earlier but the last couple of years a lot of them are "late." It is the same with butterflies according to my brother--everything seems to be about two weeks behind.

With all that said, we did, I think, pretty well. While we didn't have big numbers of warblers, we got the sought-after birds for that spot: a couple of Worm-eating Warblers, a beautiful & cooperative Prothonotary Warbler, a few Yellow--throated Warblers (though Shari & I had them last week at Atlantic County Park) and a calling Louisiana Waterthrush, which, when it appeared, appeared as a brown bullet flying right at and over our group. 10 warbler species in all and I missed Yellow-rumped, somehow.

By the way, doesn't "worm-eating warbler" sound like an insult one cowboy would throw at another just before a bar fight in a "B" western? The poor bird does not deserve such a wretched name, especially since the worms it eats aren't true worms--they're inch-worms, i.e. larvae. We don't call the robin a "Worm-eating Thrush."

40 species
Canada Goose  1
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Laughing Gull  3
Mourning Dove  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1    Feeder at HQ
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1    Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1    Heard
Eastern Phoebe  3
White-eyed Vireo  5
Blue Jay  2    Heard
Fish Crow  1
Barn Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  1    Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  10
Eastern Bluebird  2
American Robin  5
European Starling  5
Ovenbird  10    Heard
Worm-eating Warbler  2

Louisiana Waterthrush  1
Black-and-white Warbler  5
Prothonotary Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  1    Heard
Palm Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  5
Yellow-throated Warbler  3
Prairie Warbler  2
Eastern Towhee  1    Heard
Chipping Sparrow  10
White-throated Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
American Goldfinch  1

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