Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Evert Memorial Trail 4/29--Worm-eating Warbler, Hooded Warbler

I wanted to practice my earbirding today, so I got up very early (with the help of the whip-poor-will) and drove to one of the most rugged spots around here, the Dot And Brooks Evert Memorial Nature Trail. It is a spot where it's very hard to see the birds, but you can hear them as you walk the narrow, muddy paths. I boned up last nighton a few warblers I know the spot is renowned for, donned my wellies, and by 6:30 this morning I was slipping and sliding on the boardwalk, where beavers have apparently been busy since my last visit about 11 months ago.

In the parking area I was greeted by the "cheffa cheffa cheffa" (that's how I hear it) of Ovenbirds and just after I negotiated this aquatic stretch
I heard my first Hooded Warbler of the year.  Hooded Warbler is a hard bird to see. It is also a beautiful bird to see and I would have liked see one of the four I heard today but despite the loudness and clarity of their song, none of them showed. I was also pleased to immediately identify the mechanical trill of a Worm-eating Warbler (whose name sounds like something Yosemite Sam would call Tweety Bird), but again, even though I felt one of the birds was close enough for me to reach into the brush and grab it, I couldn't find it. 

2/3 of the birds on my list today were by ear--some, like the crows and woodpeckers, aren't worth chasing down--while others, like the Wood Thrush, though I'm happy to hear and know the song, I'd still rather see. There is an aspect of earbirding that seems to me to border on being a parlor trick. Still, it was good practice and now that I feel like I've got the warblers and vireos under control it's on to the orioles and grosbeaks. 
Further along the trail, such as it is
24 species
Canada Goose  2     f/o
Mourning Dove  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1     Heard
Northern Flicker  2     Heard
White-eyed Vireo  4     Heard
Blue Jay  10
American Crow  1     Heard
Fish Crow  1     Heard
Carolina Chickadee  4     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  4     Heard
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3
Wood Thrush  1     Heard
Ovenbird  15     Heard
Worm-eating Warbler  4     Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  6
Hooded Warbler  4     Heard
Pine Warbler  1
Eastern Towhee  2     Heard
White-throated Sparrow  17
Northern Cardinal  4
Red-winged Blackbird  1     Heard
Brown-headed Cowbird  1     Heard, water dripping song

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