Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Colliers Mills WMA 4/20--Black-and-white Warbler

I met up with Greg and Rich this morning at Colliers Mills. They'd been to T&T last year and wanted to compare my experience with theirs. Why slog through the blog when I could give them the executive summary? We made one & a half circuits of Turnmill Pond, plus they showed me a pond farther up on Hawkin Road than I'd ever walked. As I say, the more you walk Colliers Mills, the bigger it gets.

A few highlights on the day:
A pair of Wood Ducks high up tree over Colliers Mills Lake. This is probably a nesting site. I've never actually seen woodies up in a tree--these ducks are traditionalists, eschewing the boxes provided for them at lake level. I pity the ducklings that have to jump into the water from that height though.

A Red-headed Woodpecker made an appearance across the field from Success Road. They seem to have moved from their wintering spot behind the firing range and are probably digging out a nest in the trees along the berm. With luck, with a scope, we'll be able to get them for the World Series of Birding in May.

Not many warblers in yet--plenty of Palm Warblers and Yellow-rump Warblers are handsome in their breeding plumage, while Pine Warblers are trilling everywhere, but we only heard, and couldn't find, one Black-and-white Warbler. Everyone is getting impatient for warbler migration, as they get every year.

We at first heard, then found, a Brown Thrasher, making what Rich's birding app termed a "smack call." That seemed to us an apt description of the loud note the bird was making. At 7:30 is very active in the woods. Despite a billion gnats coming out mid-morning, the birds slipped back into the woods and the last 45 minutes or so were pretty quiet.

32 species
Canada Goose  1
Wood Duck  2    
Turkey Vulture  1
Killdeer  2
Red-headed Woodpecker  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker
 1     Heard
Northern Flicker  1     Heard
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  1     Heard
Fish Crow  1     Heard
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  2
American Robin  5
Brown Thrasher  1
Black-and-white Warbler  1     Heard
Palm Warbler  10
Pine Warbler  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4
Chipping Sparrow  5
Field Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  3
Savannah Sparrow  5
Eastern Towhee  10
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  4
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
American Goldfinch  1     Turnmill Pond berm

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