Sunday, May 1, 2016

Belleplain 4/30--Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager

It was our annual trip with Mike & Pete down to Belleplain SF, a warbler hot spot in Cape May county. We were joined by our buddy Bob Auster on another cold, unpleasant supposedly spring day. Bob pointed out that last year the weather for this trip was similarly lousy. Two years does not a trend make, but it does get your attention.

Belleplain is the go-to place for some hard to get warblers, but a couple of them I'd already gotten for the year--Prothonotary Warbler and Yellow-throated Warbler, so I was slightly (perhaps) less intense than I usually am when it comes to warblers. Besides, the birds I was really interested in were at our second stop and that wouldn't be until after lunch.

I can tell you that I became thoroughly sick of hearing Ovenbirds--a conservative count would be 50 and an emotional count would be, oh, I don't know...ten thousand! They were singing every 5 feet and Pete seemed determined to point out every one, using those new-fangled walkie-talkies we had for the trip. And I still haven't seen one.

Again, it was a lot of ear-birding, but at least these birds have distinctive songs--the songs of the Louisiana Waterthrush or the Hooded Warbler are pretty obvious and loud. Shari actually did see the Hooded Warbler--I saw a shape fly out of a tree. I was happy to get clear looks a couple of Worm-eating Warblers (which sounds like something one cowboy would call another right before he smashes a whiskey bottle on the bar), but I was unhappy to only hear a Scarlet Tanager. I also heard a Baltimore Oriole, but so poorly that I decided to count the one I saw later in the day at another location.

Bob had quite a few more birds on his list than I did--either his hearing is sharper than mine, and/or, he was paying more attention.

30 species
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  5     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1     Heard
White-eyed Vireo  3     Heard
Barn Swallow  5
Carolina Chickadee  1     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  2     Heard
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Eastern Bluebird  1
Wood Thrush  3     Heard
Northern Mockingbird  2
Ovenbird  50     Heard
Worm-eating Warbler  2

Louisiana Waterthrush  3     Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Prothonotary Warbler  1
Hooded Warbler  1     Heard
Northern Parula  1
Pine Warbler  2     Heard
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Yellow-throated Warbler  1
Prairie Warbler  2     Heard
Chipping Sparrow  5
Eastern Towhee  10     Heard
Scarlet Tanager  1     Heard
Northern Cardinal  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  2

1 comment:

  1. For me, ovenbirds = Martha's Vineyard, outside the cottage, so many years ago.