Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Colliers Mills WMA 5/10--Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak
I had a very successful morning at Colliers Mills. I went there specifically hoping that I would at least hear a new flycatcher for the year and I did, an Eastern Wood-Pewee up on Hawkin Road. But the real surprises came much later in my 3 hour plus trek.

Even though I was there early, the firing range was active and, as I was coming off the berm that dams the south end of Turnmill Pond, I saw a lot of men outside looking like they want to fire guns, so I turned off and took a U-shaped trail that usually isn't very productive, but it keeps me out of range. I was just approaching the bottom of the of the U when I heard a bird song that literally stopped me in my tracks. "Gotta hear it again," I said to myself. And then the bird sang again, "Weeta weeta weeteeyoo." Hooded Warbler. I was doubly amazed: first that I remembered the song of a warbler I seldom see or hear and then only secondly that the bird was at Colliers Mills. A couple of weeks ago, when I was with Greg and Rich, we were discussing whether there was good habitat for Hooded Warblers at the WMA in an area not far from where I was. I guess there is.

Coming out of that field and going down the path to Success Road I heard a very loud and insistent Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I'm hoping it will keep calling on Saturday for the WSB. I was walking along Success Road which runs between two grassland fields, hoping to hear Grasshopper Sparrow and perhaps find the Red-headed Woodpecker. I heard the sparrow and when I scanned the fields looking for it, I came up instead with my FOY Blue Grosbeak, both a male and a female. Nesters perhaps?

No luck with the woodpecker--they're there, but on Saturday we can't waste a lot of time searching for them. There were a decent amount of warblers there, though nothing like yesterday but like yesterday you couldn't swing a cat by the tail without hitting a catbird.  When I totted up the sum of species seen I was surprised to find that it was 54. The list, with comments:
Canada Goose  10
Great Blue Heron  1     Turnmill Pond
Red-tailed Hawk  1     f/o CM Lake, found again on power line cut
Killdeer  1     Heard, north end of CM Lake
Spotted Sandpiper  4     Two at south end of Turnmill Pond, two on beach of CM Lake
Mourning Dove  5
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1     Heard, off Success Rd.
Belted Kingfisher  1     Heard, north end of CM Lake
Red-bellied Woodpecker  6     Heard
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1     Heard, Hawkin Rd.
Great Crested Flycatcher  5     Heard
Eastern Kingbird  2
White-eyed Vireo  3
Warbling Vireo  2     Bridge near parking lot
Blue Jay  2
Fish Crow  1     Heard
Purple Martin  2     Large dead tree off Success Rd in "Grasshopper Sparrow" field
Tree Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1     Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  10
Eastern Bluebird  2     On nest box
Wood Thrush  1     Heard, Hawkin Road
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  50
Brown Thrasher  1     Heard, on berm across from Success Rd.
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  3
Cedar Waxwing  1
Ovenbird  15     Heard
Black-and-white Warbler  10
Common Yellowthroat  5
Hooded Warbler  1     Heard, on "U" shaped path 
American Redstart  2     Hawkin Rd
Blackpoll Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Prairie Warbler  8     Heard
Grasshopper Sparrow  2     Heard on Success Rd,  both sides.
Chipping Sparrow  5
Field Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  5
Eastern Towhee  10
Northern Cardinal  1     Heard
Blue Grosbeak  3     Success Road fields, both sides
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Common Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  6
Baltimore Oriole  2     Biggest tree on Success Road
American Goldfinch  1     Heard flying over

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