Saturday, June 4, 2016

Old Mine Road 6/4--Least Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler

Kittatinny Visitor's Center Rest Room
My ears got a work out on Old Mine Road today. I heard a lot more birds than I saw and the ones I saw were not photogenic. Thus the illustration from the interior of the Men's Rest Room at the visitor's center where we started the trip with Pete, Mike and about 17 other birders. Shari tells me this sign isn't in the Women's room, so I guess it is either okay for them to wash their feet in the sink or they just don't have to be told not to.

The drive through the Old Mine Road IBA is about 20 miles long, starting at the Delaware Water Gap and ending somewhere up in Stokes Forest. Most of the time I have only the vaguest notion of where we are geographically. I just know we're heading north then south. We stopped about 10 times at spots that, after a few trips the last couple of years, are now familiar, and looked and listened for birds. Sometimes, when I step back and try to view myself objectively, I think how weird it is for me to tromping through the woods or along some beach, looking for birds. It is even stranger, to me, to stand with a group of birders and listen for a hard to see bird like the FOY Least Flycatcher and the Cerulean Warbler. Missing seeing the flycatcher doesn't bother--frankly, the empids all look alike in bad light anyway. But missing seeing the beautiful little sky blue warbler is a disappointment.

What did make me happy though was:
Seeing (yes, seeing) a Yellow-throated Vireo (actually picking out the bird first for identification, backlit as it was), a bird I usually only hear ("three-EIGHT!");
Hearing my first FOY NJ Black-capped Chickadee;
Spotting both distant Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting in bright sunlight, lit up like they had electric bulbs inside them;
Hearing the ethereal song of the Veery wafting through the woods.
Hearing at least 10 Hooded Warblers as we drove along. This year, either because I've mastered their song or just because I've been lucky, I've heard, and seen, more Hooded Warblers than I've had in aggregate in past years.

Mike's trip list was 77, I believe. Mine is short of that. Some birds he had before we got there, some he and Pete heard and I didn't, some just whizzed by me. I listed 56 species. Almost half of the list is "heard."
56 species
Canada Goose  30
Mallard  2     Boat Launch
Wild Turkey  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1     Heard
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  1     Heard
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard
Eastern Wood-Pewee  2     Heard
Acadian Flycatcher  1     Heard
Least Flycatcher  1     Heard
Eastern Phoebe  2
Great Crested Flycatcher  1     Heard
Eastern Kingbird  2
Yellow-throated Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo  1     Heard
Red-eyed Vireo  30
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  2
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  1     Heard
Tufted Titmouse  1     Heard
Carolina Wren  1     Heard
Veery  5     Heard
Wood Thrush  6     Heard
American Robin  1     Heard
Gray Catbird  5
Cedar Waxwing  2
Ovenbird  50
Black-and-white Warbler  1     Heard
Common Yellowthroat  2
Hooded Warbler  10     Heard
American Redstart  5
Cerulean Warbler  1     Heard
Northern Parula  1     Heard
Yellow Warbler  3
Pine Warbler  1     Heard
Prairie Warbler  10     Heard
Black-throated Green Warbler  1     Heard
Chipping Sparrow  1
Field Sparrow  1     Heard
Song Sparrow  1     Heard
Eastern Towhee  5     Heard
Scarlet Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  2     Heard
Indigo Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  10
Common Grackle  2
Orchard Oriole  1
Baltimore Oriole  2
American Goldfinch  1  

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