Monday, May 1, 2017

Colliers Mills 5/1--Blue Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole

May Day dawned cool and foggy. I knew the shore wasn't the place to be in those conditions, so I headed inland to Colliers Mills. Two Warbling Vireos were singing around the parking lot. In the grassy area to the left of the lot I found my two year birds within 10 minutes. Both, a Blue Grosbeak and a Baltimore Oriole, were singing high in the trees and it took a little work to find them. A week from now, with the trees leafier, I might not have been able to.

So I could have gone home then if I didn't need the exercise. I did find a few interesting birds in the little pond on Hawkin Road that Greg showed me last year. Two ducks were on the pond, and in the murky conditions I couldn't really make them out, though I was pretty sure they were mergansers. I took photos from halfway across the pond and, though the quality is terrible, they must be Hooded Mergansers (which are now flagged as "rare" on eBird). One is a hen (on the right), the other might be a first-year male because it lacks both the white & black crest of a drake and the ragged crest of the hen. I originally saw them from the pipeline trail that ends in the middle of the pond. When I walked around to Hawkin Road to see if I could get a better angle on them, I flushed a Wilson's Snipe. Greg told me about this snipe around a week ago. Neither of us had ever seen that species at Colliers Mills.

By the time I was on the berm, at the back of Turnmill Pond, the fog had burned off and the day started to warm up quickly, but it didn't seem to bring out very many birds. I had dribs and drabs all around the place and by the time I left I had built up a list of 43 species. Not a bad way to start the month.
Canada Goose 2
Mallard 3
Hooded Merganser 2
Turkey Vulture 3
Osprey 1 Turnmill Pond
Wilson's Snipe 1
Spotted Sandpiper 1 Turnmill Pond boat launch
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 1 Pond on Hawkin Road
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 1 Heard
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 3 Heard
Eastern Kingbird 1
White-eyed Vireo 1 Heard
Warbling Vireo 2
Blue Jay 2 Heard
Tree Swallow 1 Turnmill Pond
Barn Swallow 3 Police shooting range fields
Carolina Chickadee 1 Heard
Tufted Titmouse 5
White-breasted Nuthatch 1 Heard
Carolina Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4 Heard
Eastern Bluebird 3
American Robin 3
Gray Catbird 15
Northern Mockingbird 1 Heard
European Starling 5
Ovenbird 5 Heard
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 3 Heard
Pine Warbler 1 Heard
Prairie Warbler 5
Chipping Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 1 Heard
Swamp Sparrow 1
Eastern Towhee 5
Northern Cardinal 5
Blue Grosbeak 1
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Brown-headed Cowbird 3
Baltimore Oriole 1

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