One of the many ancillary benefits of becoming a birder, apart from an elevated social status and encyclopedic knowledge of taxonomy, is a subtle grasp of phenology. But you don’t have to be wise to nature’s ways to realize that spring is mighty slow to fully bloom in some parts of the world. The birds seem to be dragging their proverbial heels this year, but migration still rewards those who would brave the bitter May chill!
I spent time this weekend at Firehouse Woods and island Cottage Woods, two of Rochester’s prime songbird spotting spots. Although I arrived with warblers on my mind, my favorite bird had to be a beauteous Blue-headed Vireo. Corey spent forty minutes at Forest Park trying to refind a reported Hooded Warbler without having any luck. He finally gave up and headed home only to find it along the road on the way out of the park! Though he saw more than twenty species of wood-warbler this weekend the Hooded Warbler was his Best Bird of the Weekend both because of the effort he put into finding it, the serendipitous nature of the encounter, and the fact that a whole bunch of other birders got to see the bird.
How about you? What was your best bird of the weekend? Tell us in the comments section about the rarest, loveliest, or most fascinating bird you observed. If you’ve blogged about your weekend experience, you should include a link in your comment.
Best Bird of the Weekend? Also a Hooded Warbler, found at Maple Swamp in Flanders/Riverhead, NY. The bird was seen while on an Eastern Long Island Audubon Field trip, and it was found within about a half mile of the entrance to the park. But a HUGE number of ticks – deer and Lone Star – were also encountered by all!
We have great shorebirds out here, but our warbler migration is a fraction of what NYC is lucky enough to receive.
Lifer for me, Black-headed Grosbeak in Dallas, TX, followed by a Rose-breasted Grosbeak a few minutes later. Photos on my blog:
Three Dunlin in gorgeous breeding plumage on the beach here on the Olympic Peninsula. I’d never seen them in breeding plumage before, and at first wasn’t sure what they were!
I strayed away from the Canadian side of Lake Ontario and birded Cape May area for several days. An embarrassment of riches!
Best bird of the weekend would be a Yellow-throated Warbler, but there was so much more. Read what I’ve written about all of them on my blog by clicking on my name above
It’s a tie. Black-billed Cuckoo and Bay-breasted Warbler on South Padre Island, TX. Bell’s Vireo was rarer, but c’mon.
Lots of warblers around but I’m most heartened by the return of Chimney Swifts, my all-time favorite Chicago bird. So glad I get to say goodbye to them before departing for less swift-y climes. Flit on, little buddies!
Birdied the Quarai Ruins in central New Mexico for the first time. Western Tanager, juniper titmouse, but my favorite was Broad tailed Hummingbird.
Scarlet Tanager. We get so few bright colored birds in the Midwest I am always glad to see the tanagers and orioles come back.