Monday, May 05, 2008

Warbler Weekend

Warblers took over the woods this weekend. I’m sure the overcast skies and fog helped to keep the birds here for a while. Warblers find moist, unsettled weather better for eating than migrating, and they sure found plenty to keep them busy in my woods for a few days.

Yellow-rumped warblers, like the one in my photo today, were the most numerous species, as well as the most cooperative when it came to posing for photos. Yellow-rumps tend to be the most numerous everywhere, from what I’ve always heard. I also had a nice selection of other species, including black-and-white, chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, American redstart (which should be named orange-starts instead), rose-breasted grosbeak, red-eyed vireo, ovenbird and the first catbirds of the year.

I spent as much time outside as I could. A chair on the front deck was a good spot, where I was armed with my binoculars, the camera and occasionally one of the dogs. I took today’s warbler photo from the front deck. This warbler was in a tree just across the driveway. The warblers, in general, seemed to find Baby Dog interesting, and they often approached fairly close to get a good look at her snuffling along in the leaves at the foot of the steps. At least the yellow-rumps did. The others were less cooperative about getting their photos taken.

This is turning out to be a decent year for warblers around the cabin. Last year was terrible; I saw only a few yellow-rumps. I’ve had years where I’ve had 20+ species but those are not the norm. I was also glad to see the catbirds. They are usually a common species here, but last year I only saw a very few. This year I’ve already seen more than I saw in all of 2007. Ovenbirds have arrived, now, but so far are in fewer number than I’m used to.

May 3-4 is slightly early for the big push of warblers in this area. I usually think of the second week of May as the prime time, especially May 8-12. Perhaps I’ll get a nice push then, too, but with climate change making springs earlier than usual, perhaps not. Now that the weather has cleared and the skies are bright blue again, I expect most of the warblers from this little wavelet will continue on north today.

2 comments:

pablo said...

I've despaired of ever learning birdsong well enuf to identify any but the most common, backyard birds. As for seeing them, most of the ones I see in the woods are LGBs (little gray birds).

Sigh.

Ruth said...

I never noticed warblers before I started reading blogs like yours last year. I didn't really know where to look for birds that did not visit my yard or swim in the city parks. The Yellow-rumped Warblers are very handsome, but I think they could be named differently as the yellow rump is not what catches the eye!