Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend warblers (and a calf)

Calf investigating a tractor
 A few warblers finally showed up around the cabin this weekend, pulled out of the sky no doubt by the fog and drizzle that pervaded the weekend. I saw several American Restart and a Black-and-white warbler. Both species have visited the cabin in other years and both are among those that I’m likely to see here. Some warbler species are more likely to stop at my woods than others.

I’ve yet to see worm-eating, Wilson’s, orange-crowned and several others at the cabin. Black-throated green is usually common and Blackburnian isn’t unheard of. For several years black-throated blue was common, but I haven’t seen one of those lately.

The fog and drizzle of the weekend kept the skies gray or invisible most of the time. The warblers weren’t inclined to attempt to migrate through it. Instead, they spent the weekend around the cabin throughout most of the day. Birders typically get up early during warbler season to catch a glimpse of our little jewels. This weekend that wouldn’t have been necessary. The gloomy weather kept the birds around all day, even into the middle of the afternoon. They also didn’t seem to mind my presence very much. When I was outside I was moving around from one chore to the other and the birds weren’t fearful or shy. I wondered if the calm presence of my chickens outside their pen and foraging made the warblers feel safe enough to ignore me.
"Can I have the keys?"
I did hear a yellow-billed cuckoo this weekend, which is always a treat. The bird never seems close to the cabin, but the sound of that odd call travels a longer distance than do most. Sometimes the bird sounded as though it was high up on the mountain. Sometimes it sounded down along the lower slope, but never did it sound close enough to attempt to look for it. I had to content myself with listening to its haunting call. Maybe one day that call will be close enough to the cabin to make it worthwhile to attempt to find the bird.

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