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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spring Migrants Arrive in Force

I had an amazing moment yesterday at British Camp where I just stood in one section of the trail for about 10 minutes and saw/heard more than 15 bird species. There were downy, hairy, and pileated woodpeckers. Warbling vireos, rufous hummingbirds, orange-crowned warblers, Townsend's warblers, and black-throated gray warblers. I've come across pockets of birds before - they're always exciting to see - but what made this especially amazing was that I also got three year birds there, all newly arrived spring migrants. The Pacific-slope flycatchers (172) were singing, and I saw one pair chasing each other around a tree. A western tanager (173) sat amid the blossoms of one tree, while a Cassin's vireo (174) sang its questioning song from the brush. It was awesome.

Pacific-slope flycatcher ~ Prints of this photo available here
A little further up the trail I found both Pacific and house wrens, more vireos and warblers, and chestnut-backed chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, and white-crowned sparrows. I also saw a single chipping sparrow (175), my fourth year bird of the day.

Their nest blew down over the winter, but the resident pair of osprey at British Camp returned and rebuilt it, and when I went by one of them was sitting on the nest (you can just see its head in the middle). I saw the second one fly in with a fish a little later on.

Golden-crowned sparrows are only winter residents here on the island, but there sure still seems to be a lot of them around, including this one, who blends in amazingly well to the tree bark except for his yellow forehead:

I ended up finding 33 species during my hour at British Camp - not bad!

Next up, I'll be turning my attention (and my camera lens) towards wildflowers - I hope the weather cooperates!


AleR said...

Perfect rapport! Thanks!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Another good day in the field for you there Monika. Can't believe we are now tid on 175 each! And over six months to go...looks like our 200 targets will be blown out ofg the water

Keep up the good work


PS those foxes were just too cute for words.

Warren Baker said...

Thats the kinda day I like Monika :-) it's great to be surrounded by an influx of singing birds

Monika said...

Dave - I can't believe it either! I wonder how close we'll be at the year's end?

Warren - Yes, it is!