18 April 2010

Warbler Frenzy...(High Island, Texas): 18 April

So far this spring we have had plenty of periods where it has felt like pulling teeth. This late, late spring has had us scratching our heads in wonder at where the warblers are? Today all that changed. Normally the arrival of trans-Gulf migrants falls in the afternoon, so that mornings are not usually where you look for the highest variety and numbers. of birds This pattern was turned on its head today, as large numbers of warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and thrushes dropped in overnight.

We attempted to have a business meeting this morning, as we'd thought the woods would be empty following yesterday afternoon's poor form, but had to rapidly abandon this when word came through that the woods were hopping with warblers. A total of
29 different warblers were seen today as a whole on High Island, and I managed to rack up a personal total of 21 species.

My favourite of the day was predictable: the first sky-backed male Cerulean Warbler of the spring is never beaten! However, some "flame-doused" male Blackburnian Warblers were not to be scoffed at either, several of which were seen in Boy Scout. One of the Blackburnians shared a tree with a Yellow-throated Warbler. I also bumped into numerous Black-and-white Warblers in the woods too, mostly males, with the odd female too. A few hours in Smith Oaks allowed me to photograph this White-eyed Vireo (top photo), and pick up a number of Hooded Warblers (bottom photo) that were especially numerous today. Another warbler that was easy to comeby today was Worm-eating Warbler of which I must have seen 6-8 birds today!

This was the best day of the spring so far, although northerly winds are predicted tomorrow so we eagerly await the next siege of migrants...

1 comment:

Jaffa said...

That Hooed Warbler is an absolute cracker Mr Woods! Respect!