Friday, May 6, 2016

Exploring New Migration Hot Spots Part 2


The next day we met at Frontera Audubon Thicket; this was one of the places I was getting near constant reports from on the Rare Bird Text Messaging group, so I was hoping some of those migrants would hang around!  It was a beautiful sunny day, and I actually beat Mary there by about 15 minutes, so I logged several things from the parking lot, including Green Parakeets and a female Summer Tanager.

Summer Tanager

Once checked in we crept along, picking up a Redstart here and a Tennessee there; we sat for five at the little resaca and had a handsome Yellow-crowned Night Heron pose for us!  A Green Kingfisher gave a very brief view, but in the area we found more Philadelphia Vireos and a Blackburnian Warbler!  While sitting on another bench Mary saw a largish bird with a banded tail fly in, then spotted a good-sized nest; I got a glimpse of a pale bird, but putting two and two together it was undoubtedly the resident Gray Hawk!

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Philadelphia Vireo

The big lake was rather empty, and as we made the big loop around the property there was no shortage of White-tipped Doves; in fact, Mary made the comment as we were passing through the dark and dingy Sabal Palm Grove that one could be creeped out rather easily if you didn’t know what was making that spooky cooing sound! J  But the most action turned out to be around the feeder areas:  we had a female Bay-breasted Warbler, more Nashvilles and Black-and-whites, and what I felt was the bird of the day – a singing Bell’s Vireo!  He wouldn’t let himself be seen, however, except for the briefest of moments…  The feeders themselves were crawling with Chachalacas and doves, and several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks came in as well.  Further down the trail a Blue-headed Vireo was singing, and he finally did allow us a look!  I showed her the area where the Blue Bunting had been hanging out, but all we could kick up was a Catbird and a lovely Chestnut-sided Warbler along the “dead end trail”.  Somewhere in here we happened upon a Black-throated Green Warbler who had caught himself a huge caterpillar and was trying to figure out how to best devour it; it got kinda gooey after awhile!  Near the blind we heard a Yellow-breasted Chat making some interesting noises, then took the boardwalk back, where we spooked a Green Heron, had a couple of White Ibis and a Great Egret feeding, and heard a Groove-billed Ani call.  Almost back at the gate we had a family of Black-crested Titmice making a ruckus while a female Chestnut-sided Warbler ignored them while she foraged…

Female Bay-breasted Warbler

Belly shot (this is often the only look you get at a warbler, so it pays to learn the key field marks from this angle...)

Black-throated Green Warbler with lunch

We had to part company by noon, but it was another terrific day of spring migration, with 62 species for the morning!  Bird List:

  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck         
  Plain Chachalaca                     
  Great Egret                          
  Snowy Egret                          
  Green Heron                          
  Yellow-crowned Night-Heron           
  White Ibis                           
  Gray Hawk                            
  White-winged Dove                    
  Inca Dove                            
  White-tipped Dove                    
  Groove-billed Ani                    
  Chimney Swift                        
  Buff-bellied Hummingbird             
  Golden-fronted Woodpecker             
  Ladder-backed Woodpecker             
  Green Parakeet                       
  Eastern Wood-Pewee                   
  Least Flycatcher                     
  Brown-crested Flycatcher             
  Great Kiskadee                       
  Couch's Kingbird                     
  White-eyed Vireo                     
  Bell's Vireo                         
  Blue-headed Vireo                    
  Warbling Vireo                       
  Philadelphia Vireo                   
  Green Jay                             
  Purple Martin                        
  Bank Swallow                         
  Barn Swallow                         
  Black-crested Titmouse               
  Carolina Wren                        
  Swainson's Thrush                    
  Clay-colored Thrush                  
  Gray Catbird                         
  Long-billed Thrasher                 
  Northern Mockingbird                 
  European Starling                    
  Black-and-white Warbler              
  Tennessee Warbler                    
  Nashville Warbler                    
  American Redstart                    
  Magnolia Warbler                      
  Bay-breasted Warbler                 
  Blackburnian Warbler                 
  Chestnut-sided Warbler               
  Black-throated Green Warbler         
  Yellow-breasted Chat                 
  Olive Sparrow                        
  Summer Tanager                       
  Northern Cardinal                    
  Rose-breasted Grosbeak               
  Red-winged Blackbird                 
  Great-tailed Grackle                 
  Bronzed Cowbird                      
  Brown-headed Cowbird                 
  Baltimore Oriole                     
  Lesser Goldfinch                     
  House Sparrow                        

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