After not going out birding for a few weeks, I just had a Big Day at the always reliable Eagle Creek. In four hours, I logged 46 species, 7 of which were lifers and 11 of which were Warblers: Nashville Warbler, Chestnut-Sided Warbler (lifer), Ovenbird, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler (lifer), Yellow-Throated Warbler, Bay-Breasted Warbler (lifer), Blackburnian Warbler (lifer), Cape May Warbler (lifer), and Palm Warbler (lifer). For those of you keeping track at home, my only non-Warbler lifer on the day was a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, which somehow I had never seen despite how common they are. And the park was full of them this morning. Here is my list on eBird!
My pictures weren’t quite as good as my day list, but I did get a few nonetheless:
The Warblers were so thick that I didn’t even have to look for them. I could just train my binoculars on a tree branch and one or two (or three in one instance) would just fly into view after a few seconds. Of course identifying what I was seeing was much more difficult than finding the birds, but thanks to several other birders present at the Eagle Creek marina, I had a lot of help. The Blackburnian Warbler above was fairly easy to identify because of his black, white, and orange color scheme.
So the Chestnut-Sided Warbler doesn’t have chestnut-colored sides in the fall, so this was a tricky ID. But Peterson saved the day, as he showed me that this is the only fall Warbler with a green cap and yellow wing bars.
I have had problems getting a photo of the impressively large Pileated Woodpecker. But today, this guy was flying back and forth between two huge sycamore trees, screaming all the way. Kind of hard to miss. He must have been trying to get someone’s attention, because in between the screams he would jackhammer on a hollow dead branch, raising even more of a ruckus.
Pied-Billed Grebes are here now! Although they were not big fans of getting their picture taken, ducking under the water and darting away if I got too close.
Swainson’s Thrush says ‘sup.