I like Franke Park in Fort Wayne. It offers a wooded stream with a pond, fields, and successional forest. I always have a good day when I go, so I’m not sure why I don’t go more often. Also: it is right next to the zoo, so sometimes the animals there make weird noises that can be heard from the park, confusing any birders in the area. I had three new year birds today, not including the species of Waterthrush that I was unable to identify and a bird that I saw only momentarily but am 99% sure was a Mourning Warbler. But I am doing this thing right, so I am not counting either of those.
I started off with some pretty great views of this male American Redstart. The orange is for Jaime.
The first year bird of the day was #118 Red-Eyed Vireo, who was busy warbling from the top of a tree that thankfully had no leaves, or he would have been difficult to spot. I have heard several of these guys previously, but I decided early on that I am only counting bids that I actually see (which is why I haven’t added Common Nighthawk yet, despite several of them buzzing over the house this week).
If you have ever wanted to see the back of a Canada Warbler, you’re welcome. I was able to get some great looks at this bird (#119 and lifer), including the trademarked black necklace, but he turned around as soon as I took this photo and then flew away into the understory. This is what Canadas look like from the front, eh. In case you were wondering, I also saw Canada Geese.
Another partial-warbler shot. This is bird #120, Bay-Breasted Warbler, and he doesn’t appear to have a head (thanks, leaf). At least I was able to get the primary field mark.