Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Warblers at the Maintenance Yard

This morning I spent a couple hours in Rock Creek Park in the hope of catching some late spring migration action. I had hoped to see the mourning warbler and olive-sided flycatcher that had been seen around the maintenance yard for the past few days. Unfortunately, neither made an appearance while I was there. The mourning warbler was seen today, but before I arrived. I did see plenty of birds, though.

The vine tangle in back of the maintenance yard had its share of warblers this morning. When I arrived I was greeted by a singing chestnut-sided warbler while I heard a yellow-throated vireo. After some looking I found a male blackburnian warbler - the first I have actually seen rather than heard this spring; two females were also in the yard. Northern parulas and black-throated blue warblers sang somewhere in the trees, while magnolia warblers popped in and out of the foliage. A female Canada warbler appeared just before I left the yard. Blackpolls, of course, have become ubiquitous.

The "best" bird in the yard that I saw was a Lincoln's sparrow. I got very good looks at it several times. It is a handsome bird, with crisp dark streaking on its buffy breast, clean gray eyebrow, and narrow bill. Unlike its nervous cousin, the song sparrow, Lincoln's sparrows will calmly sit out in the open. This one sat on top of the rusting beam of an abandoned cart.

Before I left, I checked back behind the nature center to see if any other birds were there. I saw a wood thrush, and heard black-throated geen and hooded warblers. There were yet more Swainson's thrushes in that area - after I had already seen a lot of them in the maintenance yard. I do not think I have ever seen that many on a single day before. Overall, there seemed to be less singing than on previous visits, but there are still many birds around.


Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Rock Pigeon
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
European Starling
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Northern Parula
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow