Saturday, May 06, 2006

Migrants at the Arboretum

I arrived at the National Arboretum today with the expectation of a full morning of good birding. Winds last night had been favorable for migration, and despite a storm system to the south, there seemed to be some movement. And, indeed, some new birds have been appearing.

I started with the Azalea Gardens, which were full of singing birds: yellow-rumped and black-throated green warblers, wood thrushes, and an indigo bunting were all singing near the north entrance. Shortly after, a scarlet tanager started singing, and perched out in the open where sunshine hit its brilliant red feathers. A black-throated blue warbler sang in the normal spot, where the gravel and asphalt trails intersect. Further on, a hooded warbler was singing; after some looking I spotted it in more or less the same spot where I had seen one before. On the way down the hill I saw a few nashville warblers, one of which was singing lustily. Altogether I rounded up a dozen warblers, not bad for DC.

The new birds for today were flycatchers. One was an eastern wood-pewee, the first I have heard since September. I first heard one from a distance from the Azalea Gardens trail. Later, in Fern Valley, I heard the first acadian flycatcher for the year. Its emphatic wee-seet! has been missing from the woodlands all these months.

As a final note, anyone who wants to walk the river trail would be best served using the gate near the golf course rather than the one at the Asian Gardens, which has consistently been locked the last few times I visited.


Canada Goose
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Tufted Titmouse
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
House Sparrow
Red-eyed Vireo
American Goldfinch
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole


Zebra Swallowtail
Black Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Checkered White
Cabbage White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Sleepy Orange
Variegated Fritillary
Pearl Crescent
Eastern Comma
Red-spotted Purple
Silver-spotted Skipper