Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bay-breasted Warbler-Blackpoll Warbler

Today gave us new lifer birds. After birding in Scott Park (which we saw the usual Hooded Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cedar Waxwing and others) we headed for Fry's Landing on this most beautiful afternoon. We were given a real treat when I spotted the Bay-breasted Warbler. We hadn't seen one before so it was really exciting. Getting a photo was hard with all the leaves out. But I got a few shots from my camcorder that I can share. Then we spotted our first Blackpoll Warbler. At first we thought we were seeing a Black and White Warbler but it wasn't acting like one. When it came out into the open I realized what it was. We saw two working the trees and bushes. With all the leaves out I could only get a tiny picture of one. We also spotted a Wilson's Warbler bouncing around. With all the leaves out now, it is really hard to spot birds. You see movement, a bit of color, and then they disappear in the leaves. So I'm thankful for the look we got at these beautiful birds today. I didn't get any decent pictures of the Blackpoll Warblers but not for the lack of trying.
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson's Warbler-his black cap doesn't show too much in this photo but he had a good one.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Canada Warblers are Plenty

More warblers are coming through. It's a great time of year. Today we took a really nice walk in Scott Park to show my mother-in-law some of the birds we have spotted. We saw several Canada Warblers as well as Indigo Buntings, Black and White Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, Wilson Warbler, Baltimore Orioles to name a few. We saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, and a White Crowned Sparrow. My mother-in-law loved the Indigo Buntings. They sure are pretty, especially when the sun hits them while they are flying. I only took a few photos today. I saw 3 warblers that I couldn't identify. They were some we were not familiar with. I wish I could have gotten photos of them but they were too quick.

Indigo Bunting

Female Magnolia Warbler

Great Crested Flycatcher

black and white warbler


Mother's Days come and go and even though I'm a mother, I really never think of it as my day. It was my mother's day. I miss her terribly. There was so many wonderful things that she would have loved to have been a part of that she missed. But I know she is in a better place. I miss you Mom. Marjorie Mary McCuaig 1926-1996

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our First Cape May and Nashville Warbler

My husband and I went out birding today in Scott Park and Presque Isle. At Scott Park we saw a number of Indigo Buntings, loads of Yellow Warblers, one Hooded Warbler, lots of American Redstarts and what we thought might be a Yellow-Breasted Chat. We just aren't sure and didn't get a picture. It had a yellow breast and a gray top and was a larger size than the warblers we saw. It had a loud not-pleasant call. When we got back to the car we listened to what their call sounded like and it seemed similar. We'll never know. Maybe we will go back and try and find it again. We left and went to Fry's Landing about 4 PM or a little later in the afternoon. Surprisingly, there wasn't anyone else there at first. Then we met Mike and started talking about birds. He was truly an expert on birds. I'm so glad we ran into him. What a nice guy! He walked us around Fry's Landing and pished out a Nashville Warbler and a Common Yellow Throat. He could name birds left and right that he heard. He knew all the birds by their calls. How wonderful to be able to do that! He heard a Scarlet Tanager but it didn't come in close enough to see. Mike also spotted the raccoon in the tree which my husband and I walked right by. Real birders are sharp and nothing gets past them. We learned so much from him on our chance meeting. It was getting late so we left and on the way out stopped at Thompson Circle. It was an evening gold mine. Our first Cape May Warbler and I got pictures! Not good pictures but good enough. We also saw Yellow-rumped Warblers,a Palm Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warblers (of course, so many of them) Black and White Warbler and even a Northern Waterthrush. For being past 6 PM and just sitting in the parked car near the brush at Thompson Circle we did pretty good finding birds. Here are my pictures and below them is the video of the birds.

Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle Presque Isle)

Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle Presque Isle)

Hooded Warbler (Scott Park)

Indigo Bunting (Scott Park)

Monday, May 07, 2012


The wait seemed forever until the migrating warblers would start coming through. That's my favorite time of the year (except for vacation!) The birds are here and they are beautiful! We spent a few hours on May 3, 5, and 6th walking the trails to see what would flutter around us. Without binoculars you probably wouldn't even notice those tiny little warblers hopping through the thickets and tree tops. They are ghostly movements that are gone before your eyes focus. But bring up a pair of good binoculars and they shine like gold. My favorite is the Magnolia Warbler. The Black Throated Green Warbler is gorgeous, too. Last year we saw lots of Black Throated Blue Warblers in Scott Park but I only saw one from a distance so far this year. We got serenaded by an American Redstart yesterday in Scott Park. What a beautiful bird they are, too. Next week is the Festival of Birds here in Erie. It is the one time we don't go to the peninsula. We like birding alone. We like quiet, just us and the birds. Each year, though, we are softening our stance on whether to go or not. The speakers would be very interesting. The one that is held in West Virginia has me interested, too, if it weren't for the rustic accommodations. We just aren't quite ready to do the festival thing. However, we did go to the Nature Pilgrimage in Allegany State Park in New York a few years ago. It was really interesting and we learned a lot. I saw my first Cuckoo bird there that day. Well here is the video that was salvageable from our outing showing some of the birds. The female Pileated was awesome. She really works the woods. The warblers are just horrible to try and film. They bop along and very seldom are still. The American Redstart was very cooperative, though.