Sunday, September 19, 2010

Morning birding at Scotia IBA

I got out to the Barrens this morning around 7:45 or so, though the birds were quiet until the sun hit the trees around 8:30 or so. I had the pleasure of birding with a local listserv guy named Drew, which was nice as he helped ID many more birds than I could've done on my own. It's funny; I appreciate the help of other birders because I am able to key in on and see more birds that way. But at the same time, I often wonder how many I could've ID'd or even seen on my own. It's like taking a test when someone's whispering the answers; you appreciate the help but you know it's still cheating! But it's hard to bird alone at an IBA like Scotia Barrens; everyone's out there to see the warblers that are sweeping through right now.

So my list was improved quite a lot with Drew's help, but I tried to hold my own and spotted the Chimney Swift, Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, and Song Sparrow. I also ID'd my first Cape May Warbler just before I met Drew. Here's my list:
Wild Turkey 8
Cooper's Hawk 1
Chimney Swift 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 5
Blue Jay X
American Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee X
Tufted Titmouse 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
American Robin 10
Gray Catbird X
Cedar Waxwing 12
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 2
Cape May Warbler 4
Hooded Warbler 2
Eastern Towhee 5
Song Sparrow 2
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 1
American Goldfinch X
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

I didn't list any bird I didn't actually see myself; Drew called a Black-and-White, a Black-throated Green, and a Blackburnian as well as some Purple Finches that I either missed completely or just saw as dark silhouettes against the cloudy sky (he heard the chipping calls of the PUFIs and BTGW). The rest I got decent looks at, but no photos. Trying to shoot warblers with a familiar camera is tough enough; trying it with a new camera that I'm not familiar with was impossible.

This was the only pic I got:It's not good to see a feral (I presume) cat out at an important birding area, but the cat didn't really move from this spot the whole morning. I didn't see him chasing any birds or anything.

We seem to be having a banner year for Cape May Warblers, based on the listserv buzz. Last year we had a lot of crossbills but I never saw them (always missed them by minutes, it seemed), so I'm glad I've seen so many CMWAs. It's interesting how we seem to get irruptions here every year; we've had a Snowy Owl year (my first year of birding here; never saw one), phalarope years (with Wilson's and Red-necked this year), and now the CMWAs. We've also had some great Horned Lark/Larkspur spp. years.

In non-birding Sunday news: my Cowboys lost AGAIN. And played like crap AGAIN. Hmph.

1 comment:

John said...

I haven't seen any Cape May Warblers so far this fall, and I haven't read any discussion of unusual numbers on the local lists. I wonder if the big Cape May push is just happening west of the Appalachians.