Finally! 4-22-18

April 22, 2018  •  1 Comment

We may have finally turned the corner! Our temperatures have been challenging with a couple really warm days, some sleety snow and several hard freezes. There has been a mix of 'winter' birds and new first of year (FOY) birds as well.


Two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers flew in to the same tree very briefly on Tuesday, 4-10-18. 


Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers 4-10-18Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers 4-10-18


The Eastern Phoebe perched in the Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) while it was in bloom last Sunday, 4-15-18.


Eastern Phoebe on Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) 4-15-18Eastern Phoebe on Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) 4-15-18


This FOY Chipping Sparrow was foraging in the sleet shower on Monday, 4-16-18. One has been seen several times since then.


Chipping Sparrow 4-16-18Chipping Sparrow 4-16-18


There have been several Yellow-rumped Warblers around this past week. They are considered a winter resident but we'll be seeing them for a while yet until they move north to Canada to breed. One of these warblers really likes peanut chips! Another found a tasty insect for a meal.


Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-18-18Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-18-18

Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-20-18Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-20-18 Yellow-rumped Warbler with insect 4-20-18Yellow-rumped Warbler with insect 4-20-18

Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-20-18Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-20-18


A Brown-headed Cowbird has been coming to bathe in the afternoons.  This is the first year I've seen a male of this species get in the basin.


Brown-headed Cowbird 4-18-18Brown-headed Cowbird 4-18-18


Ruby-crowned Kinglets have also returned from a short distance south. There have been a couple of them chasing each other around the last few days.


Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-18-18Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-18-18


And, yes, it's time to put up your hummingbird feeders!  The first male returned on Thursday, 4-19-18.  I saw a second male at a favorite feeder today!


FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-19-18FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-19-18

FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-19-18FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-19-18


The hummers have also been enjoying the nectar of the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)


Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) 4-21-18Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) 4-21-18


There have been 1-4 Rusty Blackbirds here on different days. My highest count was 60 on Tuesday, 4-10-18.


Rusty Blackbirds 4-20-18Rusty Blackbirds 4-20-18  


On Friday, 4-20-18, a Golden-crowned Kinglet popped out of the Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum), how fitting, and landed on a stone near the pond.


Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-20-18Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-20-18


Another small bird was foraging nearby, a FOY Blue-gray Gnatcatcher!


FOY Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4-20-18FOY Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4-20-18


Early on Saturday, 4-21-18, I went out to hose off the Bubbler and heard a soft "teesi-teesi-teesi" and found a FOY warbler, a Black and White. It was climbing up the Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria) near the driveway. It moved on to the west.


FOY Black and White Warbler 4-21-18FOY Black and White Warbler 4-21-18


Well, I had high hopes for more migrants after that! It was several hours before I saw another striking warbler. It was taking a dip in the swale at the back property line and this bird also flew to the west. Another hour passed before a bird came in to check out the Bubbler. Was it the same bird or a second individual? That is one of the great mysteries of birding! This is the first time I've photographed a Yellow-throated Warbler in the spring!


FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18 FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18 FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18FOY Yellow-throated Warbler 4-21-18


Be on the lookout! The migrants are coming. I even had a FOY Monarch on Friday, 4-20-18. It was looking for milkweed but this year it hasn't emerged yet. Last year, I photographed one laying eggs on 4-15-17.


FOY Monarch female 4-20-18FOY Monarch female 4-20-18


I checked back to a year ago and the difference in plant growth and new arrivals is quite striking. We must be 10 days behind with the cold spring. It has not been a figment of our imaginations!  Blog from 4-21-17


To view all the photos since the last blog post start here:  Photos since 4-8-18




Jo Alwood(non-registered)
A hummer at Bluebells? Wow! and so many shots of the Yellow-rumped.
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