Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

It is a sunny Easter that is going to get a bit muggy and quite warm by this afternoon. The birding this past week has been steady here on our land, and by today we now have almost all of our summer breeding birds back with us. The only ones missing are yellow-billed cuckoo and summer tanager now that chimney swift, eastern wood pewee, indigo bunting, acadian flycatcher and wood thrush have made an appearance.

We also are seeing a few of the migrants that stop off to feed on the way to their breeding grounds. The top photo is of a northern waterthrush--note the streaking on the throat--that I was able to photograph yesterday at Mason Farm which is part of the NC Botanical Garden (click on any photo to enlarge). I spent a couple of hours there yesterday to see how the migration was progressing at a good nearby birding spot. I heard but did not see ovenbird, northern parula, hooded, worm-eating, blue-winged and black-throated blue warblers. I also saw summer tanagers, indigo buntings, American redstarts, palm and yellow-rumped warblers, a yellow-breasted chat, brown thrashers, red-eyed vireos, swamp and white-throated sparrows, tufted tits, Carolina chickadees and wrens, and eastern bluebirds. A barred owl called often while I was birding, and I also got the bottom photo above of a female eastern towhee.

This morning on our land I found a northern waterthrush along Morgan Creek. We now have several pairs of red-eyed vireos and ovenbirds on territory, 3 pairs of La waterthrush, 2 scarlet tanagers, and a green heron on the pond. The middle photo above is of one of our black snakes that we are now seeing regularly with the warmer weather. During the week I saw both male and female black-throated blue warblers, and a swainson's thrush for the first time this year. 2 different days I came across some lingering pine siskins. I also saw one of our barred owls which we hear often but rarely see. Over the next couple of weeks we should see a few more migrating warbler species plus rose-breasted grosbeaks. Stay tuned!

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