My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Chirps and Cheeps Bird Blog

A Birder's Blog About Birding in Western New York

Black-throated Green Warbler at Forest Lawn

Published April 22, 2014
Tags: General Observations, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren

A Black-throated Green Warbler was like a ray of sunshine on this dreary, cool day. The warbler was found by Karen Vizzy at Forest Lawn today - a very nice find and an early record for this species.

After I had been looking around on my own for a little while, I ran into Karen just shortly before she re-found the little guy.  Kinglets were everywhere, making it difficult to spot the warbler. Once found, though, it was difficult to take our eyes off him.  He was a striking male almost in full breeding plumage.

The weather was poor, which made for rather poor photos, but at least we got some!  Before I met Karen, I captured a few photos of a Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow, and Hermit Thrush.  As a matter of fact, as I was photographing the wren, the Hermit Thrush flew in and perched almost directly over my head - talk about awkward!  I had a very tough time trying to get a photo of that guy from that position...
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Fox Sparrow
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Fox Sparrow
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Winter Wren
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Winter Wren
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Hermit Thrush
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Hermit Thrush


Shorebirds and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Published April 22, 2014
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Dunlin, Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron

I tried a new location after work yesterday. It's called Greenway Trail and is located in the Geneseo region of Livingston County. I read that shorebirds were seen there and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few at a pond along the trail.

I didn't bring my scope so it was a little difficult ID'ing all of them, but I could easily make out the Dunlin, Pectoral Sandpipers, Killdeer, and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.  If there were others mixed in, I couldn't discern them.

Another nice find was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher busily working the trees on the trail near the pond. He didn't give me great views, but I caught a few photos of this first-of-the-year bird for me as he darted about catching insects.

I enjoyed seeing several Field Sparrows, a common but lovely little sparrow with a very cool call.  A small flock of Cedar Waxwings passed overhead and I saw a Great Blue Heron fly by, a Red-tail Hawk soaring above a field, and many Brown-headed Cowbirds that were concentrated by the pond among the Red-winged Blackbirds. I also heard two Eastern Towhees calling to one another further down the trail - or were they calling to me???

I imagine the path will be insect-infested in a couple of weeks when it gets hot, but for right now, it was a great, well-maintained trail to hike with benches strategically positioned along the way.

I happened to spot a Northern Mockingbird as I was driving home. It was close to the road so I stopped and rolled down my windows to listen to its mimics and songs. It was a little back lit, but I grabbed a few photos anyway.

Did you know the Northern Mockingbird is closely related to the Brown Thrasher?  They both are from the family, Mimidae, indicating the fact that they are mimics. "Mimic Thrush" is a nickname for this group - and it's well deserved. Their tails and bills are longer than a true thrush - with their bills being more decurved as well. If you ever get the opportunity to listen to one of these mimics, do tarry and enjoy them; they're quite entertaining!
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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
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Song Sparrow
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Swamp Sparrow
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Field Sparrow
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Field Sparrow
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Northern Mockingbird
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Northern Mockingbird
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A mix of shorebirds
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Shorebirds


Early Hooded Warbler at Tifft

Published April 20, 2014
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Hooded Warbler, Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, Northern Shoveler, Song Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Double-crested Cormorant

I only had a little time for birding before I had to start Easter preparations on Saturday and I thought I'd spend it at Tifft Nature Preserve. Joe Fell found a Hooded Warbler there a few days ago and I was hoping the beautiful male was still around. The early migrant was there, quite visible, and still hanging out with a Winter Wren.

This warbler was found a full ten days earlier than what the BOS (Buffalo Ornithological Society) Date Guide considers to be within normal date range.  (To see an electronic version of the date guide plus other taxonomy details, search for the Hooded Warbler - or any other bird - here:  Bird Search).

After spending some nice time admiring the warbler, I checked out a little more of the preserve and found the Tree Swallows a little more photogenic than usual. A Belted Kingfisher caught her breakfast in the early morning light and ate it in front of me. Some other sightings were: Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, Northern Shoveler, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Rough-winged Swallow, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Purple Finch, and more...
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Beautiful male Hooded Warbler
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Hooded Warbler
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Hooded Warbler
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Hooded Warbler
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Hooded Warbler
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Hooded Warbler
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Female Belted Kingfisher
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Belted Kingfisher
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American Wigeon
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Northern Shoveler
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Tree Swallow
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Tree Swallow
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Tree Swallow
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Tree Swallow
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Northern Rough-winged Swallows
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Winter Wren in some deceiving morning light
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Song Sparrow
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Double-crested Cormorants flying overhead
Reply from: Heather Fogarty on 4/21/2014 1:02 PM
 Beautiful pictures of the hooded warbler Sue. I can't wait to get out to Tift, I always love seeing the warblers. Love reading your blog...thanks"
Reply from: Andrea Burke on 4/21/2014 7:32 PM
 Love the photos of the little birds. I have only just begun birding and hope to go out tomorrow and see some for myself. Thanks for giving me an idea of what to look for!"