Monday 19 May 2014 70 °F
Today was an amazing day with regards to birding.
I woke up early due to jet-lag, so I immediately started birding at 5:30am! Within the next half an hour, without even leaving my yard, I found that BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS and a CAROLINA WREN would be my best species before I had to go inside around 6:00am.
I managed to get a photo of two rare BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS in the same frame!
Around six I retreated back into the house and came back out for the Oak Park Bird Walk I would be leading soon after 7:00am. Before my sole participant for the day, Susan Laws, arrived, I found this stunning male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER:
As well as this CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. This species would prove to be relatively common throughout the morning.
Suddenly, I heard a buzzy song that I immediately recognized as a CERULEAN WARBLER (federally threatened species), and soon I had mediocre visuals of the bird, as well. I sadly did not obtain any identifiable photos due to the fact that it was backlit and in the canopy of a tall elm tree.
Then, Susan Laws arrived, and she came just in time to hear the Cerulean belt out a few final choruses of its song before it decided to be silent/fly away. I also managed to get her visuals of the BLACKBURNIAN and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS pictured above.
We then had a very productive bird walk, which greatly helped the number of avian species for the day go up.
Near the end of the walk, I heard a "starburst-like song" that I assumed was a Canada Warbler. Then, I got visuals on the hefty warbler that was singing the song from a nearby bush, and confirmed its identity with its diagnostic white eye-ring. It was a mega rare CONNECTICUT WARBLER, which is on par with the Cerulean! Life bird #664! Sadly, the bird flew off just as my camera was focusing on it! Pesky little thing...
That was the last great bird for the morning, and what a fantastic end to an extremely exciting morning of birding and specifically warbler watching!
Here is the schedule for upcoming Oak Park Bird Walks if you are interested:
Thursday, May 22: 7:00AM
Saturday, May 24: 7:00AM
Monday, May 26: 7:00AM
Thursday, May 29: 7:00AM
Saturday, May 31: 7:00AM
Sunday, June 1: 7:00AM
Email me at the following email address for me details such as the meeting location:
It was an absolutely fabulous day, and the great warblers were one of the best presents imaginable, since today is my birthday! Bird-of-the-day will be shared by the CERULEAN and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS. Runners-up to the BAY-BREASTED and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS.
Here is the full species list for this morning from 5:30am-8:50am:
(FOY means first-of-the-year)
Cooper's Hawk 2
Ring-billed Gull 3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 4
Mourning Dove 2
FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 Seen clearly. Juvenile, blotchy bird about the size of Hairy Woodpecker with slight yellow wash on belly.
Downy Woodpecker 1
FOY BLUE-HEADED VIREO 1
FOY Red-eyed Vireo 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 1
FOY CAROLINA WREN 1 Seen before the walk.
FOY VEERY 1
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH 2
FOY Swainson's Thrush 5
American Robin 20
European Starling 2
Tennessee Warbler 3
FOY Nashville Warbler 2
FOY CONNECTICUT WARBLER 1 LIFE BIRD!
FOY Common Yellowthroat 1
FOY American Redstart 4
FOY CERULEAN WARBLER 1 FEDERALLY THREATENED SPECIES
Magnolia Warbler 5
FOY Bay-breasted Warbler 2
FOY BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER 1
FOY Yellow Warbler 2
FOY Chestnut-sided Warbler 7
FOY Blackpoll Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 2
FOY SCARLET TANAGERS 2 Both were females, one male was seen by Adrian Marquez later this afternoon
Northern Cardinal 10
Common Grackle 1
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 10
World Life List (664 Species, 1 life bird today: Connecticut Warbler)