[CT Birds] Roosevelt, answer to Warble riddle....

Brian Webster b.webster at hotmail.com
Mon May 25 18:52:49 EDT 2009

5/25, Roosevelt Forest, Stratford (6:30-9:45a)-
Total of 46 species including (FINALLY!!) 2 Green Herons and a fly-over Great Egret (a first for me this far away from the shore).
Other birds included a lot of chip-burring Tanagers, one was so tame that it sat for 5+ minutes on a branch no more than 3' off the ground.  It sat still for so long I was able to re-calibrate my binoculars, using him, after dropping them on a boulder trying to get some Wood Frog photos.  Wood Thrushes, several Veerys, one singing Swainson's Thrush, a few Great Crested Flycatchers, Least and Willow Flycatchers (nice to have both in ear-shot at the same time), and Blackpoll and Canada Warbler were the best out of only 6 warbler species (N. Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Yellow, Yellowthroat)
I think, for me, the best thing here over the last few days is the large numbers of Waxwings.  I counted over 75 in Roosevelt this morning (one large fly-over flock, and a smaller one in the trees) and another 27 at my house less than 2 miles away.  I hear them chip/chirp/whistling everywhere.  I believe 100 is a conservative estimate.
A nice sight (and photo op) occurred when I was resting near the parking lot.  The large puddle that has been there for several years had Barn Swallows, Cedar Waxwings, a Chipping Sparrow, 2 Goldfinch, a Titmouse, and a Cardinal drinking/bathing/eating grit at the same time.  Then a skunk scared them (and me) away... but not before I got some photos of him.  I personnaly think skunks are quite cute.  
Speaking of the skunk.... a juvenile Cooper's Hawk was taking in everything and when he saw the skunk, he couldn't take his eyes off of it.  Interesting.
I'm not 100% on this, because I forgot which branch it was last year, but I'm fairly certain last years momma Hummer is in the same nest.  For whatever reason, I couldn't find it in the winter, so that makes me think she may have just enjoyed the area.
A Pileated Woodpecker pair has been in my neighborhood recently.  A friend at the bottom of my hill had it in his backyard last week.  And this morning, as soon as I came outside and walked to my truck, it almost forced me back inside to change my shorts!  Man.... that is some call when your not expecting it.

I would like to thank those of you who responded to my warbler ID question.  I was more than ready to let it slip into the unidentified pile until I heard it again this morning.  The bird was in the lower half of hardwoods trees that shade a wet area (I call it Skunk Cabbage lane.... a 10 yard wide lane of wetlands runs all the way through) with thick undergrowth....  it took me a while to find him (thankfully not the 35min it took me to find the BBWA) but out popped a Hooded Warbler!!  It was a lifer for me a few weeks ago at The Bent, now a nice addition to the yard list.  I haven't seen/heard him since early early this morning, but I'll surely be cheking in the morning.  Oh, and by the way....  it was singing the whole song.  Then it sang the short version.  So perhaps he was trying to increase my skills.
I spent the majority of my spring birding in my woods and locales within close range to get an idea of what the habitats in my area could produce.... especially since I was just starting last year and I totally floated through migration.
Todays Hooded brought the warbler tally to 22.  Much higer than last years 13!  
-Brian Webster-
Stratford, CT
b.webster at hotmail.com
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