[CT Birds] Mobbing by Warblers

Brenda Inskeep binskeep at optonline.net
Wed Sep 21 21:33:01 EDT 2011

The high point of my day was during a visit to Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford this afternoon.  It was eerily quiet...until, at my destination along the Swamp Walk, the jays started being jays, frantically going back and forth, obviously disturbed about something, but not in one focused area.  Then I found a couple of warblers very close up...N. Parula, Magnolia, also a few chickadees and several titmice...not many, but something to brighten the day.  Soon thereafter, as I was beginning to leave, I heard several titmice really carrying on in an area I was walking towards.  So I slowly approached to witness something spectacular.  It was a mobbing (of what, I don't know) by 20+ N. Parulas, 1 B&W, 1 Magnolia, a WBNH, and all those titmice while the jays looked on, grinning no doubt.  What a way to see a lot of birds at one time!  This was low over the swamp in a brushy area with water below.  Could have been a snake, I suppose.  There could have been many other migrants in this group that I didn't notice; the bush was filled with birds quickly darting back and forth - it was hard to keep track of them, but there were a lot of birds.  It continued for what seemed like a good 10 minutes and then they quietly dispersed and gradually moved on.  I've only witness something similar once before...in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.  There were 100s of birds at this particular morning mobbing and they just kept piling in from all directions.  Strange enough, it was the little birds who went in close...to a snake (a big one), a species that was later determined from photos.

Many others are reporting warblers, but I haven't had good numbers and varieties of any to speak of.  If anyone really wants to see a Connecticut Warbler, go to Cumberland Farms in Halifax, Massachusetts (Rt. 105 Thompson St & River St) at dawn, aka "The Connecticut Warbler Zoo" on the MA listserv.  Thanks to Glenn Williams for the advice.  I observed two and had excellent views, a life bird, after unsuccessfully searching each Fall for three years.

Brenda Inskeep in Stamford

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