[CT Birds] Boston Hollow/Yale Forest 7-8-12

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Sun Jul 8 22:29:39 EDT 2012

I went to Boston Hollow today for the first time in about a week and was  
surprised and pleased to find that a lot of birds are still singing. Of 
course  some have gone silent and many are singing less, with less enthusiasm or 
even  just call notes now. Perhaps the noisiest ones now are the Red-eyed 
At my first stop when I arrived I heard a lot of chattering, which I Id'd  
as a large flock of BC Chickadees, but it sounded like something was up. 
Sure  enough, after I looked around for a few minutes I spotted a Barred Owl 
staring  back at me from a branch about 50 feet away, in the center of a 
maelstrom of  angry Chickadees, Titmice, WB Nuthatches, etc. I don't know if it 
was me or the  birds, but after about 30 seconds the owl took off and flew a 
couple of hundred  feet to another branch, with all its little friends 
following close behind. When  that didn't work it gave up and flew off down the 
The odd thing is, that's at least the 7th time this year I've seen that  
owl, always within a couple of hundred yards of the same spot, but the first  
time I've seen it being mobbed or even noticed. I suspect the birds are 
hyper  because of all the fledglings currently fluttering around the "Hollow." 
There is  no doubt this has been a great year for the nesters so far, and I 
see signs that  a lot are trying for a 2nd time. In fact I think a few may 
have already fledged  a 2nd batch.
While I'd been watching the "show" I was hearing one bird I shrugged off as 
 a Black-and-white Warbler, but I knew it didn't sound right. Once the 
action  died down I could still hear it and finally found it in the tops of some 
tulip  trees. To my surprise it was a Blackburnian Warbler, singing a song 
not quite  like any I've heard them sing before. As a bonus I got to watch 
it as it foraged  in bright sunlight for a good 5 or 10 minutes. A little bit 
later I heard a 2nd  Blackburnian, this time with a much more normal song. 
At the beginning of the  season I had trouble even finding one, and now I 
see/hear them quite  often.
I heard several Waterthushes today, but they were only "clucking" their  
loud call notes, not a single song from either species. 
I also heard 2 Winter Wrens and saw a third, and one of the singers either  
has a totally new song or was not there till the middle of June. The song 
is  very different from any I heard earlier in the year. But the other bird I 
heard  also now sometimes sings a longer version of his formerly short song.
Another bird I'm hearing new song versions from is the Black-and-white  
Warbler. In the spring their song was very standard and somewhat monotonous as  
they squeaked their 2 notes back and forth. Some only sing quietly now, but 
I've  heard others with extended songs, sometimes with 2 or 3 parts and 
sometimes so  different I had to listen a minute to be sure that's what it was. 
There are still a few Canada Warblers singing, sometimes cutting their song 
 short but other times getting excited and repeating it 2 or 3 times. A 
couple of  weeks ago I walked down the road a bit and heard a very loud and 
angry sounding  chip note practically right next to me. It was so loud I 
thought it was a  Waterthrush, and I was amazed when I realized it was a Canada, 
staying not more  than six or 8 feet away from me and flying frantically from 
one side of the road  to the other. I assume he had fledglings somewhere 
close by, but I was being  careful to stay in the middle of the road so as not 
to go near anything. I never  knowingly even heard a call like that out of 
a Canada, before or since. 
I don't hear any flycatchers calling any more. I heard 2 birds this morning 
 that I thought were Wood Thrushes, which I've hardly heard in weeks now, 
but the  songs were short and I'm not sure they were not different thrush. 
Definitely not  Hermit or Veery though.
Still quite a few Yellow Warblers singing and flying around, and I wonder  
if they are trying again. Seems kind of late for them to be so obvious now. 
There was also a pair of BG Gnatcatchers chasing each other anound and  
feeding together, just like 2 months ago. Could be juvies but I had a feeling 
it  was an adult pair. 
Also, a juvie Towhee, looking like he was just out of the nest. Good thing  
he had white wing patches or I might have wondered for a minute. It did 
have a  long tail and looked a little like a miniature Roadrunner. Gawky and 
awkward.  Actually I cut my trip a little short this morning, and never went 
down Barlow  Mill Road. Still ended up with a fair species list though, Ebird 

(I've resurrected my blog, this post and a couple of others on it)   
Boston Hollow/Barlow Mill, Windham, US-CT
Jul 8, 2012 7:45 AM - 12:15  PM
Protocol: Traveling
4.0 mile(s)
40 species (+3 other  taxa)

Turkey Vulture 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk  3
Mourning Dove 2
Barred Owl 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  4
Empidonax sp. 1
Eastern Phoebe 8
Blue-headed Vireo 4
Red-eyed  Vireo 10
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 12
Tufted  Titmouse 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Winter Wren 3
Blue-gray  Gnatcatcher 2
Veery 8
American Robin 10
thrush sp. 2
Cedar Waxwing  4
Ovenbird 8
Black-and-white Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat  1
Blackburnian Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 8
Canada Warbler  3
warbler sp. 4 Waterthrushes - Call notes only
Eastern Towhee  8
Chipping Sparrow 4
Song Sparrow 1
Scarlet Tanager 5
Northern  Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 6
Baltimore Oriole 2
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch 3

Don Morgan,  Coventry


"Think, every morning when the sun peeps through
The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old, melodious madrigals of love!"
H.W.  Longfellow

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