[CT Birds] east rock - cape mays

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Wed May 14 21:39:10 EDT 2014

After seeing the morning report of four Cape May Warblers at the start of the Giant Steps at East Rock in New Haven I headed over, arriving about 12:45.  Sure enough, someone was there photographing one in the spruce tree.  I stayed for some hours watching the Cape Mays (or is it Capes May?)  and wondering if the Summer Tanager would return (it never did while I was there).  Many good looks, and even a few digiscoped record shots were made.  Over the hours various birders came and went, including Tina Green, and Sara Zagorski who outlasted me.

There were at least two male Cape May Warblers seen.  I would not be at all surprised if there were actually three, but I can only be certain of two.  They regularly chased each other, or at least one chased another.  Perhaps there was a disagreement over the third one seen, the female Cape May Warbler.  I think there was just one female.

The birds were easiest to get good looks at while they were in the spruce tree, but they ranged into the various oaks on both sides of the road.  The chasing behavior generally started in the spruce, but continued into the surrounding trees.  They rarely went out of sight for more than maybe ten or fifteen minutes at a time.

When the Cape Mays were not visible there was a steady trickle of warblers in the trees to keep everyone occupied.  I saw Blackburnian, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula, a few others.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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