Tuesday, April 20, 2010

High Island Woods

Boy Scout Woods had been extremely busy with birds earlier in the morning and there were still lots of migrants around when we got there. Unfortunately, it was even busier with birders, especially around the water drip. So we headed for the back of the property.

As soon as we started walking, we started seeing birds. First up was a Black-and-white Warbler, followed by our first Eastern Kingbird of the year.

Eastern Kingbird

A Gray Catbird came very close but refused to turn to face us.

We didn't see any Painted Buntings but there were several Indigo Buntings.

Then we had four more new year birds in a row: Blackburnian Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Orchard Oriole.

Orchard Oriole

Most people didn't seem to notice that the landscape was dotted with spectacular thistles ...

as well as beautiful Mexican Blankets and Evening Primroses.

Back at the drip, we spent a few minutes watching a group of Hooded Orioles and a couple of Hooded Warblers coming in to drink while Summer Tanagers flitted around over our heads.

Male Summer Tanager

Young Male Summer Tanager

I almost missed this Ovenbird as it scuttled quietly through the leaves near my feet.

Feeling rather hemmed in by all th
e people, we headed over to Smith Oaks to have a picnic lunch before going to see the rookery.

As we ate, we were entertained by a succession of birds.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker explored a nearby tree trunk.

A Black-and-white Warbler came along a branch over our heads.

I interrupted my lunch to have a look at an American Redstart a few yards from the picnic table ...

and ended up watching a Yellow-throated Vireo, too.

A Scarlet Tanager perched on a tree in the distance, while a couple of male Summer Tanagers came much closer to us.

Lunch over, we headed to the lake and the rookery area. However, we couldn't resist stopping along the way to look at yet more male and female Summer Tanagers. These ones let us watch them from only 6-7 feet away.

I'll report on the rookery part of our trip on Thursday.

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