.Songbird migration is more or less over by the middle of May and so I wasn't expecting to see many migrants when I got to the campus nature trail work very early Monday morning. Well, either the fat lady hadn't sung yet or if she, the birds hadn't heard her, because the trees and bushes were absolutely full of birds! In 45 minutes I saw more migrants than I've ever seem except on a couple of fall-out days at Lafitte's Cove and High Island.
American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers were everywhere, along with several Black-throated Green Warblers and a couple of Wilson's Warblers.
Even more numerous were Chestnut-sided Warblers. When I was standing in a clearing, four or five emerged from the shadows together and fussed around on branches only feet away from me.
Meanwhile the higher branches were busy with Red-eyed Vireos.
Further along the trail there were more of the same birds but also several Bay-breasted Warblers.
Eastern Wood-Pewees were present, too. I saw at least four at different points along the trail.
In dark areas near the ground I kept getting tantalizing glimpses of gray heads. Finally one of the birds moved into a small patch of light for a couple of seconds: It was a Mourning Warbler, a bird I had seen only once before.
Unfortunately, it was now time for work and so I had to leave the birds and head to my office. Still, I had enjoyed 45 minutes of fantastic birding. The new arrivals had taken my year list to 253 species. That's only 10 fewer than I saw in Texas in the whole of 2010 and we're not even halfway through this year yet.