Friday, April 20, 2012

High Island: Smith Oaks

After enjoying watching Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and other migrants at Boy Scout Woods, we headed over to Smith Oaks. It was very busy - with birders and with birds.

The utility wires in the parking area had Purple Martins.

In the woods, warblers were flitting around everywhere. Within a few minutes we had seen Tennessee, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green and Blue-winged, all too high in the trees for photos. Eventually one of the Tennessees came a little closer.

So, too, did a Black-and-white Warbler and a Yellow-throated.

A Prothonotary Warbler looked odd with what seemed to be a dark cap.

The cap turned out to be stains from mulberries!

However, for us the best part of the day was the time we spent watching a succession of larger migrants coming to feed on a small mulberry tree right next to the path.

Indigo Buntings popped in several times.

Two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers kept coming ...

and going.

Orchard and Baltimore Orioles (below) visited for minutes at a time.

Summer Tanagers joined in but I only managed to get photos of one of the females.

Our final sighting before leaving was of a male Scarlet Tanager, his plumage standing out dramatically against the foliage.

On our way out of High Island we drove past Boy Scout Woods, stopping to look at a Common Nighthawk that was sleeping on a branch near the road.

All in all, our trip to High Island had been a great success. For me the only real disappointment was that I hadn't gotten good looks at a Blackburnian Warbler, my favorite of all the warblers. I had seen two but only for a moment and at a distance. Oh, well, perhaps I'll be luckier on our next visit to the coast.

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