Monday, September 4, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers

Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (note the faint yellowy ear)
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (1st winter female)
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (note the green rump and wash - it was only apparent in the sun)
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
  Bumped into fellow birder Frédéric Langlois near the cemetery, and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours picking through confusing fall warblers. Most confusing to us was a drab grey warbler, showing a streaked underside, but not many other field marks. When it danced through spots of sunshine, its olive rump, wing, and tail highlights revealed themselves, as did the hint of a yellowish ear – Cape May Warbler! Neither of us had seen this relatively uncommon migrant in this plumage (1st winter female), and I jokingly dubbed it “Paruline Tigrée Obscure” – a French birder joke. Personally, it’s always exhilarating to deal with a bird that makes you scratch your head and leaf nervously through the field guide. 
  I noticed that the migrating birds bunched up at different hotspots in the cemetery when compared with spring migrants. Makes sense when you think about which direction they’re headed.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, September 2, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Ring-billed Gull-1
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-1 heard
Empid sp.-1 evil yellow thing
Eastern Phoebe-1
Red-eyed Vireo-1 heard (tchway!)
American Crow-10+ mobbing something
Common Raven-1 or 2 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+
White-breasted Nuthatch-2
House Wren-2 dueling with a duo of Wilson’s Warblers
Eastern Bluebird-3
Cedar Waxwing-4
Tennessee Warbler-2
Nashville Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-5
Cape May Warbler-2
Black-throated Green Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1 heard
Bay-breasted Warbler-1
Black-and-white Warbler-1
American Redstart-2
Wilson’s Warbler-2
Scarlet Tanager-2 ‘greens’
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1
Northern Cardinal-2
Chipping Sparrow-50+
Song Sparrow-4
American Goldfinch-5

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