Monday, September 4, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers II

Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens
Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (a different look compared to Saturday's bird)
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
adult Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura (adult with juvenile)
juvenile Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
...and Empidonax flycatchers – which always confuse me. Got in a satisfying, if punishing, five-hour birding session at the cemeteries, which were sodden after yesterday's steady Harvey rains. I quickly fell victim to one of the biggest threats at the cemetery - a hidden groundhog hole. My foot plunged into the exquisitely camouflaged, grassed-over deathtrap - I saw lightning as my teeth clattered together, and sparks shot through my lower spine. I grunted, went to one knee, then found that I didn't know what planet I was on for a moment, my forehead covered in an instant slick of cold sweat.
  After that hilarious adventure, I came on a wake of perched Turkey Vultures, and for a minute I thought I was looking at a Black Vulture - turns out juvies look a bit like Black Vultures, so that was fun.
  More confusing warblers on display, with species like Cape May and Bay-breasted (AKA Blackpollpine-breasted Warbler), among others, showing both a maddening variety, and a similarity to other blah-plumaged fall warblers. Hopefully I'll remember some of the fall lessons I learned today the hard way - " that a Prairie Wa...oh shit, just a Cape May..." 

  There were loads of Magnolia Warblers out, including two separate groups of 4-5 interacting with Black-capped Chickadees in conifers, a novel sight.
  A Red Fox cut a haggard figure as it limped along a path, looking like it had seen better days. I wonder how many foxes the cemeteries hold/can support. I hope this one finds a way to make it through winter.
  I found a couple more interesting, and probably underbirded, spots in the NDN Cemetery, with plenty of visible migration going on. It was an enjoyable way to end the long day, watching my winged friends head south, one tree at a time.

Mount-Royal Cemetery + (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 4, 2017
Turkey Vulture-7
Cooper’s Hawk-(1)
Peregrine Falcon-(2 at U de M)
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-(1)
Northern Flicker-3
Least Flycatcher-(2)
Empid sp.-1 yellowy ball of confusion
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Red-eyed Vireo-1 heard
American Crow-3
Common Raven-(2)
Black-capped Chickadee-8 (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2
Red-breasted Nuthatch-(1)
Eastern Bluebird-5
American Robin-4
Grey Catbird-1 heard
Cedar Waxwing-45ish, with juveniles
Tennessee Warbler-2 (1)

Nashville Warbler-1
Yellow Warbler-1
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-7 (10)
Cape May Warbler-1 (1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 in the Jewish cemetery
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1
Blackpoll Warbler-(1)
Bay-breasted Warbler-2 (3)
Black-and-white Warbler-1 with a small warbler wave in the Jewish cemetery
American Redstart-1 male
Wilson’s Warbler-2 (2)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1
Northern Cardinal-4
Chipping Sparrow-40+ (20+)
Song Sparrow-4 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-1 probably heard
American Goldfinch-8 (3)

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