Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Home Again, Tuesday, May 7

My lawn looked like a hayfield with 6-8 inches of growth over the two week period that I was gone.  First I cleaned out my car of the detritus of birding in Florida as well as over the last four months.  Then, after the day warmed up, I cut my lawn.  First, I used my weed trimmer to reduce the height and then I mowed it.  I plan to get a neighbor's son to mow my lawn during my absence.  When I was a kid, I mowed lawns to earn money.  It helped me to develop a work ethic that has never gone away, so far at least.  Can't say that for sure about the rest of my retirement!  :>)  :>)

While I was outside working, I heard and saw Cape May Warbler, a beautiful breeding plumage male.  I usually see them this time of year in the local Norway Spruce trees, probably because they nest in the spruce belt in Canada.  I wonder if this was one of the many I saw at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, just last week?  Later, I heard a Nashville Warbler, first seen this year at the Convention Center on South Padre Island in Texas earlier in April.

When I finished the lawn and had a late lunch, I went birding for some local birds that I still need.  I went to Armeleder Park about 15 minutes from my house in search of Prothonotary Warbler, where they breed.  I got there just after a brief shower and the path to the river was muddy.  However, I heard at least three Prothonotary Warblers singing the emphatic "sweet sweet sweet" song and saw at least one that was making its call note, a new bird for the year.  The call note of a Prothonotary Warbler to my ear is like a mixture of the Louisiana Waterthrush and Northern Waterthrush calls.  I also heard a Nashville Warbler singing in the trees along the river at the canoe launch area.  Indigo Buntings and Warbling Vireos are back on territory and singing at Armeleder Park.  I first saw these in Texas this year.  There are a large number of Savannah Sparrows along the paths through this large grassy area, possibly going to breed there again, and a large number of White-crowned Sparrows, soon to leave for parts far north.  On my way home, I stopped at a location along Camargo Road, just around the corner from where I live, and listened for Wood Thrush.   Right on time, I heard the beautiful "ee-o-lay" song of the Wood Thrush, another new bird for the year.

Tomorrow, I will get my car serviced, finalize plans for Colorado, Texas, Arizona and pre- and post- Alaska birding.  Time is flying, as are the birds and so must this Jay.  Later this week, I will be at Magee Marsh, timing my arrival for the potential appearance of a Kirkland's Warbler.  I will be doing some local birding, and should reach 400 + before I get to Magee marsh and the boardwalk to finalize my eastern warbler list,..... hopefully.

Prothonotary Warbler and Wood Thrush makes the total 395.  No, that's not an error.  See discussion below. 

I discovered another error in the list.  I had not included Kentucky Warbler on the official list (or perhaps it got deleted somehow), seen and photographed at the Convention Center on South Padre Island in Texas on April 3, 2013.  I  will not go back and correct this error in all past postings.   I found this error when I looked at my eastern warbler list.  Details!  Details!  I thought that I left hem behind when I retired!!   :>)  :>)      

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