Sunday, May 13, 2012

Golden-winged Warbler and more

Golden-winged Warbler, Rail trail-Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Golden-winged Warbler, Rail trail-Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Golden-winged Warbler, Rail trail-Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Yet another day in May and another set of good birds.  Leading the list of great birds was a male Golden-winged Warbler.  Although the species did nest in western Massachusetts in the past they have been driven out by their closely related cousins, the Blue-winged Warbler.  They have become quite rare anywhere in Massachusetts so seeing an adult male was very nice.  I ran across the bird by a bit of luck.  I happened to end my morning on the rail trail and almost left after a short time as it seemed quiet and there was a lot of activity (nice day on a weekend, not unexpected).  I checked the western mass birders facebook page and noticed someone had posted that they chased a reported Golden-winged off station road but only found a Blue-winged singing a Golden-winged song.  I decided to try to get some photos and video of another odd Blue-winged Warbler.  After a bit of searching I heard a Golden-winged like song near Hop Brook.  The call was repeated only a few times.  I searched the area and came up empty for quite awhile.  I decided to head further up the trail toward Amherst and heard the bird again.  I squeaked a couple times and a bird flew in.  Instead of an odd Blue-winged I had a male Golden-winged!  I fired off several photos and got a short video of the bird giving an odd Golden-winged song.  I posted the sighting back to the facebook page and gave Tom Gagnon a call to get the word out for anyone that would be interested.  I watched the bird for several minutes and then lost track of it.  Not sure if others re found the bird or not.  Also in the area was a silent Wilson's Warbler as well as my second Willow Flycatcher of the year.   To add to the fact that I was lucky this day I actually read the post wrong and was actually looking for the bird in the wrong location.  The Blue-winged singing a Golden-winged song was actually at least a half mile away from where I was.  If I had got the directions right I would never have come across the Golden-winged...very lucky day for me.

Tennessee Warbler, UMASS Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Yellow Warbler, UMASS Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Wood Duck, UMASS Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Rail trail-Amherst, MA, May 13, 2012
Before the stop at the rail trail I started my day at UMASS and caught up with a few more first of year birds including a Eastern Wood-Pewee and Willow Flycatcher.  There was more migration in evidence but many of the birds appeared to be on territory.  Another notable sighting was finding three Tennessee Warbler's feeding in the same area there at UMASS.  My other stop of the morning was at Lake Warner Conservation Area where I caught up with my first Blackpoll Warbler of the season.

During the afternoon as I did work around the yard I added more nice birds for the day including a Black-billed Cuckoo, Green Heron and seven Common Nighthawks.

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