Sunrise Birding Walk – April 11th 2010

12 04 2010

Yellow-throated Warbler - Cynthia Cage

A rather quiet day early in spring passerine migration was definitely highlighted by the discovery of a Yellow-throated Warbler at Sherwood Island State Park on Sunday. After a few stops that had produced a smattering of new migrants: Pine Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Yellow-rumped Warbler, we decided to wing it over to SISP for a quick check of the park.

Upon leaving the cars at the Pavilion Parking lot both Katie Rice and I picked up a weird song coming from one of the pines. At first the impression was something almost akin to Black and White Warbler, but it definitely was not that and after a minute or two scanning I found myself looking slap bang at a Yellow-throated Warbler. The song was not quite as usual, with no real sign of the sliding descend to the song more just a flat series of notes (but without the wheeziness of B&W) – here’s the typical song from Cornell:Yellow-throated Warbler

As Yellow-throated is probably the rarest of our regularly occurring warblers, by regular I mean I think there were two reports last year and weirdly enough one of them was found by myself and Joe Bear on a Sunrise Birding Walk which Katie was on (blast from the past report here). This was a  fantastic find for Connecticut and for Sherwood Island State Park in particular, as I think it represents the first ever park record, which is pretty amazing when you consider how many species have shown up in the park over the years (see online park checklist here).

Everyone got good looks, including a couple of teenage girls who came over to see what all the excitement was about. The two girls were disappointed  they had left their bins at home but the group were happy to loan them a pair or two and probably enjoyed sharing this moment with them as much as they did seeing the bird itself – the world needs more young birders after all and dare I say female ones particularly! Cynthia captured a few decent record shots of the bird that likely indicate that it was of the dominica subspecies thanks to the yellow lores (it was also hanging around a pine after all) that you can see in the link to her blog here

After a few minutes with the bird sallying out to flycatch and singing constantly it clammed up and seemed to disappear, so we wandered into the park trying to both relocate it and see what else was around. Although we added Chipping and Swamp Sparrows and a couple of Great Egrets, the show had definitely been stolen by that wandering warbler. You can find out more about the bird and its general range on the Cornell website.

Trip species list (heard and seen):

Mute Swan, Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, Chipping Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Goldfinch, House Finch, House Sparrow.

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2 responses

12 04 2010
Catching Up with Sherwood Island « The Wilder Side of Westport

[…] among other birds passing through. Yesterday at the park, Luke Tiller, of Sunrise Birding, reported that he and a group spotted a Yellow-throated Warbler near the […]

3 05 2010
dawn

Excellent find! I see that Cynthia was with you on that walk..headed up north in June for the summer fall..hope to get a group together to bird

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