Flycatchers, Mourning Warbler, etc., May 17, 2013

Migratory restlessness, or Zugunruhe, is in full swing. Even with westerly to northwesterly winds, birds were on the move throughout the mocosocoBirds region today.

Chimney Rock: Olive-sided Flycatcher, 100+ Cedar Waxwings, 14 warbler species including Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers, and this was in the late afternoon (Jeff Elllerbusch).
A Mourning Warbler appeared for the second consecutive day this morning (John J. Collins).

From Andy Lucas:
Jonathan – The birds were a bit quiet at Griggstown Grassland Preserve this afternoon but there was a singing Eastern Meadowlark near the beginning of the blue trail and a Canada Warbler poking around in the understory where the blue trail follows the wooded area. The Willow Flycatchers are also back.

I also had two very close countersinging Swainson’s Thrushes in my backyard in Griggstown this evening.

Chimney Rock had Cedar Waxwings, several American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers, one each Black-throated green Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Scarlet Tanager, Pewee, Blue-headed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo.

The Fisherman’s trail at Lord Stirling Park had heard-only Black-billed Cuckoo and Prothonotary Warbler. Also, Red-shouldered and Cooper’s Hawks and a female Wood Duck escorting 15 ducklings.

From Mike Newlon:
The north end of Old Meyersville Road, Great Swamp NWR had a heard-only Yellow-billed Cuckoo and an Alder Flycatcher, about 120 yards in from the parking area, immediately past the first small clearing on the left, where there is a downed tree on the right side. The bird was not carrying food or nesting material but seemed unwilling to leave a small area by the trail. Sang four times in the hour I spent there, a rough “feebeeooo”. Called more frequently, a mellow “wheat”.

From Simon Lane:
Mourning Warbler near the beginning of the wilderness trail at the end of White Bridge Rd., Great Swamp NWR in the early evening. Later: Virginia Rail, Sora, American Bittern and Common Nighthawks at the Wildlife Observation Center.

From Leslie Webster:
I was delighted to hear a White-crowned Sparrow singing near the Loantaka Way parking lot at Loantaka Brook Reservation. I only had a short time for my warbler hot spot this morning and observed/heard Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Cape May, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped (at least on of which was Myrtle), and Black-throated Green. The Chestnut-sided popped up and sang a song that went way beyond the textbook version! There was also at least one lingering White-throated Sparrow.

From Randy Little:
Hi Jonathan – This week’s “Friday Morning Walk” at the Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary (Behardsville) was highlighted by several Swainson’s Thrushes and a Canada Warbler. The former were quite lethargic, apparently resting after night migration and presumably an early morning breakfast. The Canada Warbler was singing sporadically as it foraged, but its song was IMHO far short of its characteristic breeding territorial song.

We also watched a pair of anxious Louisiana Waterthrushes flitting from rock to rock and bobbing nervously with food in their beaks, leading me to conclude that they probably had nestlings somewhere under the bank on “our” side of the Passaic, where the upstream portion of the River Trail closely approaches the river.

The Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, whose nest I had discovered 3 weeks ago during construction, were still incubating. I expect they will be feeding nestlings very soon.
Good birding, Randy

On the evening of May 16 there was a movement of Common Nighthawks as witnessed at Glenhurst Meadows with at least 29 (J. Ellerbusch) and 22 in Chatham Township (S. Lane).

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