Kentucky Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, a Memorable Day, May 18, 2013

Olive-sided Flycatcher, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, May 18, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas).

Olive-sided Flycatcher, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, May 18, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas).

At 4:30 this morning, the bird forecasting radar was lit up from the Rocky Mountains eastward with hardly a gap anywhere. The simple interpretation of this means migration was in full swing and birds-on-the-move would probably be found everywhere. I was about to leave my house in Morris Township at 5:30 a.m. for a birding trip in north and western Morris County. I stepped onto the driveway to measure the dawn chorus. First, a Black-throated Blue Warbler sang, then a Tennessee Warbler, and then a Swainson’s Thrush. 65 minutes and 12 warbler species later, I was still standing in the driveway observing the great migration phenomena developing before me. Yellow-rumped Warblers dominated but Northern Parulas, American Redstarts, Magnolia, Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Canada and Black-throated Blue and Green Warblers made their presence known, as well.

A text message from Simon Lane prompted me to travel to the Great Swamp NWR to view an Olive-sided Flycatcher he found (pictured above). From there, Simon and I worked the old Meyersville Road wilderness access trail from both the north and south ends. The highlight was a Kentucky Warbler at the northern end of the trail, briefly seen and briefly heard. Tennessee, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Blackpoll and Canada Warblers were among the 20+ species of warblers observed. An Empidonax flycatcher was viewed but not heard and listed as a Traill’s. This was slightly north of the Alder Flycatcher reported yesterday and may still be there (which was at the south end of the trail, not the north as originally reported). The Alder Flycatcher was heard later in the day (S. Lane). Least Flycatcher was on Pleasant Plains Rd. (J. Klizas). A Gray-cheeked Thrush was on Pleasant Plains Road earlier in the morning (S. Lane). The Great Swamp is generally not a warbler migration hotspot with lots of diversity. Today was exceptional and memorable.

From David Bernstein:
I had a singing Acadian Flycatcher this morning at the Great Swamp Wildlife Observation Center. About fifty yards down the board walk that leaves left from the parking lot on the left hand side of the boardwalk. I sat on the boardwalk for twenty minutes watching and listening to him. Still there when I left at 7:30.

From Robert Skrabal:
Glenhurst Meadows
May 18, 2013 8:45am-11:57am
4 Magnolia Warblers
2 Wilson’s Warblers
2 Canada Warblers
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Hooded Warbler
1 Parula
A bunch of Yellow and Common Yellowthroats
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
Also heard a couple Prairie and Blue-winged Warblers, 1 Veery and 1 Wood Thrush.
2 Yellow-billed Cuckoos
2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
2 Purple Martins

From Tim Vogel:
Friday 5/17 – Tourne sparrow fields
Bobolink 1, first in 2 years
Yellow billed Cuckoo 2
Swainson’s Thrush 1

Saturday 5/18
Berkshire Valley Rd
Winter Wren – singing
Blue winged Warbler
Louisana Waterthrush
Lake Denmark Rd. power cut
Blue winged warbler
Chestnut sided Warbler
I wanted to work this area but the trucks and equipment arrived promptly at 8:30 and I left – Tim Vogel, Denville

Mt. Hope Lake

Both resident Bald Eagles sat outside of the nest this afternoon. Nothing was seen in the nest. This may mean a second successive nesting failure for this pair at this location.

14 Ruddy Ducks continue on the lake. 135 Mute Swans are currently present as their numbers continue to grow through the season. 149 in June, 2012 is the high count for Morris County at this location. 1 Trumpeter Swan is residing at the lake for the past month. Do not get excited – this is probably an expatriate from the Bernardsville captive group and is not considered a truly wild (i.e. countable) individual. In reality, it is anyone’s guess where this swan came from.

Trumpeter Swan, Mt. Hope Lake, NJ, May 18, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

Trumpeter Swan, Mt. Hope Lake, NJ, May 18, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

And currently in bloom in the Great Swamp NWR:

Iris versicolor, Great Swamp NWR, May 18, 2013 (Photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Iris versicolor, Great Swamp NWR, May 18, 2013 (Photo by Jonathan Klizas).

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