Saturday, May 12, 2018

Southern Specialty

Migration at the shore seems to be hit or miss lately. I remember back in the 1990's that every time I made the trip to Higbee beach, there were birds in spring. Nowadays it seems like most days are pretty unremarkable at that site. Today was no exception. Peanut and I showed up at 6:30 AM and walked the fields all the way back to the pond. Hardly any birds were singing or seen. A single Chat was singing away and attracting attention but that was about it. We left and headed back to The Villas to see if any birds made it to Cox Hall Creek. Nope. No bird singing in the parking lot. No birds singing along the trail. Luckily, Harvey saved me by calling to say that he was going to see the Swainson's Warbler that has been seen at Cape May Point. The bird has been here for a few weeks but getting to see it is tricky. 

Swainson's Warblers are southern birds. They are drab colored skulkers that walk around on the ground and hide in the underbrush. Many birders hear Swainson's but do not see them. They stay below the Mason-Dixon line. I've been lucky enough to see one in Texas and hear many and see one in North Carolina. Today, Harvey and I went to find the celebrity bird and were really lucky. This poor guy is singing his heart out for a gal but sadly won't get one to respond. Not only did we get to hear his song but he perched in a tree for us too. 

Swainson's Warbler

Lonely boy singing
The photos aren't great because the bird was backlit by the sun but I assure you that many birders came out of those woods with NO photo at all.