May started after a week of Black-throated Blue and Cape May Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Acadian Flycatchers. 3 days in, I knew migration was in full swing. One morning, I woke up to a song I'd never heard in person before, a "Sweezy Sweezy Sweezy". I immediately recognized it as the song of an overdue lifer. I was simply hoping it wasn't an American Redstart. I searched from 7:30-8:00, but instead of locating the singer, I found two Bay-breasted Warblers and a Northern Parula. Slightly after the 8:13 mark, I saw a handsomely marked bird fly up onto a dead branch more-or-less 5ft from me and start nuthatching around. I quickly snapped some less-than-perfect photos with my camera. I finally observed my lifer Black-and-White Warbler! The worms that morning must have been everywhere. Shortly after this encounter, the American Redstarts and Black-throated Blue Warblers started to sing and even a Common Yellowthroat was present.
|Well I did say less-than-perfect...|
Two days later, I was out in the yard, very early in the morning as usual, when the sharp note of a warbler caught my attention. I noticed a pair of warblers flitting through a juniper. Of course, my interest was piqued and I had to know what these two unknown migrants were. After snapping a few backlit shots, I noticed the bright legs of the birds and immediately knew they were Blackpoll Warblers. Later, when reviewing the, again, less-than-perfect photos, I concluded there were two males and one female. I was content with the record photos I had (fortunately in focus, but horridly backlit and noisy), but I knew I could do better. So I went out that afternoon and found myself to be in luck - the Blackpolls were still there. I was happy to find a female Redstart hanging around with them as well. Throughout the day they stayed in the vicinity, especially near my chestnut tree and I was able to take some better-than-less-than-perfect photos. This wasn't a lifer for me, but a great experience!
After the Blackpoll Warblers, migration slowed down dramatically, with mostly Red-eyed Vireos and Redstarts visiting the yard. By the end of May, all the Summer birds were out in full force.
Butterfly lifers I observed during May include: a Broad-winged Skipper at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, and a Summer Azure in my yard.
My yearlist currently stands at 140, with Northern Rough-winged Swallow being my latest yeartick.
June hasn't been too exciting. I will probably not cover June, maybe just an individual adventure. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!