Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 2017 Has Started Out As the Best Spring Migration Over the Past Five Years

                                                                  Least Flycatcher


                                                                   Forster's Terns

                                                             Female Yellow Warbler

                                                                Greater Yellowlegs

                                                                 Lesser Yellowlegs

                                                                 Clay-colored Sparrow

                                                              Male Orchard Oriole

                                                                    Least Flycatcher

                                                                  Nashville Warbler

                                                             Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

                                                          Black-crowned Night-Heron

                                                                   Cedar Waxwing

Green Heron

                                                                    Canada Gosling


                                                                  Great Blue Heron

05-02 through 05-06-17

Cedar Waxwings have arrived to take advantage of buds, fruiting flowers, and the multitudes of
mulberries, which have begun ripening.  I know this, as I have been watching the berries and actually ate a couple of them right beside some Yellow Warblers.  Another tidbit for you is that mulberry bushes become mulberry trees in just a few short years, which is why you can get hordes of fruit-
eating birds.  Try it and you'll see for yourselves when you have an increase in waxwings and warblers.  Since the Middle Atlantic and a few northeastern states are still on the chilly side, some of
these birds have been with us a little longer.  Our mornings have still been a little cooler than normal, but I just as soon have these photo opportunities as long as possible.  Not only that, there is a remote
possibility that if these birds are held up too long, they might just decide to start breeding here.

Monday, which was May Day, was the coolest morning of the week, which we touched on last photo posting, and that was a relatively good morning for migratory birds.  Thursday the 4th was an outstanding morning.  I believe I had 62 species on that day, and they were practically dropping out of the trees.  Warblers were quite plentiful, Clay-colored Sparrows were everywhere, and shorebirds were still enjoying puddles, especially the Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Our first empidonax flycatchers, the Least Flycatcher, was plentiful and a  allowing for some excellent photo ops.  A juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron rested for a short time at Heron Cove.  This bird wasn't driven out like an adult would be.  It wasn't seated far from a breeding aged Green
Heron, as a matter of fact.

Birding was still good, but slowed up a little at the end of the week, but there were a few good things
that still came along, like three Red-headed Woodpeckers at Boomer Creek, one of which managed to grace Boomer Lake proper, and we have a pair of beautiful Great-crested Flycatchers eying the largest snag on the north end of the lake.  They lost the thinner snag at the wood's edge last year, but I'm pleased to note that they were not deterred by that.

We have peaked with eight Forster's Terns for the past several days and there are still plenty of Franklin's Gulls passing through the area.

Our Bell's Vireos have also returned to their nesting grounds in our area, and one is already courting
a young lady...

Due to the fact that conditions have been quite good this spring with plenty of water, there is plenty of food for the birds, and we should have a wonderful crop of rough leafed dogwood berries in short order for discriminating palates.  Migratory action is still going on, so keep your bins and spotting scopes handy and see what else we can find in Payne county during the spring of 2017, which is the best conditions that I have noted over the past five years.