A Blackburnian Warbler comes down to the water.
What a great birding weekend! There were at least 25 warbler species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy, which included Northern Parula, Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, and Prothonotary Warbler. On Sunday a male Summer Tanager made a brief appearance.
Prothonotary Warbler perched in the sunlight.
Sparse foliage is providing birders with fantastic views of birds; some of the warblers were foraging low or even on the ground. I got kind of used to seeing Prothonotary Warblers along the creek corridor, but apparently they finally left Saturday night for more suitable habitat. It's also possible they moved to the north side of the conservancy where it's a bit more swampy. I'll probably go look there at the end of May or early June.
While the tree canopy is still pretty bare, more wildflowers are blooming and decorating the forest floor. There are thousands of Purple Violets, a few large patches of Virginia Bluebells and White Trillium. We were somewhat surprised to find Trout Lilies; the first I've ever seen at the conservancy.
"The meadow glows with buttercups in the spring, the hedges are green, the woods lovely; but these are not to be enjoyed in their full significance unless you have traversed the same places when bare, and have watched the slow fulfillment of the flowers."
~ Richard Jefferies
All images © 2011 Mike McDowell