Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Ends

Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers are plentiful, and some American Redstarts remain, but the other warblers are to our north now. I think it's fair to say May is the month birders enjoy the most. In many ways this particular May will be remembered as one of the best spring migrations I've ever witnessed. For starters, I recorded a personal monthly record for number of species at Pheasant Branch (since I've kept track via eBird):

May 2011: 131
May 2010: 127
May 2009: 111
May 2008: 118
May 2007: 114

Though I didn't encounter a Hooded Warbler at the conservancy this spring, I tallied 32 warbler species along the creek corridor. Numbers aside, from the pure pleasure of birding with binoculars, close-up views of warblers made this May stand apart from others. The last time I saw anything like this was the cold snap of May 12th, 2002, but that lasted only a day. Again, cold and wet weather made it possible to have such spectacular views, but I realize birds have to take whatever nature hands them, so migration was probably more difficult than usual.

Common Yellowthroat © 2011 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. This May at Pheasant Branch was truly amazing. I had so many close looks at many different beautiful and rare warbler species.