I'd head out this past rainy Sunday morning in search for a few target birds. My first stop of Oakhurst for the Grasshopper Sparrow and it wouldn't take long for me to hear its chip note nearby. After waiting about 5 minutes of so it would finally to its "tick tock tazeeeee" song which was good enough for me as I didn't want to over pish it as to not stress the poor little guy out. Next would be Uxbridge Community Garden considering I was curious what would be around for spring migration and there wouldn't be anything new but did get probably my best photo ever of a Bobolink.
Next would be Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge for the 2nd year Orchard Oriole Beth and Paul had the day prior and there'd be lots of birds around including a Baltimore as soon as I got out of my car. After wondering around the maze a while I'd hear what I thought was the Orchard and be thrilled to see I was right once I made my way out of the maze.
Er....Um....Not the best photos as you can see but I'll take it as it was starting to rain again. I'd go back home to change my socks and put on waterproof boots and head back out as there was one bird I still had to get which was Magnolia Warbler and I was getting a complex considering Nancy had them at Riverbend on Saturday and couldn't get one despite putting in a lot of effort while looking for the Orchard Oriole.
I'd strike out there but be over whelmed with the numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers as they'd be everywhere along with the American Redstarts. Unwilling to admit defeat I'd head to Butler Farms where I'd see a Blue-winged Warbler hovering which was a first for me and was happy to get a photo of it. Soon enough it was time to go home for a bit.
I needed to run an errand late Sunday afternoon in West Boylston so decided to stop at Kristoff Pig Farm hoping for a Magnolia there as well as the hopeful Ruffed Grouse I flushed there two years ago and would strike out on both but did pick up my FOY Indigo Bunting.
I'd get an email from Alan today telling me he got a Magnolia at Brierly today so off I went after work hoping for the same luck. Yellow-rumped Wablers would be everywhere again with the sun in such a position they'd look almost yellow underneath at times which made for some serious birding with there being so many and them all being so quick!
Of course I didn't mind much considering they were all singing at once and I think I can finally say I have their song forever imprinted in my memory so appreciated the lesson. I'd have my ears open for the Magnolia though and thought I could hear one here and there but was never 100% confident with the combined singing of the Yellow-rumped and redstarts so would be thrilled when I found it by itself in a shrub.
Swoon. Seriously, this is one warbler that makes me weak in the knees with its loveliness. It would even sit still long enough for me to savor it with my bins and attempt the photo above. Should note I also go a FOY Red-shouldered Hawk Alan had spotted there earlier in the week. Little bugger threw me for a serious loop though considering it was the size and shape of a Red-shouldered as it was close enough for me to spot it perched nearby and I did this naked eye. I'd be looking at it "face on" which gave me a good look at it's body and heavily striped chest and buffiness around the face but it still had its juve plumage from last year which threw me off as I've never encountered a RS like that and had no idea they held onto their juve plumage as long as they do. Posted on the Hawk Watch site on FB and from what I read, they indeed do so you learn something new everyday!