2008 International Migratory Bird Day

indigo bunting in the rainIt was 46 degrees and raining when I awoke at 6:00 a.m., but the birds sang anyway, especially the two male Baltimore orioles competing for a female in our yard. I managed to count 19 species from our veranda and front porch before breakfast, including an eastern kingbird that had first appeared at the edge of First Field on Thursday. Later in the morning, carrying an umbrella, trying to protect my binoculars from the rain, keeping my feet dry, and staying warm, all while counting birds, was no fun. However, I added 15 more species to my list, including many singing indigo buntings in the field and wood thrushes in the woods. Worm-eating warblers, ovenbirds, black-throated green warblers, hooded warblers and even a black-throated blue warbler also sang. About the only birds I saw were those in the fields. The rest I counted by ear.

After a rest and a change into dry clothes and boots, I went more happily out in the sunny afternoon. Down our road I walked to get Acadian flycatchers and common grackles. Then I climbed up to the former clearcut where I hit the jackpot — a migratory flock of warblers that included many American redstarts. I also heard both a cerulean warbler and a northern parula. By the time I reached home, at 5:30 p.m., I had 55 species — a respectable total for a solo performance. Then, after dinner, I looked at my mertensia patch for a ruby-throated hummingbird and there he was. And, right on schedule, our resident whippoorwill called outside at 8:45 p.m. As usual, the eastern towhees (13) and red-eyed vireos (12) were the most abundant species or at least singers. Hooded warblers won the warbler contest at eight, closely followed by American redstart (7). Wood thrushes (8) scarlet tanagers (8) and indigo buntings (7) also made a good showing, and I did have many wonderful sightings of the tanagers and buntings.

© Marcia Bonta

Compare last year’s IMBD report.


About Dave Bonta

I'm the author of several books of poetry, including Ice Mountain: An Elegy, Breakdown: Banjo Poems, and Odes to Tools, but my real work is at my long-running literary blog Via Negativa, where I'm currently creating erasure poems from every entry of the Diary of Samuel Pepys. I'm also the editor and publisher of Moving Poems, a blog showcasing the best poetry videos on the web.

Posted on May 12, 2008, in birds, spring arrivals, weather. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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