Brown Thrasher photo by Paul Fusco
Since my last postings about the northbound migration of wetland and other birds a slew of new migrants have arrived and passed through. Winds from the southwest this week have been very favorable for moving birds this way. Clear periods some nights have really helped, too. On those nights I heard multiple flight call notes coming from the sky when I was out. Migrant birds seen around White Memorial this week have spanned the taxonomic gamut from loons to finches. Bantam Lake has produced a Red-throated Loon and Long-tailed Duck. Single American Bitterns have been seen at Pt. Folly and Mallard Marsh. Hawks passing over the Property included a Merlin and 2 American Kestrels. Eastern Kingbirds have appeared at Mallard Marsh, Little Pond, and Butternut Brook. Great Crested Flycatchers have been seen at Pt. Folly and around the Museum Area. I saw a Cliff Swallow at Mallard Marsh on Monday, 4/25. A Brown Thrasher was a really nice find along the Little Pond Trail on Friday, 4/22. Warbler numbers and diversity have increased daily, with Yellow-rumped being by far and away the most abundant. We've also seen a lot of Pine, Palm, and Black-and-White Warblers. Yellow Warblers have been seen in low numbers so far at Icehouse and Bantam R. Marshes and Pt. Folly. They will be abundant by next week. I had single Blue-winged Warblers near Chickadee Bridge and at Pine Island Marsh on Tuesday, 4/26. Jim Kandefer had a Blackburnian Warbler along the Little Pond Trail that same day. Northern Waterthrushes were seen along the Interpretive and Lake Trails and in the Pine Island Ditches. A Louisiana Waterthrush was seen along the Bantam River. Our first Common Yellowthroat of the year appeared at Little Pond yesterday, 4/27. White-throated Sparrows have increased in number daily, while the numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos have decreased as they moved north. Purple Finches have been much more common than average for over a week as they stop to bulk-up at bird feeders before continuing northward. This is just a short summary of the migrant birds that have been around White Memorial in the past week. I hope it helps the birders reading this blog to come out and see them for themsleves.