Two fantastic new birds for West Campus today at lunchtime.
F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c new birds.
Especially the warbler!
The Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina) is a little green, gray and white beauty, with a delicate pale eyeline and thin pointy bill. It is pretty uncommon in Connecticut, so Lynn and I were REALLY excited to find it, and have good views at that.
I did a quick google image search and found one photo to share. It's on Jan Axel's blog - Jan is a birder in Panama - he doesn't say whether the image is his or not, but please take a minute to follow the link, the third bird down the page.
Reading other people's descriptions of this bird, I notice the word drab a lot - the bird we saw was anything but drab. So, I searched images carefully to find one that showed the plumage in the way we observed it.
Now the Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius), the smaller and less-conspicuous cousin of our common Baltimore Oriole. This bird surprised me last year, because I didn't know that the adult male takes two years to reach its ultimate breeding plumage of rich chestnut and black. The first year male is yellow, with a black face and bib.
The bird Lynn and I saw today was one of these first-year males, and I recognized it only because I had such a difficult time puzzling it out when I first saw it last year.
one of many ornamental flowering crab-apple trees on campus
Many of these neotropical migrants are feeding in the flowering trees right now. They love the apple blossoms - I think they're plucking the stamens right out and eating them whole. I understand pollen is a pretty good source of protein.
Okay, guess I have to stop gushing and get around to posting the week's list:
May 2-6, 2011
Double-crested Cormorant, fly-over
Common Merganser, fly-over
Tennessee Warbler, Oreothlypis peregrina
Black-throated Green Warbler
Orchard Oriole, Icterus spurius
Forty two species for the week, with some regulars missing (no chipping sparrow, no downy woodpecker, no fish crow)
But, hey, did I tell you? We saw a TENNESSEE WARBLER today!!!