Compiled by Eamon Corbett
The migrants are back! It’s been a late spring here in New York, but it’s finally arrived. April has banished winter for good, and the woods are beginning to fill with the sounds of returning songbirds. The signs have trickled in over the course of the month—the first mourning cloak butterfly; the first phoebe; first pine warbler; palm; then a six butterfly day; a six warbler day. Before long April will give way to the migratory madness of May, but this month we celebrate the long-awaited return of spring.
On Flight of the Scrub Jay, Alex Burdo gives an overview of the returning migrants in his part of Connecticut this April, including a lovely streamside singer, the Louisiana Waterthrush.
Making my way through the forest, I was surprised to hear a loud boat of song, seemingly from right behind me. Being the huge warbler fan that I am, I knew who the source of the singing was almost instantly, and it didn’t take me long to find it, perched around ten feet off the ground in a tall shrub.
Speaking of Waterthrushes, on Two Birders and Binoculars, John Mark Simmons gives us tips on how to separate the Louisiana Waterthrush from its somewhat more streaky and yellower cousin.
Spring has finally arrived once again! For some birders, this is the most enjoyable part of the year. All the birds are singing with full volume and they are in their best plumage… With the massive invasion of Warblers, the Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes come along and can cause some confusion in the field.
On John’s Birding Blog, John Shamgochian regales us with the tale of an adult King Eider in the Cape Cod Canal:
Feathers dazzled the eyes of the pale-necks: blue, green, orange, white, black; he was a grandiose sight indeed and he knew it. His majestic sails curled with pride. He was a gentle bird but not a humble one. He took full responsibility for the glimmer of his feathers. he gloated and all the common folks looked at him and said "he is so beautiful that I am sure he has a long Latin name". He was King of the canal.
While American birders can certainly boast about our more colorful warblers, Bill of Bill’s Birding proves to us that the old world can hold its own in terms of colorful migrants with his photos of an absolutely gorgous Bluethroat. That’s certainly a species I wouldn’t mind having show up in New York this year!
With 20 mph winds blowing about, and my hands physically shaking, it was quite hard to get a sharp image. To get anywhere near enough stability, it was a matter of lying flat out with the lens resting on the grass, practically looking up at one of the most stunning birds I've ever seen. Totally worth the slog to get there, and without a doubt one of my most memorable encounters yet...