Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity Preserve, May 13th 2012

- By Susan Danskin

On Sunday May 13th, I was joined for a glorious day of birding at Lindsay Parsons by Rob Warfield, Klaus Apel, and Judy Thoroughman. I don't think we could have picked a nicer day. There was none of the predicted rain and the temperature remained perfect all day. An added bonus… not a single tick in sight!

Most of the birds we heard we were eventually able to see although some eluded our sight. Unfortunately a few of also eluded identification.

On the west side of the tracks (blue trail from entrance to railroad bed), Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Blue-winged, and Prairie Warblers; Common Yellowthroats; Indigo Buntings; and Field Sparrows were common throughout their appropriate habitats. Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos both gave us nice looks as well as an almost constant serenade.

Along the boundary between shrub and field, we got decent looks at a Brown Thrasher but did not hear it sing.

At the big pond, as we alternated between watching a Solitary Sandpiper and scanning the pond, Rob noticed a mature Bald Eagle in a tree on the south side of the pond. As Judy watched it fly away behind the trees to the west of the pond, she came across a Belted Kingfisher perched on an limb.

Along what I think of as Warbler Way LP (as opposed to Warbler Way Howland Island), we spotted a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and watched as a male chased her from her perch.

At the bridge just before the railroad tracks, we watched a pair of Eastern Phoebe fly-catching and tail-flicking. I had a quick glimpse of a Hooded Warbler but no one else got on it before it disappeared.

On the other other side of the tracks (left side of blue trail) we heard but did not see Junco and Black & White Warbler. At Celia's Cup we were stymied by a song none of us could pinpoint with 100% certainty. To protect our honor, I won't even mention all of the possibilities we ran through. Needless to say, whatever species it was, it proved to be our nemesis.

On the other side of the tracks (red trail), some of us finally got a glimpse of a Wood Thrush after listening to them sing all morning. Scarlet Tanagers were singing from their hiding places at the tops of the now well-leafed out trees and Ovenbirds were singing from their equally obscured locations lower in the trees.

At the intersection of the red trail and the railroad bed, we watched three not-so-Solitary Sandpipers in the barely-there pond and a Baltimore Oriole from high in the trees.

Leaving he Preserve with time to spare, we decided not to trudge through the forest on the slim hope of hearing and/or seeing a Worm-Eating Warbler. Instead we headed over to the Fire House and had great looks at Eastern Kingbird, American Redstart, and Magnolia Warbler.

On the way home we took a slight detour up a road I cannot name to listen for Black-throated Green and then detoured again to the intersection of Sandbank and King Roads to watch and listen to the aerial displays of Bobolink. Funny how whenever they land, it seems to be just on the other side of the rise. We did not hear any Grasshopper Sparrow while we were there.