At least some of the warblers from yesterday’s impressive influx remain in
Sapsucker Woods on Monday – two BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS, at least two
AMERICAN REDSTART.  I also saw a juvenile BROAD-WINGED HAWK circling over
the main pond.

On each of my three recent visits to the sanctuary, the hotspot for
warblers has been along the road and the East Trail, between the gated
trailheads and 91 Sapsucker Woods Road.  I think that the noise of teeming
family groups of titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches might be attracting
incoming migrants.  It is definitely worthwhile to follow your ears to the
flocks here.  Be ready for swarms of voracious cloth-penetrating mosquitoes.

Yesterday’s Bay-breasted Warbler got an eBird quality-control prompt, but
today’s did not.  Still, today’s birds were actually much more surprising
to me because of their plumages, which looked plainly like those of a
spring adult male (solid black face, bay crown and throat, contrasting
cream-colored neck patch) and a spring adult female (muted black face,
trace of chestnut along throat down to sides, also with contrasting pale
neck patch).  I don’t recall previously seeing Bay-breasted Warblers
looking like this in fall – especially not the one in breeding male
plumage.  Given that yesterday’s bird had the more expected greenish face
and back, I feel certain that there have been at least three individual
Bay-breasted Warblers in this area over these two days.

By the way -- since yesterday, people have collectively found at least 18
warbler species in Sapsucker Woods – Bay-breasted (1 adult M, 1 apparent
adult F, 1 first-year), Cape May (1 adult M, 1 first-year F), Blackburnian
(multiple individuals across full range of plumages, including adult males
in near-peak brightness), Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, Black-throated
Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, American Redstart,
Blue-winged, Tennessee (1 adult M, 1 first-year), Nashville, Northern
Parula, Ovenbird, Hooded, Canada (both sexes), and Common Yellowthroat.
What a great start to this season of songbird migration!

Mark Chao


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