Mark, what a fabulous report of the fall warbler migration at Sapsucker
Woods!  In my yard yesterday (I live 0.8 miles south of the lab near the
intersection of Hanshaw and Freese Roads), I also saw a Bay-breasted
Warbler in plumage more typical of a spring male.  Yes, eBird flagged my
sighting, too.  I was just as surprised as you at that plumage as I had not
remembered seeing it on fall birds before.  Just goes to show how much we
have to learn about these birds.  Do some of these birds breed more locally
than we realized?  Do they all molt consistently before, during, after
migration.  Do they migrate to some particular lat/long to undergo molt.
Are they more variable in when/where they molt than we realized, or are
there just some oddballs among their species?  Many cool questions emerge
from these sightings.  This stimulates me to put as much information into
my eBird reports as possible (age/sex, breeding codes, comments, etc.).

Other warblers at my house yesterday were Canada, Nashville, and
Black-and-White.  Today I noticed a Wilson's among busily feeding birds.

Thanks for your report.

Jody W. Enck, PhD
Conservation Social Scientist, and
Founder of the Sister Bird Club Network

On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 11:52 AM, Mark Chao <> wrote:

> 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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