This spring season is the slowest evolving migration season that I can
remember in a long time in Broome Co. (20 years at least). I basically am
seeing the same warbler species that I had May 2-3: Black-throated blues,
greens, blackburnian, ovenbird, nashville, northern and louisiana
waterthrush, black and white, palm, prairie, yellow-rumped, blue-winged,
yellow, chestnut-sided, northern parula and american redstarts.  These
species arrived between May 1-5 and are still around and in most cases
really good numbers I am happy to say. Many of them are on their breeding
grounds now too.  Yesterday, May 11th, I had 102 species of birds in
Broome County with no new neotropical migrants which is crazy! I also had
102 species on May 3rd many of the same species!

Still lacking (or very scarce) in Broome Co. are: cape may, bay-breasted,
tennessee, hooded, magnolia, canada, wilson's, mourning and of course
blackpoll warblers. I still am not seeing very many indigo buntings yet,
just a few here and there. I have yet to get a scarlet tanager although
there are a few reports here and there in Broome co. Also lacking or very
scarce are red-eyed vireos. I have yet to get one with a few reports
trickling in sporadically from others. On the other hand, blue-headed
vireos are very common this year in Broome Co. Is it because they are not
be drowned out by the red-eyed vireo's incessant singing?

I have been off since May 2nd on my annual birding vacation and its like
the "groundhog day" of birding: same species different day. But it has been
a lot of fun with such great species that we have! I have seen and really
enjoyed blackburnian, black-throated blues and greens, prairie and others
numerous times with great views. I can't complain about that! Today I had a
close encounter with a blackburnian warbler. The bird was foraging fairly
low in a norway spruce tree at Greenwood Park in Broome co. I was very
still and the bird came within about 6 feet of me. It was neat watching the
warbler, naked eye, forage and finding small insects to eat on a windy and
bitter cold day. It was 38F with winds gusting to 25 mph at least. The bird
was also singing occasionally and didn't seem to care about the brutally
cold conditions. With the lack of leaves on the trees, I have gotten
spectacular views of many of these warbler species which often is not the
case as leaves unfold fast in more normal Mays.

After today May 12th, conditions in upstate NY are going to change. Warmer
weather is on the way and yes we are going to see southerly winds
especially Wednesday night and Thursday night and a few days next week. I
think migrants are going to arrive fast and furious so expect a very active
period from May 14-21 and even beyond for our beloved neotropical migrants.
I have noticed that our shorebird species are arriving pretty much on-time
and not really affected by the cold May. In any event, the next week to 10
days, I predict is going to be a lot of fun. I hope you can get out and
enjoy the finest time of the year!!

Dave Nicosia


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