With the helpful guidance of many of you who responded to my query, I was able 
to bird Howland Island on Thursday, after a stop to see the prothonotary 
warbler at Armitage Road (a lifer! Yay!).  I did not see the same numbers of 
warblers that had been reported a few days earlier (no Cape Mays, for example), 
but saw many exciting birds, including 3 ceruleans (and heard at least seven 
others that I couldn’t spot), 1 blackburnian, 1 magnolia, dozens of redstarts 
and yellow warblers, warbling (2), yellow-throated (1) and red-eyed (1) vireos, 
Baltimore orioles (3), rose-breasted grosbeaks (2), tree swallows (4), eastern 
bluebird (1), indigo bunting (1), and great crested flycatcher (2).

A few instructions for those who haven’t been to the area and are interested in 
seeing ceruleans, in particular.  I parked by the Howland Island Road bridge, 
then walked over and took the first path/road on the right.  This path leads 
first to Lost Pond, where I heard the first two ceruleans.  I kept going, 
always staying to the right (per the instructions in “Birding the Cayuga Lake 
Basin”).  I spotted the first cerulean with the help of Katherine Graham and 
Kathleen Sheffield (?), high up in the treetops.  Most of the ceruleans seemed 
to be quite high up, and it was often difficult to spot them.  They move around 
a lot, often from tree to tree, even more so than other warblers, it seemed.  
Keep looking up and listening for their song. I finally got my best view up by 
wood duck lake, when one of the ceruleans flew to a tree right over the path.

The guidebook indicates that you will eventually see a sign for “Wood Duck 
Way,” at which you should turn left.  I missed the sign, and am not sure if 
it’s still there.  I used google maps to check my location, and ended up doing 
a slightly longer loop by heading up toward Cook Lake, then made a left on the 
grassy track heading south toward the Howland Island bridge. This is a more 
open path, where I saw the bluebird and nesting tree sparrows (these are also 
in full view by the Howland Island bridge).  By that time it was close to 
mid-day, and i didn’t hear any ceruleans on this stretch.

Thank you to everyone who provided helpful advice!


Sandra Babcock

Sent from my Ipad


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