Despite my abysmal record of success at finding target birds this year, I 
visited Doodletown Road today hoping to get the Cerulean and Kentucky warblers 
that had eluded me thus far.   I arrived early, only to be swarmed with 
mosquitos and flies.  There was plenty of birdsong, but I had to keep moving,  
not the ideal strategy for finding treetop ceruleans, or ventriloquistic 
hoodeds.  I spend a miserable hour or two without seeing anything notable, save 
a yellow throated vireo.  Hearing a Kentucky singing on Pleasant Valley Road 
was a highlight, but the bird seemed to be deep in the woods, and I was unable 
to locate it. 

I pondered cutting my losses and leaving, but as the morning wore on and 
birders and hikers filled the park, the insects surprisingly abated.  (Perhaps 
they'd found targets other than me).  And while there was less birdsong, I was 
finally able to spot some birds.  First it was a singing blue-winged warbler on 
Doodletown road. Then I headed back for a second try at the Kentucky, and this 
time I scored.  As I sat on a rock watching it sing on a bare twig, I excitedly 
announced my finding  to  passing group.  "I know, I can hear him", said the 
first  birder as he walked by without slowing, obviously less thrilled than me. 

After getting a few people on the bird, it flew, and I continued up the road 
finding a nice clearing where I sat down and had a snack.  I heard scarlet 
tanager, RB grosbeak, hooded warbler and indigo bunting singing, and was able 
to spot the first three.  As I munched, I got a quick glance at a grayish 
warbler-type bird with a wing bars  that was flitting around. I thought/hoped 
female cerulean, and then it appeared again, giving me a better look.  It was 
indeed a female cerulean, busy collecting nesting material.  I watched her 
bring it back to the nest, and then go out for several more forays. 

Well satisfied, I started heading out, but ran into Karlo and Allison Mirth, 
and I brought them back to see see the nest, giving me the additional pleasure 
of sharing.  I headed out again, and just before leaving the park  I heard a 
buzzy call up the steps at the very first historic house site near the 
beginning of the trail.  Low and behold, I was greeted by a singing male 
cerulean, not very high, and in good light.   Boy was I glad I didn't leave 

I uploaded a couple of short, slightly shaky, imperfectly exposed videos of the 
Kentucky and the Cerulean nest onto my Flicker site:

Happy late spring birding!


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