Throughout May, my days have been filled with winsome warbles from a bouquet of songbirds. The most difficult songs to identify are the cheery warblers.
The Yellow Warbler has decided to stay close to my barn studio and his songs skip along with my fingers while I type.
There are plenty of other warblers warbling their hearts out in the gardens. It is confusing at times to identify each warbler’s song especially when they are all singing at the same time, but what a good mind and memory exercise to try and recall them all.
I am grateful for the diversity of warblers returning each year from their exotic over-wintering sites.
I had three new sightings this year. I was surprised to see a Tennessee Warbler in the crabapple orchard and discovered when looking it up that the bird was just passing through on his way to his breeding grounds further north in Canadian boreal forests.
Then one afternoon, I heard a buzzy song and could not place it. I did find the warbler high up in an oak tree and followed it over to a birch. At first, I thought it to be a Yellow Warbler but the grey wings with wingbars and lack of rusty streaks on the breast told me no. Once again, I turned to my handy Merlin Bird app and was excited to discover a Blue-winged Warbler had found our habitat and he was planning on settling in to help raise a brood.
The female American Redstart sings along with her mate. Both warblers with their sweet high pitched songs bring smiles to my days.
The Ovenbird was another new sighting for me, though he has been breeding in the forest here for years. His secretive ways never allowed me to see him. One lucky day in the forest, I was walking with a friend when we happened upon a bird singing and preening. He was perched high in a tree above a small stream and this dark photo was the best I could get for the glare of the sky. He was singing for a good five minutes but we could only see his silhouette. I did recognize the song but could not place it at the time. When I downloaded the image into Photoshop and overexposed it, I was able to identify the bird.
The Black-and-white Warbler is not as reclusive this year.
On the other hand, the Yellow-rumped Warbler is less visible than other years.
So too the Chestnut-sided Warbler is hiding from me.
The Common Yellowthroat is unusually shy this spring too.
This was the only sighting I have had so far of the Magnolia Warbler and it was through glass.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler has not made but one appearance so far. There are other warblers I have yet to identify visually but continue to test myself on the songs I hear. Some of our resident warblers have not allowed me a twenty-fifteen portrait. It is early yet and I hope to get more new species documented and see all of our regulars before the summers end.
The warblers along with other songbirds make quite a sound just before each new daybreak. It is a delight to have these birds in our gardens, fields, and forest. Flower Hill Farm would not be the same without their up lifting songs.