Spring Bird Migration Hike 2021

Tracking American Redstarts in the upland forest on May 15, 2021

Mary Poppins had a bird woman who drew birds in with feed. Cartoonist Gary Larson sketched a before-and-after of Screen 1) pigeons swooping in and leaving Screen 2) a pile of empty rags topped with a hat and a few tuppence.

The Quarry Farm has a bird woman named Deb. She doesn’t need no stinkin’ feed and l’m pretty sure she doesn’t deal in tuppence. She told me last week that she has plenty of patience and enough Advil to watch and wait for the birds to show themselves. As we stood on the curve of Cranberry Run, I asked her what bird was calling above. It was a Baltimore Oriole. I asked for another audio I.D. a couple of minutes later.

“It’s a Baltimore Oriole,” she replied without so much as a sigh. Apparently Deb has enough Advil to deal with hopeless birders like me, too.

Deb introduced The Quarry Farm to someone who speaks bird even better than she does. When David Smith tunes his ears to birdsong in the floodplain, a thrush becomes not just one thrush but both a Swainson’s Thrush and a Wood Thrush. All the yellowish bird shapes silhouetted against the sky become a variety of migrating warbler species.

Thanks to Deb and David, this year’s Spring bird hike checklist is whole lot longer than those of past years. They looked at their previous records and chose the 2021 date. This morning was clear, floodwaters from earlier in the week had shrunk to a couple of vernal pools, and 14 birders walked the trails to record 44 species. Most of these birds are just passing through, but not before Deb could take their picture.

Deb and David and the Giant Avian Adventure

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Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm
May 20, 2020
8:44 AM
Traveling
2.77 miles
281 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.0.13 Build 2.0.122

2 Canada Goose
1 Mallard
2 Mourning Dove
1 Common Nighthawk
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
2 Great Blue Heron
4 Turkey Vulture
1 Cooper’s Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Willow Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Warbling Vireo
2 Red-eyed Vireo
4 Blue Jay
1 Carolina Chickadee
1 Barn Swallow
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 House Wren
4 Gray Catbird
3 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Wood Thrush
4 American Robin
1 American Goldfinch
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Orchard Oriole
1 Baltimore Oriole
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 Common Grackle
1 Golden-winged Warbler
2 Black-and-white Warbler
2 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroat
6 American Redstart
1 Cape May Warbler
1 Northern Parula
2 Magnolia Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
3 Scarlet Tanager
2 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
3 Indigo Bunting

Note: An additional sighting, a Gray-cheeked Thrush, was confirmed this evening, bringing today’s birding boo-yah! to 56 species.