Migrant songbirds, Colonie


Yesterday morning Colleen and I heard some distinctively warbler call notes in the yard. We tracked it down and watched a Chestnut-sided Warbler moving through the trees.

Early this morning we did a loop around Karner Barrens East at Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Aside from the usual resident species we had a few migrant warblers and flycatchers. There were juvenile/female-type American Redstarts in two different locations, and two juvenile Magnolia Warblers foraging together on the hillside just past the landfill opening. This is where most of the flycatchers were as well. We had a good view of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on a sunlit branch, then had another one singing persistently ("chi-lik") farther down the trail. There were also three or four other empidonax flycatchers vocalizing while foraging, mostly "whit" calls, so probably Willow Flycatcher but not to certainty. Two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were sparring with the interloping flycatchers, it was basically a draw...lol. Eastern Kingbirds, Prairie Warblers and Indigo Bunting were still present. Also notable was a higher than usual number of Red-breasted Nuthatches, even though it is the end of breeding season and they are relatively common here. It seems as if it is shaping up as an irruption year for that species, with reports noted well south of this region and the normal southern limit for this time of year. 

After we returned home in the late morning, a vocalizing warbler moved right through the yard low in the shrubs. It was another juvenile Magnolia Warbler. I haven't looked back at radar loops from last overnight, but I suspect there was some good movement. It might pay to survey your own property this evening 5-7 p.m. to see what you can turn up.

Tom & Colleen Williams

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