Northern Parula heard singing at Oso Flaco 5/20/20

Kevin Zimmer

I checked out Oso Flaco yesterday (Wednesday, May 20), mainly to see if there were any Black Swifts moving along the coast (NOPE!).  Migrants were pretty non-existent (as was the case when I checked Oceano Campground afterwards), but breeding birds, particularly Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s and Yellow warblers, Spotted Towhees and Song Sparrows were exceptionally vocal, and Cliff and Barn swallows were busy gathering mud for nest construction from the roadside mud holes near the entrance gate.

I ran into Maggie Smith on the boardwalk, and while we were exchanging birding news, I heard the distinctive song of a Northern Parula.  I immediately called the bird to Maggie’s attention, and we heard it sing another 3 times from the cluster of trees at the beginning of the boardwalk.  Unfortunately, as we moved to get the sun at a better angle, a big family group of Bushtits swarmed into the same cluster of trees effectively providing all the distraction needed for the Northern Parula (which had ceased singing) to make his escape.  I hung around for another hour, but never saw it or heard it again,

Kevin Zimmer

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