Saturday, September 21, 2013

Townsend's Warblers feeding frenzy in hackberry trees

Two days ago I birded Red Canyon Park which is about 8 miles north of Canon City. Primarily a pinyon-juniper habitat, it does have a normally dry gulch that drains much of this city 'mountain park' so a number of deciduous trees grow in it. Hackberry trees do well in the very sandy parts of this gulch and that is where I found a lot of warblers--mostly Wilson's with some a number of first-of-season Yellow-rumped, a few Townsend's and Orange-crowned Warblers plus a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Chipping Sparrows. I did not have my cameras though I was able to get close enough to get a photo of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet with my Samsung Galaxy 3 smartphone that only has 4X zoom.

I returned today to Red Canyon Park and the warbler fest was even larger with fewer Wilson's Warblers but at least 25-35 Townsend's, 20-25 Yellow-rumped, a few Orange-crowned, 1 MacGillivray's (in the trees) and 1 Virginia's Warblers. Most of the Townsend's flocked into the same tree so I got a lot of photos of them as they fed on the many immature insects inside the many galls in the leaves of the 8 or so large hackberry trees.

Other birds that I also saw in the hackberry's were at least 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Chipping Sparrows, 1 Blue Jay (surprise to see this species here), and a Northern Flicker. Other birds in the park included at least 5-6 Pinyon Jays, several Western Scrub Jays, Spotted Towhee, many Townsend's Solitaire, a Common Raven, and a latish adult male Broad-tailed Hummingbird who distinctive wing whistle sounded as it flew not far from me (but not many nectar flowers left now). SeEtta

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mini-fallout of Wilson's Warblers in Canon City,CO

The last two days I have seen, each day, approximately 75 warblers and all but a few have been Wilson's Warblers. And most of the Wilson's Warblers have been foraging an and around two stands of Common Reed (I suspect the non-native species) on the Canon City Riverwalk (bottom photo is one in those reeds). The one stand of reeds is about 50 feet long by only 25 feet wide but 25 Wilson's Warblers flew out of it this morning when I gave a chip call that apparently sounded to them by an alarm call (who knew). The other and larger stand of reeds had a MacGillivray's and 2 Orange-crowned Warblers foraging inside when I bushwacked to it yesterday (too wet this morning to get real close). A few Wilson's Warblers were also in other stands of different vegetation in various places along the 2 1/2 miles of trail I checked. None were in any of the many willow stands. SeEtta