I took a long walk at Shelburne Farms today, starting out in back of the Farm Barn. As soon as I reached the trail to Whimsey Meadow, there were birds everywhere. One feeding flock had at least thirty birds and possibly as many as 50. At first, my binoculars and my mind were leaping around like crazed ferrets – but then I took a deep breath and made myself focus on only one bird at a time until I either was sure of what I was seeing or had taken good notes. Then I double-checked the warblers with Sibley and the Peterson Warbler guide. There were MANY birds I didn’t identify, but here’s what I listed from that flock alone:
Bay-Breasted Warbler – at least one
Yellow-Rumped Warbler – at least two
Black-Throated Green Warbler – at least 3 - the illustration in Sibley just doesn't do this bird justice, especially when it's right in the sun!
American Redstart – male
Magnolia Warbler – at least 2
Blue-Headed Vireo – I spent many minutes trying to turn this into some sort of spectacled, slate-headed warbler because I had it in my mind that it’s much too late for vireos – but it finally dropped to an eye-level branch and gave me a good look.
Hermit Thrush – 1
Downy – 1 male
Nearby were at least three ovenbirds, a phoebe, titmice, catbirds, cardinals, white-throated sparrows, robins and a towhee (right where I saw one months ago) - plus some others. I'll enter everything in e-bird once I check to see if I got any good photos.
As a bonus (as if I needed one), I got almost 12000 steps on my pedometer!