I am finding Bay-breasted are also in greater numbers in the Grafton area for the first time in close to 60 years of birding here. Usually it’s one or two as they are passing through.
> On May 18, 2019, at 10:43 PM, Chris Rimmer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In 45+ years of birding, I've never experienced anything like the spectacle
> of Cape May Warblers that enthralled 5 of us this morning. Today was VCE's
> annual Birdathon, and I gladly took advantage of the opportunity to bird
> from dawn to dusk. Without question, warblers stole the show, and Cape Mays
> played a starring role. We found more than 20 individuals, and 15 of these
> were spectacularly concentrated in two flowering ornamental cherry trees in
> a Kendall Station yard. We stood for 30 minutes, mouths agape, watching
> them at close range as they foraged on insects in and among the blossoms. A
> stunning male Bay-breasted appeared, and a Nashville joined the throng.
> I returned 10 hours later at 7 pm, and there were still 13 Cape Mays
> foraging industriously and quietly, this time joined by 2 hummingbirds and
> a male Baltimore Oriole. They were still going strong when I left 20
> minutes later. About 2/3 of the birds were males.
> Overall, we found 98 species today, all but one (a Swainson's Thrush on
> Norford Lake Road) in Norwich. Eighteen warblers also included Tennessee,
> Magnolia, Canada and Wilson's. An Eastern Meadowlark at Pirouette Farm on
> Hogback Road was unexpected, as was the pair of N. Mockingbirds there. With
> water levels on the Connecticut River again high, shorebirds were scarce,
> though 4 Short-billed Dowitchers roosting in shoreline vegetation below the
> Ledyard Bridge were a surprise. They were still there at 8 pm, but I
> watched them fly off to the north, calling, at 8:25 pm, clearly beginning
> the night's migration.
> A great day to be out!
> Chris Rimmer
> Vermont Center for Ecostudies
> PO Box 420 | Norwich, Vermont 05055
> 802.649.1431 x202