Friday 4 January 2013

Five Species of Warbler on 4 Jan 2013

Five species of warbler is a good day in November, let alone December, in Newfoundland.  Five species in a day in January is a first.  While the whereabouts of all five species were previously known, connecting with them all in the same day is not a simple feat.
Orange-crowned Warbler is one of the hardiest warblers. It is regularly recorded on CBCs on the Avalon.  This is the first one I remember that has made use of a feeder. Today it was seen by several observers feeding on a suet block on Quidi Vidi Road. 
This Townsend's Warbler has been seen and photographed by more people than any other warbler in Newfoundland history!!  It continues to eek out and existence in the small spruce trees on the lower most Waterford River. It looks a little more feeble each day.  It is easily overlooked as it feeds quietly in the centre of the thick trees.  Not everyone sees it on every visit.
Pine Warblers are rare in Newfoundland with maybe 1-3 being a fall average.  They are hardy warblers willing to eat suet and can survive the Newfoundland winter. We are waiting for this one on the lower Waterford River to discover the delicious suet put out for it and any other hungry warblers.
This Yellow-rumped Warbler was keeping close company with the Pine Warbler on the lower Waterford River today.  Hopefully they will discover the suet bag in time for the cold temperatures forecasted this weekend. 
The Yellow-breasted Chat is a regular fall vagrant and without fail there are late ones.  This particular bird on Roche Street, first found in Alvan Buckley's backyard, is  a difficult bird to glimpse.  It was my first sighting in six or seven visits.  It was like threading the eye of the needle to get a clear photo looking through a chain link fence and a shrub at the bird half way across the property.

Ok.  We have these warblers nailed down. Do you think these are the only warblers in town? Not likely. Time to find some of the others before the cold weather gets them.  On Saturday I will be searching the Waterford Valley up river from the Townsend's to Bowring Park and St. Mary's school area.  I feel confident there are others to find.

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