Early start to spring migration

My first ovenbird, hiding deep in the bushes.

My first Louisiana Waterthrush at the fountain.

An unidentified bird on the top. Any ideas?  The 2nd one is a Cape May Warbler.

Eastern kingbird high up in the tree.

A blurry shot of a young blue grosbeak. I thought his color was interesting. I guess he’s molting into his adult male colors.

An osprey with a fish.

And a pretty moth.

By  mid April there hadn’t been too many birds passing through on their way north for the summer.  I headed down to Fort Desoto Park expecting not to find too much. As usual there were more people than birds on the trails. Not too many birds but some good ones. Two new birds for me, the ovenbird and waterthrush so it was a good morning.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Fort Desoto in mid-May


Lots of black bellied plovers on the beach.


Tiny Wilson’s plover.


Gimpy, one of the resident oystercatchers was watching me as looked for food.


A pretty red breasted merganser coming up for air.


I think this is a white eyed vireo but I can’t tell for sure from this shot.


The only Cape May warbler I saw this spring.


Mom is all alone now that her kids have gone off to “college”. She’s getting some much-needed rest after raising two hungry owlets.




Crazy wild parrots flying around near the beach.

Some left over shots from a trip to Fort Desoto beach in mid-May.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Migration can be a pain in the neck – Skywatch Friday


My first blackpoll warbler of the season.


Cape May warblers were everywhere.


Red-eyed vireo.


A first-summer male orchard oriole with mulberry stains on his chest.


I think this is a female orchard oriole.


I think this is a first year female Baltimore oriole.


Another red-eyed vireo.


I saw one northern Parula that morning.


Baltimore oriole.


My first black throated green warbler.


A male orchard oriole taking a berry break.


Prairie warbler doing some weird acrobats.


Bye,bye, orchard oriole.


 A female rose breasted grosbeak.

It was a busy day in mid-April. A big fall out day. Spring migration was in full swing and I knew I’d come home with a neck ache from staring up in the trees all morning. I was right. Birds were everywhere but they did not sit still very long. There were almost as many people at Fort Desoto that morning. Everyone was yelling out bird names: “there goes a female blah blah”, ” I just saw an immature male blah blah”, ” has anyone seen the yellow blah blah?” All of the little birds were starting to looking alike, especially the yellow and brown ones. Let me know if I got any of the above wrong. People had driven from all over the state to check birds off their list. I met a ton of new people and ran into people I hadn’t seen since the last migration. It was catch up day. The next couple of weekends still had a few birds but not like this big weekend. I also saw a lot of little red birds and blue birds. More on those later.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday


Two firsts as spring migration winds down


Some type of yellow bird high up in the trees.


My first black throated blue warbler.


There were several of them at the park.


I think this is a female cape may.


A female orchard oriole.


My first blackpoll warbler with a berry in his mouth.


Another blackpoll getting ready to eat.


My second sighting of a cape may warbler.


Another female something?

Spring migration was winding down but I had heard there were still a few more birds at Fort Desoto so I headed down there after work one night in late April. I had about an hour and a half before dark so I stayed in one place to see what I could find there. I was at the mulberry bushes with several other people. Everyone was looking for the black whiskered vireo that had been sighted there for several days. No luck that night on the vireo but I did get some other first sightings in. There were several pale yellow birds there and everyone had different opinions about what female they were. After studying the hundreds of pages of these female warblers in my Stokes Birding Guide, I gave up. Any id’s would be appreciated.

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My first Cape May Warbler


These are not good pictures but I wanted to show off my first Cape May warbler sighting. He was high up in the trees and it was late in the day, right before sunset.


I doubt I would have found him by myself. There were several other people wandering around the picnic area at the east beach looking for him. There had been sightings of him posted the day before in the trees in front of the big picnic shelter. A lady yelled across the grounds. She had found him. We all ran over and started shooting. He was high up in an old oak tree.


He’s really pretty with all of that yellow and hints of orange and brown. There was a female there as well but she stayed at the very top of the tree, out of sight.


He was digging around in what looked like holes made by a woodpecker.


Something else flew into the tree above him.


It was a white eyed vireo with a grasshopper in his mouth.


Then a yellow-bellied sapsucker landed in the tree. I guess he’s the one making all of those holes. It was a busy tree that night.


The highlight of the night though was seeing the rogue rooster. Someone had dropped off a rooster at the park. They probably thought it would be cool to have one and then found out it is illegal to have one in the city limits so they thought Fort Desoto would be a good place to dump him. I had read about it on Facebook but had forgotten about it until I saw him cruising around the picnic area. They had posted they were trying to catch him although the coyotes would probably get to him first. What? There are coyotes in Fort Desoto? I’ve never seen them. I would love to see one. Anybody else seen them there? A coyote with a rooster in his mouth! Now that would be a great shot. Hey, the coyote’s gotta eat too.

It was a very productive hour and a half trip to Fort Desoto after work.