Saturday, May 18, 2019

Warbler Guy, I seek a high-quality binocular, but at a good price. Thoughts?


Peter (in Des Moines):

Plenty of choices, of course.

But where to start.



First, I ALWAYS sample any binocular or spotting scope before purchasing it. That's common sense.

More challenging: WHERE to find a good optics resource? What's a birder to do?

One quick fix: I have bought optics from the following online and storefront source that
features diverse choices for binoculars, spotting scopes, and optic accessories:

Out of This World Optics
(OutofThisWorldOptics.com)

The owners (Marilyn Rose and James Blackstock) provide personal service.

(They are at: 800-228-8252.....and Mendocino is a sweet, coastal town in southern Mendocino County, ~120 north of San Francisco)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Warbler Guy, how shall I best find Kirtland's Warblers? May I take a Kirtland's Warbler tour? Tours to find Kirtland's Warblers cost?

Yes (Edith in E. Lansing), you can take a guided tour to find Kirtland's Warbler this spring and summer.

See: https://www.michiganaudubon.org/kirtlands-warbler-tours/


Here, you'll read details about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Michigan Audubon Society will jointly conduct guided tours from May 15 through July 4, departing from the Ramada Inn in Grayling, Michigan. You'll need to visit the front desk upon your arrival for the meeting location. The tours will be offered on weekdays at 7:00 a.m. and on weekends and holidays at 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Tours are free of charge.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Warbler Guy, which is the most common warbler to see in my suburban wooded backyard near Madison, WI after the peak of migration is over? In the Santa Cruz area where we have a winter home?

The answers for my peripatetic birder friend, Robert, (in Madison), are short and long.

Let’s stay with the brief ones so you can get back to birding outdoors (where I’d rather be now, truthfully (!) )

In Dane Co. where Madison lies, and depending on your yard’s habitat and its nearby vegetational makeup, you can often see Common Yellowthroat (in moist thickets and/or wetland areas where emergents occur), American Redstart (in forests), and Yellow Warbler (also most often in moist thickets and riparian areas).

As for the Santa Cruz area of California, the leading suspects during the non-breeding season (winter) include Townsend’s Warbler (a non-breeding season visitor only), Common Yellowthroat (a resident), and Yellow-rumped Warbler (non-breeding season only), with less likely visits from Hermit, Yellow-breasted Chat, Black-throated Gray, Wilson’s, and Orange-crowned, (with the latter often the most typical “winter” sighting among the final five listed above. 

Hope this helps. Now back to our regularly scheduled program, meaning I’m outta here with my binos.

(male Common Yellowthroat,
below/right; photo by
Dan Pancamo)



Monday, April 15, 2019

Warbler Guy: Where's good warbler migration sites? Do you recommend some migration birding spots to see warblers?

Good questions, Benjamin (in Seattle).

Dozens of excellent "migrant traps" for watching warblers and other songbirds exist in the lower 48 states in the USA.

I'll mention a few here: (courtesy of http://www.birding.com/top200hotspots.asp)

There's many other excellent options beyond the ones I note below. Which ones would you add to my list?

*

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Georgia
33.91 N 84.61 W
The mile-long road to the top of the "mountain" should yield about 20 warbler species in late April. On weekends, you can ride a shuttle bus to the top. Good trails cover most of this park located about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Cape May, NJ
38.56 N 74.57 W
Hawks "funnel" into Cape May each fall, making this the best spot on the East Coast for raptors. Fantastic for warblers and other migrating birds in spring and fall. One of the top 10 spots in North America.

Central Park, New York City
40.47 N 73.58 W
Birds? In New York City? During spring migration, Central Park is a welcomed island of green trees in the middle of a concrete desert. Warblers, Tanagers, Grosbeaks (and maybe a Rock Dove).

Crane Creek/Magee Marsh/Ottawa NWR
41.37 N 83.09 W
Spring migration here may be even better than Point Pelee -- and two hours closer if you live in Ohio! Go visit the Oak Openings and Irwin Prairie on the west side of Toledo as well.

Point Pelee
41.56 N 82.31 W
This tip of Ontario extends into Lake Erie, forming a welcome site for migrating birds in May and a natural "funnel" in the fall. Warblers in the spring are everywhere. Watch the flight of Monarch butterflies and huge flocks of Blue Jays in the fall. Considered by most as one of the Top 10 birding spots in North America.

Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin
43.42 N 89.73 W
Great scenery and a mix of northern and southern birds can be found here. For worm-eating Warbler, try nearby Baxter's Hollow Preserve. The International Crane Foundation is located just north of here in Baraboo.

*

As for when warbler migration begins during the spring, the range of dates vary by latitude and, often, annually, based on weather patterns.

In general (and to oversimplify), warbler migration begins in Florida in March (and becomes obvious by April) while southern Wisconsin, for example, attracts warblers in abundance by the last week of April (though it more typically peaks in the first or second week of May). Point Pelee (noted above) is often best visited during the initial days of May while upper Michigan usually peaks with warbler activity during the third and fourth weeks of May.

That's not to say warbler migration is absent prior to March in Florida or prior to May in Wisconsin. Early warbler visitors are present in both areas (e.g., LA Waterthrush in FL; Yellow-rumped and Palm Warbler in WI, among other species).

But, again, in general, warbler migration is best considered an April and May phenomenon in most lower 48 USA states.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Hi Davey....

Answer to your question, above: You can check:

http://digest.sialia.com/?rm=all_lists

....with this site a composite list featuring all the listserv sites in California.

Click on one or more as you please to see the latest bird sightings lists posted by
birders.

Questions?

Glad to help: danieledelstein@att.net

Early arrivals in 2019 so far in Marin County (first county north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the SF Bay Area) and where many of my birding tours occur (along with Sonoma Co., a county north of Marin Co.):

- Black-headed Grosbeak (about 2 weeks earlier than most years, if this individual was a true migrant and NOT an over-wintering aberrant)

- Wilson's Warbler (heard in February this year; earlier than some years)

- Grasshopper Sparrow (~3/18 by a Sonoma Co. birder....I noticed my first ones on 3/24 and 3/25/19 at Mt. Burdell in Novato....near where I live.)

Regards, Daniel

warblerwatch.com


Monday, March 18, 2019

Warbler Guy, when should I expect to begin seeing migrant-arriving Yellow-rumped Warblers?



Gus, in Wisconsin, you should expect this common wood-warbler (that nests in n. WI) to vary annually in its arrival time, given the vagaries of spring weather in the Midwest.

Generally, first migrants north of their winter range occur in the Upper Midwest by as early as late March, but greater pulses arrive beginning in early April and soon after.

At this time (often when few if any leaves are present on deciduous trees), the Myrtle subspecies of the Yellow-rumps (Setophaga cornonata coronata) may seem ubiquitous, as some birders' patience levels are tested when bird-after-bird is, AGAIN, deemed a Yellow-rumped sighting.

That's a typical scenario in WI BEFORE the initial warm, Gulf breezes occur from the south.

Then, almost like magic in the final week of April or in early May, the diverse parade of wood-warbler family members begin appearing ALONG with Yellow-rumped.

In summary:

Peak movements of Yellow-rumps in the northern US and southern Canada occur from late April through mid-May. Like many songbird species, male Yellow-rumps migrate earlier than females, averaging 4 to 7 days sooner in their arrival upon breeding grounds.

Keep in mind that some hardy Yellow-rumped Warbler individuals remain throughout the non-breeding season in the Upper Midwest, especially during warmer winters.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Warbler Guy, I seek a high-quality binocular, but at a good price. Thoughts?

Peter (in Des Moines):

Plenty of choices, of course.

But where to start.

First, I ALWAYS sample any binocular or spotting scope before purchasing it. That's common sense.

More challenging: WHERE to find a good optics resource? What's a birder to do?

One quick fix: I have bought optics from the following online and storefront source that
features diverse choices for binoculars, spotting scopes, and optic accessories:

Out of This World Optics
(OutofThisWorldOptics.com)

The owners (Marilyn Rose and James Blackstock) provide personal service.

(They are at: 800-228-8252.....and Mendocino is a sweet, coastal town in southern Mendocino County, ~120 north of San Francisco)