A short post outlining the Warbler species seen last week. A total of 29 species of Warbler were encountered, and also a drastic change in numbers of certain species was witnessed, and have been outlined below.
The weather had a dramatic effect on the species seen and numbers present. The first half was dominated by NE winds, which although can produce, they can also halt migration further south and that's exactly what happened. However, by the 15th winds had switched to S and with the warmer weather came more birds. It seems the third week of May is the most productive, and our trip coincided with this theory, helped by the weather and the initial poor spring up until we arrived.
1) Ovenbird - seen only on three dates and only in single figures, including one bird at Tawas Point. This ground dwelling species was difficult to pick up and no doubt some were missed.
2) Northern Waterthrush - seen only on one date where two birds were found, which was certainly a surprise. A Waterthrush sp. was seen briefly at Maumee but couldn't be specified to species.
3) Protonotary Warbler - seen daily at Magee Marsh but numbers never exceeded 4 birds on any visit. At least 2 birds were nest building or occupying nests. It's only until recently this species has been a common occurrence at Magee, thought to be a result from climate change.
4) Black-and-white Warbler - seen almost daily but again numbers remained in single figures. A superb critter and great to see its feeding action.
5) Golden-winged Warbler - this stonking male was seen on 15/5 and was our only sighting of this declining species. A much wanted bird for me.
6) Blue-winged Warbler - only three adult males were found, on three separate dates and locations, with two picked up by their obvious song.
7) Orange-crowned Warbler - only seen during the second half of the trip with our first at Tawas Point, with others at Magee Marsh, but still in low numbers.
8) Tennessee Warbler - a single bird was found on our first full day among a decent fall of migrants, but it wasn't until late on in the trip where a few more were seen, and always caused greater interest amongst the gathered crowd.
9) Nashville Warbler - very common during the first half of the trip and proved to be an unprecedented spring migration for this species. Numbers certainly dropped off towards the end of our stay with the last day producing just one Nashville.
10) Mourning Warbler - four birds were found and proved to be a highlight of the trip. This ground dwelling species was typically difficult to intercept initially but thankfully we got good views. This species is normally later on then most other species migrating.
11) Common Yellowthroat - our first sighting was on the 13th then birds were seen frequently up until we left. Daily counts just about reached into double figures.
12) American Redstart - most days from the off we encountered only males and in single figures, but from the 17th onwards females outnumbered males and counts must have reached the 40 mark.
13) Cape May Warbler - only six birds were found including two at Tawas Point. A very striking Warbler that kept mostly to treetops. Only occurred during a decent fall of migrants.
14) Kirtland's Warbler - we saw three Warblers, all in suitable Jack Pine Forest in Huron National Forest. This declining species is holding on thanks to conservation efforts. We had the choice of going on a guided trip for this bird but decided to use the trusty ebird instead.
15) Cerulean Warbler - another declining species of Warbler seen on this trip. Despite 11 birds being seen at Waterloo State RA we only found one singing male, where eventually good views were had.
16) Northern Parula - seen almost daily in relatively small numbers. Some fine males were seen very well.
17) Magnolia Warbler - this spectacular species was seen daily and towards the end of the trip 20+ birds were seen two days running. Could never tire of seeing the males.
18) Blackburnian Warbler - a bird I've been wanting to see for years and they didn't disappoint. Seen daily in good numbers throughout the duration, and at times showed superbly.
19) Yellow Warbler - seen daily in good numbers and also a breeding species around the shores of Lake Erie. Our first few days also saw many birds on passage, as numbers slowly decreased towards the end of our stay.
20) Chestnut-sided Warbler - although seen daily numbers remained consistent throughout.
21) Black-throated Blue Warbler - single figures throughout with females starting to be seen on our last few days.
22) Blackpoll Warbler - first seen on the 14th at Tawas Point where only two males were present. Males were then seen frequently up until we left where a couple of females then started to arrive.
23) Bay-breasted Warbler - seen daily in small numbers and mostly males. Over ten birds were seen in four hours on the 17th, including this breeding plumaged female below.
24) Pine Warbler - seen only on the 14th in the dense pine forests in Michigan. Much brighter birds then shown in the book.
25) Palm Warbler - the first half of the trip saw reasonable numbers but by the end numbers had slipped away to just a couple of sightings, and then to no sightings on our last morning.
26) Black-throated Green Warbler - a common species where numbers fluctuated throughout. The first half of the trip saw mainly males but by the end females were encountered frequently.
27) Wilson's Warbler - only appeared late on in our trip. Maximum numbers for a day just about reached half a dozen.
28) Myrtle Warbler - by far the commonest Warbler during the first two days and also up at Tawas Point, but numbers significantly dropped and few, if any were seen in the remaining few days.
29) Canada Warbler - a very much wanted bird and after a long wait we were greeted with many birds but still in single figures. A stunning Warbler and certainly a highlight.