NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 18, 2013

A magical morning at Hellcat Trail

(Continued)

Hellcat was almost magical that morning. Warblers were everywhere! Numerous yellow, black & white, yellow-rumped, northern parula, black-throated green, black-throated blue, magnolia, and Nashville warblers filled the trees and shrubs. Blue-headed vireos were all over, as well. Everyone had excellent views at these colorful mites of the bird world. I think the bird that stole the show was the blackburnian warbler, with its fiery orange throat gleaming off its black and white patterned body. Honorable mentions have to go to the two scarlet tanagers we encountered. One was an orange shade of red, but the other lived up to its brilliant scarlet name-both stunning birds to behold! The orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks also drew many “oohs- and-aahhs.” It was one of those awestruck mornings that we didn’t really want to end. But our time was up and we had to pull ourselves away from the spectacle around us. This same front brought hummingbirds and orioles to backyard feeders last weekend.

Many customers reported seeing “their” birds return on Mother’s Day weekend. These birds continue to move in with each weather front where southwest winds aid their journey north. So if “your” birds haven’t shown up yet, don’t despair, there is still a lot of May, and migration to go. I stopped at the Oak Hill Cemetery a couple of days ago before work and found the oak trees around the water tower filled with warblers. The majority were yellow-rumped warblers, but there were several other species mixed in. Even the resident great-crested flycatcher had arrived, filling the air with his loud “wheep” call. Isn’t spring migration great!

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