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September 21, 2013

Warblers and vireos highlight local fall migration


Sometimes they reappear at a totally unexpected location, and sometimes right in front of you and sometimes they don ‘t reappear at all. I saw yellow on that bird and I think it had a gray head....gone. Later on in the morning, I encountered friends, chatted with them, birded with them, shared this extraordinary beautiful September morning with them, and hunted out birds with them. I ended up with 11 species of warbler, three species of vireo; including 5 Philadelphia vireos and both kinglets in the mix. When matched with some of the other lists that have been posted, it is an unimpressive array, but it was also a day that couldn’t be beat.

One of the birds I saw was a male Black-throated Blue Warbler along the path that leads to the old blind. It was one of the few warblers that was right out in the open. Flitting from one nearby tree to another, giving me extraordinary looks and even hopping along the boardwalk right in front of me. This is not an uncommon bird and is to be expected this time of year. It is also a bird that doesn’t change its plumage with the seasons and therefore, for me, seems to carry a whiff of the spring with it. A welcome relief from the struggle of digging birds out of the leafy tree-tops. I found myself completely entranced with this rather common, but beautiful little warbler. I expect that I will see this bird again this year, in the same place, later in the migration— possibly even in November.

The fall passerine migration is in full swing and may it last through October.”

Steve Grinley is the owner of Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift at the Route 1 traffic circle in Newburyport and the Nature Shop at Joppa Flats.

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