We went birding…by ear! – A. Bryant
The gang heads out – A. Bryant
We were quickly greeted by migrant flocks of Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) warblers – A. Bryant
and sparrows, in this case Golden-crowned – A. Bryant
Spotted Towhees never failed to impress even our most experienced birders with their seemingly inexhaustible vocabulary – A. Bryant
Everywhere there were salmonberries… – A. Bryant
and, consequently, lots of Rufous Hummingbirds, although they mostly kept their distance – A. Bryant
Of course that’s why we call it “ear-birding”! Here Neil and Pierre show how it’s done – A. Bryant
As we travelled deeper into the 2nd growth forest, it was nice to see Pacific bleedinghearts in full bloom – A. Bryant
The occasional maple was distinctive, and noteworthy for the abundant nectar and food resources it provides for insectivorous birds during early spring – A. Bryant
…like this Orange-crowned Warbler – A. Bryant
This Red-breasted Sapsucker was unexpectedly cooperative…thank you! – A. Bryant
We eventually reached the scenic bluffs overlooking the Strait – A. Bryant
…which offered some different perspectives – A. Bryant
…and expansive views – A. Bryant
Here’s Andrew getting up close and personal with sea pinks – H. Harbord
…a veritable sea of sea pinks! – A. Bryant
and finally, seemingly in a galaxy far away, this very uncooperative Common Yellowthroat bid us farewell! – A. Bryant
Birding by ear Part V
by Andrew Bryant, 25 April 2015.
Pierre Geoffray and Neil Hughes led eight of us on a leisurely ear-birding expedition along along the muddy trails behind the Italian Hall. We started at the crack of eight and walked neither fast nor far.
The rains held off, but the woods were relatively quiet. There were a few warblers (Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, McGillivray’s, Black-throated Gray, Townsend’s and Common Yellowthroat) which were skittish and hard to photograph, but provided wonderful practice for the ears. The Spotted Towhees and Song, White and Golden-crowned sparrows also showed off their amazing repertoires. We saw or heard a total of 30 species. Pierre has posted a complete checklist on eBird that can be seen here.
Highlights for me were hearing a Common Loon from the bluffs, encountering a very cooperative Red-breasted Sapsucker, seeing the nice gaggle of Turkey Vultures as we were leaving, and hearing and watching numerous Rufous Hummingbirds performing their vibrant and wonderful “J”-shaped courtship flights.
Also of note were the flowering salmonberries, Pacific bleedingheart (Diocentra formosa), and carpets of sea pink (Armeria maritima) atop the rocky outcrops.
All in all an enjoyable and educational day out, even if that Yellowthroat was more than a little bit exasperating!