Scarlet Tanager, Orange-crowned Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler at Wilket Creek/ May 17, 2019

There are two adages about walks in nature which often seem to apply.

The first is that the most spectacular sights often appear at the very end of a walk. And so it was this morning, in 15 degree sunny conditions, when a very un-shy male Scarlet Tanager appeared and let us all have a good look:

Scarlet Tanager (male)
Scarlet Tanager (male)
Scarlet Tanager (male)
Scarlet Tanager (male)

The second is that it is a good idea to find a lovely spot and just stay there at length. I did just that this morning and found a bench by the Don River. One by one all sorts of interesting birds appeared and they were capped off by a warbler that I seldom see. The Orange-crowned Warbler. The Peterson Guide describes it as a dingy warbler without wing bars or other distinctive marks.

Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler

The Bay-breasted Warbler is considerably more colourful:

Bay-breasted Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler

Species list: mallard, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, pileated woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, great crested flycatcher, eastern pewee, barn swallow, blue jay, American crow, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, house wren, gray catbird, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, European starling, red-eyed vireo,  black and white warbler, orange-crowned warbler, Nashville warbler, yellow warbler, magnolia warbler, black-throated blue warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, bay-breasted warbler, pine warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, American redstart, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, brown-headed cowbird, Baltimore oriole, northern cardinal, indigo bunting, American goldfinch, chipping sparrow, song sparrow.  (43 species)

American Robin
Red-tailed Hawk
Eastern Pewee
Black-capped Chickadee
Baltimore Oriole

We were all concerned for this Eastern Cottontail who seemed far too friendly. What if a coyote were near?

Eastern Cottontail

This morning’s group:


Early Meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)
White Spruce male pollen cones
Poison-ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Bristly Black Currant (Ribes lacustre)
Small-flowered Buttercup (Crowfoot) Ranunculus abortivus)


Summer Schemes

When friendly summer calls again,
Calls again
Her little fifers to these hills,
We’ll go—we two—to that arched fane
Of leafage where they prime their bills
Before they start to flood the plain
With quavers, minims, shakes, and trills.
“—We’ll go,” I sing; but who shall say
What may not chance before that day!

And we shall see the waters spring,
Waters spring
From chinks the scrubby copses crown;
And we shall trace their oncreeping
To where the cascade tumbles down
And sends the bobbing growths aswing,
And ferns not quite but almost drown.
“—We shall,” I say; but who may sing
Of what another moon will bring! – Thomas Hardy

Miles Hearn

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