Thousands of Cormorants at Col Sam Smith Park/ May 24, 2019

When I first saw the thousands of largish birds flying in tight formation over the lake on this sunny 16 degree morning, I had hopes of an incredible Whimbrel display.

No Whimbrels, but we did see an enormous number of Cormorants in the water and flying over the water for the entire length of the shoreline here.

I speculate that there must have been equally large schools of Alewives or Smelts just below the surface.

Cormorants are normally silent but we could hear some grunts and groans coming from the flocks.

Here is this morning’s group with the Cormorant activity visible behind:

Species list: double-crested cormorant, red-necked grebe, Canada goose, mute swan, mallard, American black duck, turkey vulture, herring gull, ring-billed gull, common tern, mourning dove, eastern kingbird, willow flycatcher,  tree swallow, rough-winged swallow, barn swallow, gray catbird, American robin, European starling, warbling vireo, blue-headed vireo, red-eyed vireo,  Tennessee warbler, northern parula warbler, yellow warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, magnolia warbler,  common yellowthroat, yellow-rumped warbler, blackburnian warbler, bay-breasted warbler, blackpoll warbler, palm warbler, American redstart, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, Baltimore oriole, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, song sparrow.  (42 species)

With the leaves rapidly filling the trees it is becoming more difficult to photograph small and darting creatures.

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blue-headed Vireo
Song Sparrow
Red-necked Grebe
Yellow Warbler (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Magnolia Warbler
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Baltimore Oriole (male)
Gray Catbird

Park images:

Photographers and others hoping for Whimbrels
Painted Turtle
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

NATURE POETRY

STAY near me—do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find I thee,
Historian of my infancy !
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father’s family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:—with leaps and spring
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.  – William Wordworth

Miles Hearn

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