Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring arrivals

Cliff Swallows have started nesting down the road in decent numbers since last week and many of their mud nests are already complete (and within hours of finishing the nests they are already having to compete against the House Sparrows). I would estimate by the flocks overhead that there are more than 30 of these swallows around. They don't normally let you come that close and especially when they spend most of their time high up in the sky, so it was definitely welcomed.


Fighting over space.
Cheeky little birds they are. Oh don't mind me, I'm perfectly at home here.
While I said arrivals, the winter birds are starting to go. I haven't had a White-crowned Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler or Junco in a while (all three being the commonest birds in the area only 2 weeks ago). The Cedar Waxwings are passing through on migration to the northern states too, and in quite large numbers.

Cedar Waxwings.
Today I heard a strange warbler song coming from the oak tree in the center of Chumash. Almost immediately on walking closer I had some undoubtedly unfamiliar chip notes. The first bird I saw was a very attractive Black-throated Grey Warbler; a long awaited bird for me. There seemed to be two of them but it was hard to tell, because at the same time I had an Orange-crowned and a male Nashville Warbler in the tree. I had not heard the chip notes of any of the above before so I was a bit confused as to which was what!

There may be a Wilson's in there. I originally thought there was only one yellow-coloured warbler (Nashville) but later found others.

Black-throated Grey Warbler
Don't think this is an OC or Nashville. Hard to tell with them all jumping around, but looks like a
Wilson's. Thoughts?

Orange-crowned Warbler.
Nashville Warbler

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