Sunday, May 31, 2009

Embury Road

The best place for me to see Cerulean Warbler each year is Embury Road in northwest Washtenaw County.  So, I made my annual trip here yesterday.  It was bright and sunny when I left home; unfortunately, by the time I arrived at Embury Road the skies had changed to deeply overcast.  When looking at Cerulean Warbler a sunny sky definitely lights up this bird.
The Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea) singing against the gray sky glare.

There was a lot of bird song around, but not many birds to be seen.  American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina) and Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) were fairly plentiful.  I also saw one each Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica) and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia).  Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), another bird Embury Road is reliable for, were present.  At one point, I heard singing that I wanted to be Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum).  The bird had been posted from this location earlier in migration.  In the end, I decided that the "song" was not right for worm-eating and since I never did see the bird, I wrote it off as a chipper.  The thing is, the song was not quite right for Chipping Sparrow either.  Worm-eating is one of my favorite warblers, especially now as I get to see it so rarely in this part of the country.  C'est la vie.
I was fortunate to get this one, not very good, shot of a calling Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus).
I shouldn't think of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) as autumn and winter birds, but I do.  There were a couple of flocks present on Embury Road yesterday.  This photo was taken in the marshy area where about five birds dined among these scrubby bushes.

Of note, I did not see or even hear one Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) yesterday.  I'm still missing this bird for the year.  I am always surprised that I do not also find Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum) here.   Still, a great place to bird, Embury Road is.

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