And then There Was One-Connecticut Warbler

And then there was one.  I suppose I’ve always figured it would come down to this.  That the Connecticut Warbler would be the last North American wood-warbler I need to see for the year  They’re uncommon and secretive. Hell, Lynn Barber missed it during her 2008 Big Year!  But I’m getting ahead of myself I should tell you how I’ve come to be in this position.

Yesterday morning I birded Tawas Point on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron.  I found 16 warbler species, but you had to work for them.  They were feeding mainly in those stands of Jack Pine that were out of the wind.  The most unusual warbler was a Hooded Warbler, but most important for my year-list was Black-throated Blue Warbler. That left me with only two warblers remaining for the year.  From  a tip from Mark and Joanie Hubinger, I added a Kirtland’s Warbler less than ten miles from Tawas Point and it was only 11:30 AM.

Black-throated Blue Warbler at Tawas Pt, MI (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

This was an opportunistic turn of events.  It was now no longer necessary to go on the Mio field trip for Kirtland’s Warblers.  So I did the only logical thing one could do, drove two hundred miles to Trout Lake to try for the Spruce Grouse.

Spruce Grouse near Whitefish Point (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

As you can see, that was about as easy is they come.  Mark Hubinger played a tape and 5 minutes later we walked under this displaying male.  While birding with Mark & Joanie this morning, I added Red Crossbill, but no Winter Wren.  In the afternoon I drove west to Seney NWR which is loaded with Trumpeter Swans.  I did a two hour hike on the Hardwoods Trail for Winter Wren, but missed once again.  I’ll try again tomorrow then drive straight thru to Chicago where I will try once again for Connecticut Warblers at spots along the Lake or the Des Plaines R. (unless I shoot over to Massachusetts for the Eurasian Hobby)

Anyways, if any of you in Chicago have a Conneticut singing between Sat morning and Tuesday Morning please contact me.  My cell phone number is 303-809-9611.

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