American Redstart 1800x BINNS 1D2A6289 copy

IN THE BACKYARD: Philadelphia late-May

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Jun 2, 2020 | by Adrian Binns

Spring migration wrapped up in Philadelphia over the last 10 days of May. Though most mornings were quiet I often heard and saw an American Redstart, sometimes two. A Tennessee Warbler made a brief appearance. A Gray-cheeked Thrush showed well over several afternoons.

Gray-cheeked Thrush

On May 23rd a last wave of migrants moved through. Eastern Wood-Pewee and Red-eyed Vireos called throughout the day. Up to 5 Swainson’s Thrushes hopped through shady corners of the yard along with a Veery.

Swainson’s Thrush

Given that they breed in spruce forests it was not surprising that I found Blackburnian, Bay-breasted and Blackpoll Warblers    foraging at the top of our Norway Spruce.  Common Yellowthroat, Canada, Black-and-white and Yellow Warblers also flitted through making for a eight wood-warbler day.

Blackburnian Warbler, female

It seemed like a good migration season, though it is the first time in many years that I have actually been home to observe it!   I enjoyed seeing and hearing a great variety including 19 species of warblers, 4 thrushes, 2 vireos, 3 flycatchers and a few goodies that breed in the region, such as Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Black-billed Cuckoo!

updated May 20-31, 2020

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