Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Honey Island this morning
I spent about two hours in Honey Island Swamp this morning with some visiting birders. The usual dawn chorus did not disappoint; the sheer volume of spring bird song here is always a treat.
We stopped at each of the first seven bridges. Woodpeckers were everywhere, as usual, led by Red-bellied, and Red-headed, and including Pileated (vocalizing and drumming in the distance) and Downy. By imitating them, I was able to get 4-5 Barred Owls to start a prolonged bout of hooting to each other back and forth across the road. White-eyed Vireos were singing everywhere, along with a scattering of Red-eyeds. Most of the nesting neotropical warblers are back; we heard or saw lots of Prothonotary Warblers, and several each of Hooded, Swainson's, and Northern Parula. A single Kentucky sang in the distance. No American Redstarts yet.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were building a nest 30' up in a small tree at bridge 3 in plain sight; a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest was also conspicuous at bridge 7. A female Ruby-throated Hummer appeared to be gathering nest material as well.