Birding the Basin: what we saw on our West Haven field trip

It was great to go on the West Haven Field Trip! Birders saw and/or heard 56 species. One participant sent us an email, saying, “A highlight was seeing the Brewster’s Warbler, and Kris saw and heard a Golden-winged Warbler. … It was also fun to see Bobalink [sic], and to watch as a parent fed three young Cliff Swallows sitting on the road.  Of course, we got a little herping in too – lots of Green Frogs!”

Weather: Cloudy and breezy with rain starting right after 2:00 p.m. Temperatures in the 70’s F.
Location: West Haven, Vermont and surrounding area

Birds observed (seen and/or heard) for a total of 56:Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Wood Duck
Northern Harrier
Sharp‐shinned Hawk
American Kestrel
Wild Turkey
Killdeer
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Red‐bellied Woodpecker
Yellow‐bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood Pewee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great‐crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red‐eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black‐capped Chickadee
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Brewster’s Warbler *
Yellow Warbler
Black‐and‐white Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Common Yellowthroat
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Red‐winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown‐headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

* Our correspondent notes: “I am quoting Jim below regarding the Brewster’s Warbler. We didn’t put the Golden‐winged warbler in our list yesterday, but I would like to see it on the list, based on Kris’ keen identification skills. “

Jim: “The call I heard at our last stop was typical of a Blue-winged Warbler but the bird singing it was not. So, I believe it was the hybrid known as Brewster’s Warbler. Kris saw a Golden-winged nearby and heard it sing, but none of the rest of us did.”

Suggested reading about the Golden‐winged X Blue‐winged complex:
Parkes, Kenneth C. (March, 1951). The Genetics of the Golden‐winged X Blue‐winged Complex. The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 63, No. 1: 7 – 15.  Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University (Ithaca, New York). Online at http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Wilson/v063n01/p0005-p0015.pdf (accessed March 6, 2012)

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