Mead Gardens, 4/26/2014

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Magnolia Warbler
It was another very fun day at Mead Gardens.  A bunch of us were there for the birdwalk with the Orange Audubon Society.  It's always a great time; this time there were probably more than 50 people there, but it didn't seem all that crowded.  The star of the show this morning was a beautiful Magnolia Warbler in breeding plumage.  We don't get that many of these; this one was occasionally cooperative for photos, but you had to be ready. Hesitate a second and he was off to another branch.

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Magnolia Warbler
In all I believe 13 species of warblers were seen by the time I left:

Ovenbird 4
Worm-eating Warbler 3
Northern Waterthrush 1
Black-and-white Warbler 10
Prothonotary Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 4
American Redstart 15
Northern Parula 4
Magnolia Warbler 1
Blackpoll Warbler 12
Black-throated Blue Warbler 8
Palm Warbler (Western) 2
Prairie Warbler 2

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Worm-eating Warbler
The Prothonotary Warbler was in the trees near an Azalea bed--not where you normally look to find them, but I guess this migrant just wasn't that choosy.  I was amazed with the number of Blackpolls, Redstarts, Black-and-White Warblers and Black-throated-Blue Warblers.  It was hard not to find them.  Even 4 Ovenbirds seemed a little high to me. The other fun find of the morning was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  It's been a couple years since I've seen one in the park, so it was nice to find one again today.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak
And this Anhinga posed quite nicely at very close range. In fact, if it was much closer to me, I probably couldn't have focused on it.

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This past fall, Mead Gardens was as slow as could be for migrants. I stopped visiting because there just wasn't any point to it. But it seems clear now that the slow trend is over. Mead Gardens is back in full swing. So far by my count 23 warbler species have been seen this spring, including Tennessee (which I missed), Magnolia, Blue-winged, and Prothonotary, the last two of which were firsts for me in the park.