This is the bird I wanted to see more than any on this day – Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Nature Trail, Basha Kill WMA 5/26/13.
Karen Miller and I went out to the Basha Kill WMA this morning and spent five and a half hours enjoying some fabulous birding. We started at Haven Road where we heard but did not see the American Bittern. We could hear a lot of bird activity at the Stop Sign Trail, so we headed there next. Right off the bat we got a good look at a Great Crested Flycatcher, which we had been hearing from the bridge on Haven Road. After that we got a good look at a Yellow-throated Vireo, a bird that I hear all the time but almost never get a look at. Moments later we had a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a beautiful little bird and a life bird for Karen. We walked all the way out to Moosehead Cove where we saw an Osprey cruising for prey. We heard and saw many birds along the way, with the highlight being this cooperative Veery:
Veery at the Stop Sign Trail, Basha Kill WMA 5/26/13. Conditions were really low light for this photo, so it is a bit noisy and soft but I still felt it was worth posting.
Our next stop was the Main Boat Launch to see how the Nature Watch folks were doing. It was really windy there, but we enjoyed some good conversation with Maura and Bob Muller who were volunteering for the morning shift and saw one adult Bald Eagle and we watched the young Bald Eagles on the nest jumping and flapping their wings like mad, getting in as much practice as possible for that first flight that should happen in about a month or so.
Our final destination of the day was the Nature Trail, where we saw plenty of Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Baltimore Orioles.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the Nature Trail, 5/27/13.
We also got very good looks at a Cerulean Warbler and a mediocre photo too:
A singing Cerulean Warbler at the Nature Trail, 5/26/13.
The highlight of the day for me, though, was certainly the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. This was the bird I went out looking for today, and to actually see it AND be able to get a photo was amazing.
At the end of the day we had identified 40 species. What an awesome day of birding, honestly, it brings me great joy!