Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes

When I woke up this morning to pouring down rain, I seriously considered cancelling my plans to bird in Bloomington again. Boy am I glad I didn't do that! I left my apartment at 7:20am hoping that I had left in time to not get stuck in rush hour traffic, wrong again! Due to the enormous amount of rain that we have received, the left lane of 465, the main loop highway in Indianapolis, had flooded and had to be shutdown making rush hour a nightmare!

I finally arrived in Morgan-Monroe State Forest just after 9am and immediately started to pick up new year birds! Along Bryant's Creek Road along I found 8 new species for the year including a flock of 5 American Redstarts, Hooded Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Gray Catbird, and an early Swainson's Thrush!

American Redstart

My next stop was at Griffy Lake to look for the recently reported Ross's Goose. It took me awhile but I finally found it on the far west side of the lake that is visible from the parking area for the hiking trails!

Right after finding the bird, I got a call from my brother Eric saying that he was done with classes for the day. I picked him up at his house and then headed to Paynetown and Cutright on Lake Monroe. We added a few species at Paynetown but both locations were severely flooded which limited access for birding. Both of our next stops were extremely flooded as well so we went to a backup plan.

We spent the next 2.5 hours birding along, T.C. Steele, Gilmore Ridge, Deckard Ridge, and Crooked Creek Roads. We ran into a couple good flocks of warblers and one simply amazing mega flock! The mega flock included my first of the year Tennessee, Bay-breasted, Nashville, Cape May, Blackburnian, and Cerulean Warblers!

Just as we were about to call it a day, I noticed a flycatcher in a bush along the side of the road. Much to our surprise, it turned out to be a very early Acadian!

The day ended with 31 year birds bringing my total for the year in Indiana to 187!

-Rob

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