Monday, May 7, 2012

Swainson's Warbler and More

Greetings from Camp Verde, AZ I started driving out to Arizona a few days ago to start surveying for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. Along the way I stopped at a couple of places to look for a few species. My first stop was the Ouachita National Forest to look for Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Bachman's Sparrow. Once I arrived at the woodpecker spot a little later than I had intended I wasn't sure if they would still be hanging around. Luckily after hiking around for a little while I was able to locate one calling bird and get some nice looks. Bachman's Sparrows also occur in this area but I didn't have much time to look and ended up not finding one. The next spot was Oklahoma's largest breeding colony of Swainson's Warblers. After arriving at the correct unit (I went to the wrong one first) I quickly heard a singing Swainson's and after a minute was able to locate the bird. It was quite cooperative and I was able to get some decent photos.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Swainson's Warbler

Swainson's Warbler

I made one more quick stop in Oklahoma at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. As soon as I arrived at the right spot I heard the target species, Black-capped Vireo. After a little searching one individual was cooperative for some great looks. I was also able to locate a number of singing Painted Buntings which I had never been able to hear before as I had only seen them in the winter. -Eric

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