May 3: Our first Rose-breasted Grosbeaks arrived today. The females were right on schedule, having arrived this very same day last year.
May 4: We now have 3 beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that have joined the females. Hard to believe these neo-tropical migrants are kept as caged birds in some S. American countries. Their habitat is so very threatened that I feel a certain honor to have them here.
May 5: Our first Baltimore Orioles arrived today- one day later than last year.
May 6: The Red-headed Woodpecker is still here, and we're enjoying this delightful and beautiful bird so very much. He's quite aggressive around the suet feeders and is also quite vocal with his resounding churr churr churr call.
May 7: Finally. Our first male Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived this morning. I have a feeling this is our ornery lil male that we nicknamed 'Hercules' last summer. He's already hot on the tail of many larger birds, what a character. Also heard our first Ovenbird of the season and this evening a beautiful male Indigo Bunting arrived. Warblers continue to move through in large waves, including Chestnut-sided, one of my favorites. A great birding day in every way.
May 8: Another spectacular day. Our first American Redstarts arrived on the property- the bright colors in all of these beautiful wood warblers just defies description. Chestnut-sided Warblers were abundant and we had the thrill of them gleaning bugs right in front of us near the treeline, just 2 feet away from our faces. I'm sure mine sported a large grin.
May 10: We now have 2 male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and a new arrival- a beautiful Lincoln's Sparrow.
May 11: Our melanistic eastern chipmunk made an appearance today. We were quite happy to see him/her as we were a bit concerned that the mink pair may have found him. A very shy, secretive little animal. Good numbers of wood warblers & more firsts for our property - Blue-winged Warblers & Blue-headed Vireo. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks numbers have increased with several first year males arriving yesterday/today. We now have 4 stunning male Indigo Buntings and the female Baltimore Orioles arrived yesterday, doubling the number of orioles.
May 12: Very cold and rainy day- while driving slowly down a nearby road that ends at the Rifle River access, we heard no less than 7 Ovenbirds calling. Such a large voice for a small bird.
May 14: Met with birding friends at Tawas Point State Park today- the birds weren't quite as numerous as last week, but we had a lifebird- a gorgeous Harris's Sparrow. Fun times with good friends.
May 15: Another banner day with good friends at RRRA. The birding was phenomenal, weather conditions were perfect. Many species of wood warblers, vireos and other passerines. A wonderful melody of song.
May 17: Scarlet Tanagers made their first appearance on the property today. We also had a first: Evening Grosbeaks, 2 males and 2 females. Gorgeous birds, absolutely stunning.
May 19: What a mix of weather today- sun, rain, hail, thunder. Temps. dropping well below freezing for the past few nights. Good numbers of wood warblers today and all of the birds were feeding heavily.
May 20: Sighted a Black-billed Cuckoo near Prescott today and first seasonal sightings of Sedge Wrens and Cape May Warblers in the area. We had our first Blackpoll and Tennessee Warblers on the property today- wave after wave of birds went through all day, with many of them within reaching distance while I sat in the woods enjoying their colors & songs. Also got a pretty good look at our melanistic eastern chipmunk.
May 22: Beautiful day with southerly winds. Spent the better part of the day within RRRA- Many wildflowers have emerged and sighted our first Tiger Swallowtail butterfly of the season. The park was teeming with Hermit Thrush & good numbers of birds- we had many species of warblers gleaning bugs right in front of our face & the Wilson's Warblers were especially entertaining.
May 27: We've been birding RRRA quite a bit this week, spending many hours on the trails. Since the area is now quite crowded with holiday vacationers, we spent the day relaxing and enjoying the sights & sounds around the house- including the very territorial Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. We now have 2 males and 3 females.
May 28: Many wildflowers are now in blossom around the property, including Wild Columbine & our beautiful Yellow LadySlipper Orchids.
May 30: Visted Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area and spent an enjoyable afternoon birding. The first Monarchs of the season were out and birds were abundant (so were the mosquitoes). Black-billed Cuckoos, Cedar Waxwings and many empid species. We sat and watched a Great Egret fishing along one of the dikes for a long while- such an elegant bird.