Sunday, April 15, 2012

A bit of novelty

Today was a nice departure from the routine. A corn-caching Golden-fronted Woodpecker amused folks who were fishing, a few FOS birds were noted, and an interesting Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler provided food for thought. Notable by their absence were White-crowned Sparrows and Lark Buntings, both of which are still lingering in Marathon, mostly at/around feeders. Say's Phoebe was also an unusual miss, but an abundance of people fishing and cold, gusty wind may have had something to do with the lower numbers.

Post Road:
17 White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi - flyovers
1 Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
6 Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
1 Scott's Oriole Icterus parisorum

(Above: Golden-fronted Woodpecker investigating bait corn.)

Post Park:
1 Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
20 Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
2 American Coot Fulica americana
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
9 White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
3 Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri
7 Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris
7 Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
1 Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens
2 Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
2 Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
4 Bell's Vireo Vireo bellii
1 Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus - FOS
3 Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
1 Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
10 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
5 Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva
2 Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
1 Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus
2 Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
3 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) Setophaga coronata auduboni
2 Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus
4 Canyon Towhee Melozone fusca
2 Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata
1 Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
2 Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
5 Pyrrhuloxia Cardinalis sinuatus
5 Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
1 Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
4 House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus

A lovely follow-up to Matt's Cassin's Vireo post: FOS Plumbeous Vireo. If the picture is blown up enough, there's a bit of bug guts visibly smeared on the breast. A bit of an assumption, but a delicious one. The snack appears to be a leaf-footed bug of some sort.

Now something to ponder - the tail of an adult male Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler. Generally, from below, they look like this:

Above is a roadkilled adult male Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler from May 2011. Below is the bird in question from Post Park . It appears that both in feather count and in pattern, the bird below has exactly one-half of a tail. The slight notch on the left side should be the center of the slightly forked tail. Still a handsome fellow, but curious.


  1. Wow...a land where the Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers outnumber the House Finches and they'll come to right your table...enchanting.

    Love the Vireo shots--still waiting to see the FOS over here in AZ.

  2. Laurence, this was the first time I've seen such a bold GFWO, even if the table was unattended! I'm sure Marathon has far more House Finches than all species of woodpeckers combined, but the Post definitely feels a bit more pristine than the rest of the town. We have about 8 pigeons here and 0 at the Post. Collared doves, unfortunately are showing up more regularly down there and the town has hundreds. Sigh.

    Happy vireo waiting,