The first bird we heard was an Ovenbird, but there were so many of them we actually started an experiment to see if there was anywhere we would go where we were out of earshot of one. We also had some great looks. We ended up with a total of 138 Ovenbirds seen or heard Monday morning! Since we there quite early we also had some thrushes calling -- just as we entered the park we had a singing Swainson's Thrush...very nice and we had our first Wood Pewee.
As we drove down Reuben Walker we came across 4 Bluejays in the road. After a few seconds one of the birds flew off with nesting material, then another and the two remaining birds appeared to be gathering nesting material as well. Since these guys don't usually build communal nests, Mark thought it may have been an example of the previous year's young acting as "helpers" around this year's nest. They are so secretive, though, we've never actually seen them at the nest.
Suddenly out of nowhere a Yellow Warbler flew out of the side of the trail and snatched the dragonfly from the air and all I could do was keep running and yell at the warbler to "drop it". Actually I think I added some unprintable expletive in my state of distress. Whatever I did it worked! The startled Yellow Warbler dropped the ode and took off back into the trees from whence he came. Now to see if the odonate was still alive and, hopefully, identify it.
Suddenly there was a second one flying but that one perched for only a few seconds before flying off and we lost it. After checking the guides at home I decided it was the Hudsonian Whiteface and I posted the pics on the Northeast Odonata webpage on Facebook and got it confirmed.
Whew...we are now cooking in this ode season and I couldn't be happier. It'll only get better from here on out as more and more species start flying. Plus I get to enter two new species from Monday into the new Access database I created for keeping track of odonate sightings...Life Is Good! Oh and we had 81 bird species on this morning trip, including 19 species of beautiful (although potential dragonfly-eating) warblers.