Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moscow White-winged Crossbills, lots of migrants, 5/20/09

Hi All -

This chilly (low 40's) morning was great for migrants around my house and got even better when I found 5 White-winged Crossbills a couple blocks south of my house. There were 2 very nice adult males, 2 females, and a younger, streaky male. They were feeding in a deciduous tree w/ winged seeds (eating new buds I guess) along w/ several Red Crossbills, 3 Western Tanagers and 4 Black-headed Grosbeaks (an interesting combination). They were giving soft chut-chut calls. It was very sastifying to find these after several false alarms back in March and having flocks of crossbills flying over frequently the past few weeks.

As for migrants, warblers, Lazuli Buntings, tanagers, grosbeaks, and Chipping Sparrows (again) were the most common this morning. It's getting harder to get a good count w/ the trees (finally) leafing out but there were about 5 each of Yellow, Townsend's, and Wilson's Warblers, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Lazuli Buntings. There were about 50 Chipping Sparrows in and around the yard and also about 30 yesterday. There were lesser numbers of Hammond's (3) and Dusky (1) Flycatchers, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers (all females), Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds, and a couple Ruby-crowned Kinglets. No new arrivals although I thought I heard a pewee at one point.

The continuing cool weather here seems to be keeping a lot of migrants in town. This is the best May for migrants here in Moscow I think I've had in several years.

thanks, Charles.

Charles Swift
Moscow, ID

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