Birdwalk Highlights for 6/18: Royal River Park, North Yarmouth.

The primary lesson today: when I hem and haw about not knowing where to go (surprisingly strong winds today precluded all of my usual go-to's at the season), someone has to insist we go to Royal River Park. Because once again, being indecisive, I ended up at Royal River Park and we had another fantastic outing!

The local breeding warblers put on a great show; even better than usual here. One of the 6 AMERICAN REDSTARTS burst out in song in perfect sunlight about 4 feet in front of my face, and the pair of BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS were hanging out at the edge feeding a fledgling. At least a dozen YELLOW WARBLERS were seen incredibly well throughout the park, we heard and saw at least 3 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, two male COMMON YELLOWTHROATS showed themselves nicely, and even the singing male PINE WARBLER was very well seen.

Hatching stoneflies(?) in the river added to the biomass and increased the number of insectivores foraging around the falls. NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS (9+) were particularly conspicuous. Near the upper falls, they were joined by at least 4 TREE and 1 BARN SWALLOWS. A dozen or more CHIMNEY SWIFTS were overhead throughout the day, and 10 or so CEDAR WAXWINGS also worked the insect hatch.

Two BROAD-WINGED HAWKS were spotted soaring overhead, and we had 4 GREAT BLUE HERONS commuting up river. Two DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were flying the other way, high.. SONG SPARROWS (15+), AMERICAN ROBINS (15+), GRAY CATBIRDS (10+), and ~10 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES were all conspicuous here as usual.

Along the river, we had great views of a pair of WARBLING VIREOS, often flying across the river towards us in order to mob some COMMON GRACKLES. We also enjoyed stunning views at an active pair of BALTIMORE ORIOLES, and we heard one CAROLINA WREN.

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