We had an incredibly productive visit to the OTP today, but the overall highlight was what we saw few of: BOBOLINKS! And, of the 9 we did see, two were fledged juveniles. One pair suggested having a late nest nearby, but overall, the low numbers are exactly what we had hoped for: the Bobolinks here once again had a successful breeding season and the vast majority have now fledged. With a town ordinance requiring a delay in the haying until at least July 20th, we have once again had a successful nesting season here.
But we did see plenty of other birds. One of the other highlights was a RED-EYED VIREO nest. Exceptionally low, just above eye level, we watched the female feed some very tiny (out of sight) nestlings before settling in to brood. Presumably a re- or second-nesting attempt, the proximity to the trail afforded rare insight into the bird's life, but also the impressive complexity of the nest. that was constructed with an amply supply of birch bark strips.
While we only heard a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, we heard it well, and it was the first of the season locally for most of us. A GREEN HERON flew by overhead, as did our first SOLITARY SANDPIPER of the fall (yes, fall - southbound shorebird migration is now well underway).
WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were rather conspicuous today, at least three were heard and seen. WARBLING VIREOS (4) were less visible, but were very vociferous. Swallows over the field and river included at least 8 TREE, 4-6 BARN, and 2 BANK SWALLOWS. Two VEERIES were well heard belting out their song, and one was briefly glimped.
6+ YELLOW WARBLERS were joined by 5+ AMERICAN REDSTARTS including an "immature" male feeding a fledgling, 1 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and of course, lots of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS (15+). GRAY CATBIRDS (15), SONG SPARROWS (20), RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS (10), and CEDAR WAXWINGS (8) were common and conspicuous as usual here, and we several great looks at ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (3), EASTERN KINGBIRD (3), and an OSPREY. Additionally, we heard 2 GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, briefly glimpsed a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and were buzzed by a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD.
Yeah, that was a good one!