A Grove of Warblers

On my tour of Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning, the expected mix of birds was found.  Blue-winged teal were abundant, joined by lesser numbers of northern shovelers, American coot, gadwall, wood ducks and mallards.  Shorebirds included greater and lesser yellowlegs, common snipe, spotted sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers and a small flock of dowitchers.  The resident bald eagles (2 pair) were present and I encountered the first green herons of the season.

The highlight of my visit occurred on my way out when I noticed two small birds flitting about a grove of trees that line the central channel.  Pulling over for a closer look, I soon discovered that the grove was alive with small insectivores; yellow-rumped warblers were most abundant, joined by palm warblers, Tennessee warblers, prothonotary warblers, a northern waterthrush and a pair of blue-gray gnatcatchers.  Among these relatively common species was a lone male blackpoll warbler.

This collection of small, colorful songbirds, less than ten feet from my pickup, reminded me of past visits to Cane Creek and Magee Marsh on the southern shore of Lake Erie, were spring migrants congregate to rest and feed before crossing the open waters.  No doubt, the activity of one flock attracted the others, creating a warbler spectacle amidst the vast landscape of Eagle Bluffs.