Today was planned to be devoted to gardening and making bread … until at just before 9am my friend called me to enjoy a Cape May Warbler (#69) bathing in the waterfall before flying up to the overhanging maple tree to dry off. Not quick enough with the camera – again – but a lovely little bird with its bright orange cheek patches. I wondered if it might not be a lifer, certainly not a common bird for me, but it was first seen here on 3 September 2006; nevertheless a scarce and welcome little bird for all that.
Just over an hour later the garden added (seen by J … still awaited by R) a Ruby-throated Hummingbird … so summer really is imminent it would seem. Hovered briefly in the dogwoods flashing its very bright ruby throat. Later yet while enjoying a beer with lunch on the deck we were serenaded by a Yellow Warbler (#72) in the birch tree “singing station” that all the birds use. late afternoon the wind became extremely gusty and a Nashville Warbler plus a Yellow-rumped Warbler (seen only by J so not listable) made a brief appearance and then a Bay-breasted Warbler worked his way through the maple tree and the redwood before continuing northwards.
A short trip to the weather radar dome to try to digiscope some Cliff Swallows was fruitless as they were all out over the fields and a nearby pond gathering food and nowhere near the nest site. On the way back, I swung round by the town hall boat ramp where there are a couple of drunkenly leaning houses for Purple Martins. None to be seen by the houses but three were wheeling up in the sky over the bay … so, Purple Martin (#71). Going back an hour later PUMAs were sitting on the balconies of the two houses, two males and female being seen. Also seen by the water was a distant raptor crossing the lake towards Dowker Island … I managed to grab a photograph without much hope of identifying it, but on examination the white rump of a Northern Harrier was distinct (#73).
Walking back we were buzzed by a Red-bellied Woodpecker.