May 5, 2005
Every day the goldfinches seem to be singing more and more loudly in the tree tops. Nearly all the males have finished molting into their bright yellow summer plumage, as you can see here. Yesterday I saw a male Ruby-throated hummingbird buzzing out back for the first time this spring. This morning I went looking for migrating neotropical warblers along the trail behind Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad, but they were absent once again, except for one Prairie warbler that I heard. (I haven't seen one of those in years.) The Yellow-rumped warblers stay in these northern latitudes during the winter, and are very common this time of year. In glancing at my records, I noticed that for the eight previous years, I first saw Catbirds in April, whereas this year my first sighting was May 2. The exact opposite is true of Baltimore orioles; April 27 this year was the earliest I had ever seen them. Here are today's highlights:
*(Seen in Costa Rica in February.) FOS = first of season. In the afternoon there were a couple Northern rough-winged swallows and a (probable) Cooper's hawk out back.