Migration season picks up
With mild temperatures and sparkling blue skies, this is perfect weather for enjoying the delights Mother Nature has to offer. At Montgomery Hall Park yesterday I saw another Blackburnian warbler, other unidentified warblers, a female Scarlet tanager, an Eastern Wood Pewee, some Northern flickers, Red-bellied woodpeckers, and a Hairy woodpecker. The number and level of activity of the woodpeckers was astounding. I also saw a group of four Broad-winged hawks flying south over head, the first such migrants I've seen this season. As in past years, Brenda Tekin is coordinating the Rockfish Gap hawk watch at Afton Mountain, but I probably won't have much time for that this year. At Bell's Lane in the evening, I saw an Accipeter hawk (probably a Sharp-shinned), as well as a hummingbird.
As the season changes, it's interesting to observe how different species change their habits. I've noticed that robins and starlings are beginning to congregate in flocks, which are especially noticeable in the evening. Blue jays have become very vocal once again, as have chickadees.
When I was at the Nationals-Phillies game in RFK Stadium last Friday night, I saw at least 40 large grayish gulls; possibly immature Ring-bills. I may have glimpsed a nighthawk but couldn't be certain.