Still cloudy and rainy on Sunday, the 3rd day of FeatherFest 2015. That didn’t stop the migrants or the birders. There were an astounding number of both at Corp Woods this morning.

Summer Tanager

A very exciting birding day marred only by a little rain (really, who cares?) and me having stood unawares on a fire ant bed, which pleased neither me nor the ants. The FeatherFest bus delivered many eager out-of-town birders to a place absolutely filled with migrant birds. What a happy gathering! And I actually met people who know less about birds than I do. You should have heard me “speaking knowledgeably” to those tenderfoots. LOL, you could fill a book with what I don’t know about birds. A book called Sibley’s, specifically.

All photos taken in a 4-hour stretch on Sunday morning, April 12th, 2015 at the Corp Woods Nature Sanctuary. I hit the books on most of these IDs, even the ones I was pretty sure about. The drab ones always give pause. But I did nail a few IDs in the field, and there are a couple with lingering doubts as well.


tennessee-warbler-b-04-12-2015Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler

I think the Blue-winged Warbler gets its name from all that bright yellow making the gray wings look comparatively blue. The fairly drab Tennessee sends me to the books every time. One of the first Warblers to give me fits.


northern-parula-04-12-2015Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Northern Parula

Always nice to see the Yellow-billed Cuckoo! And the Parula was only recently added to my life list.

black-and-white-warbler-04-12-2015Black-and-white Warbler

I chased the B&Ws all morning and this one finally gave me a pose. And what a pose.


indigo-bunting-m-04-12-2015Cerulean Warbler
Indigo Bunting

The Cerulean Warbler was the buzz of the day out there. Definite lifer for me, and from what I heard, quite a few others. Infrequently seen migrant on the island, I gather. Indigo Buntings are regular Spring visitors. What a terrific color for a bird! No sign of the similar looking Blue Grosbeaks I saw the day before.


summer-tanager-f-04-12-2015Summer Tanagers

A male and female Summer Tanager. The similar male Scarlet Tanager has distinct black primaries where the Summer shows only a subtle darkness to those wing feathers. Also, the bill on the Summer (both male and female) is noticeably larger. How do you like my fake blue sky?

louisiana-waterthrush-04-12-2015Louisiana Northern Waterthrush

This is either a rare photo of Bigfoot or a Louisiana Waterthrush. Or perhaps a Northern Waterthrush? I’ve actually seen clearer pictures of Bigfoot. I got my first Louisiana in the back yard about three weeks ago.

Update: I asked Jim Stevenson who says likely a Northern because Louisianas come through in March, but photo too poor to be sure.


ruby-throated-hummingbird-04-12-2015Red-eyed Vireo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Both of these are familiar to me from previous years. There was a Ruby-throat in the back yard this past week.


hooded-warbler-04-12-2015Yellow-throated Vireo
Hooded Warbler

Same with these two. See them every year.

yellow-breasted-chat-04-12-2015Yellow-breasted Chat

Here’s a happy lifer for me! I was so close to convincing myself last spring that I’d seen the Yellow-breasted Chat in the back yard, but doubt kept me from logging it. Well I got you now, baby. Look how that eye ring marking just screams ‘vireo’, but the bill is all wrong. This is not a Black-capped Vireo. You need to go to the Texas hill country to see that bird.

(Note to self: clone out that %$#! little branch!)

swainsons-or-hermt-thrush-04-12-2015Swainson’s Thrush

Here’s another doubtful specimen. I’m calling it Swainson’s but Hermit Thrush is also a possibility. Anyone care to weigh in? There were 2 reports of a Swainson’s at this location on this day.

Update: I got our local ornithologist to verify: Swainson’s it is.

“I’ve stood corrected so many times,
corrected can hardly stand without me.”

No photos posted of these other birds seen on this day:

Scarlet Tanager
Belted Kingfisher
Palm Warbler *
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Common Yellowthroat
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Swallow-tailed Kite **

* Life bird, worst photo ever.
** Life bird, seen not photographed. Confirmed sightings same day on eBird.