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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI _ May/15/2012 _ 6:55-10:00am _ Sunny - 50`

I know I'm pathetic: here I am posting stories that should have been up on your screen in mid May and now when I finally get around to it in late July! We've had a great time recently.  Earlier in the month we were up in Stowe, Vermont and we just got back from Cape Anne, Massachusetts. Our next expedition will bring us through the northern mountains of New Hampshire and will continue along down east Maine.  Anyway, here's a stale post for anyone interested.


May 15, 2012 - Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island, USA - 6:55-9:58am

We took the usual route through the cemetery today. Starting at the North Woods where quiet reigned supreme. From there we made our way down to the water where some of us were called away to chase a Yellow-throated Vireo and never actually reached the river (although others in our birding party did and came up empty handed). 

Our galavanting after the vireo was at first fruitless despite the directive song of the bird: "Here I am _ where are you? _ over here...". 

When we again met up with the main group of binocular wearers we (aided by the number and skill of these bird watching machines) were able finally locate the vireo. We would locate the bird by its song but then not be able to see it hidden among the fresh green leaves. Then all would then fall silent from up in the tree where the golden throated bird had just spruiked from only to hear it give away its new location now another fifty feet down the road. We finally decided that there were at least two birds Yellow Throated Vireos singing and there could have been as many as five. We finally found one in the end.

Other highlights near the river included Northern Waterthrush and Rose-breasted Grosbeak neither of which I saw but both of which I heard.
We then made our way back up to the Blackstone Boulevard side of the cemetery. One birder thought she heard an Alder Flycatcher which caused a brief stampede of shuffle-running birders. We shuffle-run as opposed to gracefully dash due to the groups average age of over fifty and the extremely expensive optics that coat us. The Alder was not heard again although the Alders identical twin, the Willow Flycatcher, was easily visible on a sapling by the mulch piles. To add to the year bird Willow we were gifted a brief look at a black-capped Wilson's Warbler. 
After that we spent thirty minutes listening to a bird which everyone hoped and thought was a Worm-eating Warbler (and which everybody wanted even more to be a Prothonotary Warbler which sings a song nothing like a Worm-eating Warbler but would be way cooler). It turned out to be no more then a slightly deranged Chipping Sparrow.   
This waste of precious birding time was made up for by another Wilson's Warbler and a Canada Warbler which was identified by it's distinctive chip before each bout of song.
After that most of the birders left the cemetery for Miantonomi Park in Newport with hopes of seeing the Summer Tanagers and Blue Grosbeak along with a load of other great species. We had just seen our first Summer Tanagers a few days before on the cemetery grounds.  Miantonomi is a place my mother has vowed to burn to the ground when next  the opportunity appears; her dislike of it's dumpiness and it's distance from our disheveled abode
We were left to fend for our selves and chase the high pitched voices of Blackpoll Warblers around, praying that one of them might turn out to be a much needed Bay-breasted Warbler which none of the Blackpolls sounded anything like.

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