A group of 25 eager birders showed up on a warm, overcast day at Algonkian Park on September 10 to look for migrants. Right from the parking lot, we found birds flitting about in the tops of trees including several warbler species: Blackburnian Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler and Magnolia Warbler. And flycatchers were everywhere! Among the many Eastern Wood-Pewees, we also found a Least Flycatcher and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher along with several quiet and unidentified Empidonax Flycatchers. As we wandered around the waterpark area, we continued to find lots of bird activity with Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parulas and many year round resident species putting in an appearance. As we walked down to the edge of the Potomac River, we found another flock of warblers that gave great looks including both Black-and-white Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler. We found a couple Wood Ducks floating in the Potomac along with several swallows flying over the water, and Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons stationed along the water’s edge.
As we came to the boat ramp, we found a Yellow Warbler. Heading down the Woodlands trail, we spotted a Peregrine Falcon close by over the Potomac. Farther down the trail, we also found an accommodating Yellow-billed Cuckoo that sat out in a bare tree for good looks. Where Sugarland Run meets the Potomac, we found an immature Little Blue Heron that had been hanging around for several weeks. We continued to find good warbler species — American Redstart, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler and Ovenbird to name a few. All told, the group found 11 species of warblers out of 65 total species. That’s a great way to experience migration!