Migrants and 10 Warbler Species at Frick Park

Hello once again. It’s been a while since my last post so I decided to write about the birding I did this morning as part of a walk to an urban park/migrant trap with the Three Rivers Birding Club. So here it is.

Pulling into the parking lot at the Frick Park Enviromental Center this morning, my hopes were high for a good morning of birding. I was specifically hoping for good numbers of warblers because for the past few weeks I have come down with a bad case of warbler fever (symptoms include: shaking uncontrollably at the thought of a fallout, panicking at the slightest hint of a warbler, and being unable to sleep because of thoughts of the warblers flying overhead).

Walking towards the first trail we were going to bird that morning, it seemed like my hopes might come true as people in the group got looks at Wilson’s warbler, bay-breasted warbler, and Swainson’s thrush. Sadly, I however, was only able to get looks at the thrush. A little disappointed, but still hopeful, I followed the rest of the group down the trail.

We quickly came across another good bird (that I was able to see), an adult northern parula! I really love these warblers after this summer, they have started to remind me of Hog Island. The parula, in true warbler fashion, didn’t stick around for long and we were soon on our way again too.

Further along, a rose-breasted grosbeak and a ruby-throated hummingbird made debuts but the real party didn’t get going for about half an hour.

We had reached a fork in the trail, when we noticed there was a lot of bird activity in the tree up ahead. We all started scanning through binoculars and realized that there were a good number of birds there. Scarlet tanagers were the first birds people noticed. At least three were chasing each other around in the canopy. Next, I found another grosbeak, then another, then another tanager. Someone called out that they had a redstart. I missed that one but was appeased when a bay-breasted landed in a nearby tree. Then a magnolia was found, then another maggie, then a few more grosbeaks, then a male redstart (this one I did see). Moving ten feet down the trail produced a Swainson’s thrush, a few more tanagers and grosbeaks, and then a blackpoll. It was one of those awesome yet overwhelming moments where there are just so many migrants in so many places that it’s hard to see them all and you can’t look at one for more then a few seconds without fear of missing another. In short, it was cool.

But all good things must come to an end and we eventually decided that we had found all the species that that particular flock was going to give us. So, elated, we continued on our way.

The warblers weren’t done with us though. It wasn’t long before we came across two palm warblers bobbing their tails charismatically. This turned out be the first course of another large flock which yielded a black-and-white, a bay-breasted, a black-throated green, and a female blackburnian. By now, my warbler fever was subsiding but I was starting to get a bad case of warbler neck (symptoms include: pain in the neck, and feeling that if you look at one more warbler in the top of a tree, your’re neck will snap). So, I was a bit relieved when we continued on down the trail.

Further along, we came across an indigo bunting but not much else.

Thus concluded a lovely fall walk in a local park. We ended the day with 10 warbler species which is a pretty good total for Frick Park at this time of year. Since the walk’s ending, my warbler neck has healed and my warbler fever is back again, making me excited for what birds this next week will hold.

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2 Responses to Migrants and 10 Warbler Species at Frick Park

  1. Aidan, we love to see people getting out and enjoying the parks, especially to check out the wildlife! We’d love to shout you out in a blog we’re working on this week — thanks for this great post!

  2. Pingback: Look up! Birding for beginners in Pittsburgh’s Parks | Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Blog

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