I headed out at lunchtime today planning on going to Met State and bumping Field Sparrow up to probable breeder (7 days singing) but as I started down the Access Road I remembered the work being done on Trapelo right at the end of Forest St. yesterday. It was enough of a pain that I decided to head to Beaver Brook instead. That turned out to be a very good decision.
I had a sandwich for lunch, so after parking I assembled it and got out to walk around as I ate. Almost immediately, I heard an unfamiliar warbler song. I walked a little closer and began looking for the bird. It wasn’t easy as there were a lot of birds around. I must have sifted through 10 yellow-rumps before I thought I had it located. The bird then turned slightly I saw the spectacles of a Blue-headed Vireo, so apparently not. A Northern Parula was another false alarm, but the Indigo Bunting wasn’t.
Finally, I got on another warbler. White belly with a few streaks, white throat with a very little bit of a necklace. And the song clicked. Cerulean! Although among my most-wanted birds for the county and one I was hoping to find this spring, this wasn’t when and where I expected it.
The bird moved a little and even with it singing constantly, it was not easy to see. Eventually it moved down the path into the woods a bit. I followed, almost gave up and moved on, but then waited a bit and finally got some views of the head and back. Seeing that the only other Cerulean I’ve seen was at the top of a tree at Skinner State Park, this was the first chance I’ve had to really study the bird. The light was very poor, but I won’t complain.
The bird eventually returned to the tree it started in, at which point a noisy dogwalker came through and I headed back to work. I quickly sent out a post about it and got a very nice reply from Marj in just over 3 minutes:
That said it all.
After work, I ran back over to show it off to my parents. It wasn’t cooperating, staying silent (although others had it before and after we were there). We did have some consolation with a gnatcatcher, Red-breasted Nuthatch(!), a few other warblers, and more orioles than we could keep track of.
So I’ve finally gotten all the regular warblers in Middlesex County. Without figuring out an exact count, I’d also say it’s now less than 20 birds that occur yearly that I have yet to find. Come on goshawk!