The gloomy morning made for poor photography conditions, but the bird activity was stellar for the second week in a row!
When I first entered the trail, I was greeted to a flyover flock of 4 Double-crested Cormorants! This observation represents a fourth record of this species seen from the trail, all of which being flyovers. The largest group ever observed was the first record on 4/22/13 with 38 in one flock, which was spotted by Mr. Piasecki while on a walk with students during Earth Week! Also, the three previous records of this species were in the month of April. This fourth record of the species is a first-ever record for the fall season on the trail.
The brush along the trail right before the basswood tree was a hotspot of activity that took most of my attention for the morning. The low light forced me to bump my ISO on the camera up between 4000 and 6400, making for grainy and noisy photos. Also, I had to keep a shutter speed of around 1/640 so I had to hold my 400mm lens very, very still; easier said than done!
Within this brush, I picked up a variety of very active songbirds! I observed Ruby-crowned Kinglets eating mile-a-minute berries, Palm Warblers bobbing their tails while perched in shrubs, Carolina Chickadees vocalizing from deep in the bushes, and a Lincoln's Sparrow perching briefly in the open! This appearance of Lincoln's Sparrow represents a fourth record of this bird on the nature trail. All records, including this one, have been recorded only in the second week of May (5/13 & 5/14) and mid-October (10/13 & 10/19) in previous years. The last time this bird was observed on the nature trail was 5/14/13. I was unfortunately unable to snap a photo of this bird as it jumped back into hiding quicker than I could get my lens on it!
26 Species for the Week: