Few Migrating Birds But Some Rewards

Gray-cheeked thrush, Frick Park, 21 May 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

23 May 2021

This year’s weather has made for a lackluster spring migration season in southwestern Pennsylvania. It was suddenly warm in late April then surprisingly cold in the second week of May. During the cold spell migrating birds avoided us by traveling along the Atlantic coast or up the Mississippi valley and Great Plains.

Their absence here was noticeable. Other than one spectacular birding day on 6 May the rest of the month has had a good mix of species but few individual birds. I find it bizarre to spend three hours birding in mid May and see/hear just one American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) or one Tennessee warbler (Leiothlypis peregrina).

But there have been rewards. Last week in Frick Park Charity Kheshgi found a couple of gray-cheeked thrushes and two mourning warblers on two different days. One gray-cheeked thrush perched in the open.

Gray-cheeked thrush among leaves, 21 May 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

The mourning warblers remained in the shadows. Scroll right to see his eye shine in the third photo.

And it’s baby season for robins. Cuteness is its own reward.

p.s. Today (and yesterday) there was an olive-sided flycatcher in Frick Park. Click here to se a photo of one that Charity Kheshgi saw at Presque Isle.

(photos by Charity Kheshgi)

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