Birding Buffalo Calf, Part IV: Arrivals and Departures

April showers bring May flowers—and May Warblers!

Chipping Sparrow (nesting)Like the Vireos, Warblers are small treetop birds better identified by voice than vision. And today’s elusive Tennessee Warbler was a first for me! At first it was only a voice in the woods. But, as He loves to do, the Lord answered a specific prayer and Common Yellowthroat (female)brought an excellent view. It was exactly what was needed for this species. I was able to see it from the right angle and make a positive identification. Then after about half a minute in the open it darted away never to be seen or heard again. It was great. There are some other potential firsts which we have Golden-crowned Kingletonly heard and not seen including the Chestnut-sided Warbler(?), but maybe that will make another story for another time. Every day can hold a surprise in the Wave of Warblers.

All in all, it appears that the Raven, Barred Owl and Field Sparrow are year-round residents—as well as the good old woodpeckers of course.

Departures: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Slate-colored Junco (last seen April 13). And now, the . . .

 Arrivals to date:

February 15 American Robin Buffalo Calf
March, April Carolina Wren Buffalo Calf
  Hooded Merganser Buffalo Calf
  Canada Goose Buffalo Calf
  Louisiana Waterthrush Buffalo Calf
  Eastern Phoebe Buffalo Calf
  Chipping Sparrow Buffalo Calf
  (Red-winged Blackbird) Big Flint
Mid April Song Sparrow Buffalo Calf
  Northern Cardinal Buffalo Calf
  Eastern Towhee Buffalo Calf
  Turkey Vulture Buffalo Calf
  Red-shouldered Hawk Buffalo Calf
  Broad-winged Hawk Buffalo Calf
  Common Yellowthroat Buffalo Calf
  Turkeys (calling) Buffalo Calf
April 19 Ovenbird Buffalo Calf
April 20 American Goldfinch Buffalo Calf
April 22 American Redstart Buffalo Calf
  Scarlet Tanager Buffalo Calf
April 25 Ruby-throated Hum. Buffalo Calf
  Wood Thrush Buffalo Calf
  Chestnut-sided Warbler? Buffalo Calf
  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher? Buffalo Calf
  Blue-headed Vireo Buffalo Calf
  Yellow-throated Vireo Buffalo Calf
April 26 Red-eyed Vireo Buffalo Calf
  Great Crested Flycatcher Buffalo Calf
April 27 Yellow-billed Cuckoo Buffalo Calf
  (Young bluebirds hatch!) (Buffalo Calf)
  (Whip-poor-will) Big Flint
April 30 (White-eyed Vireo) Fort New Salem
May 1 (Prairie Warbler) Big Flint
May 2 Baltimore Oriole Buffalo Calf
  Rose-breasted Grosbeak Buffalo Calf
May 5 Gray Catbird Buffalo Calf
  Acadian Flycatcher Buffalo Calf
May 8 (Northern Parula Warbler?) Big Flint
  Indigo Bunting Buffalo Calf
May 9 Blue-winged Warbler Buffalo Calf
  Black-throated Blue W. Buffalo Calf
  Yellow-rumped Warbler? Buffalo Calf
  Kentucky Warbler? Buffalo Calf
  Tennessee Warbler Buffalo Calf


  1. David May 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Hmmm… Our dark-eyed juncos *arrived* April 13th, our yellow-bellied sapsuckers haven’t arrived yet… I think you may have inspired me to write a post on our blog about the birds we’ve seen. Thanks!

    The first picture reminds me of Psalm 84:3 – “Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself…”

  2. Donald May 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    . N E W S . F L A S H . !

    Bay-breasted Warbler
    Seen this afternoon, forest edges near barn

    Another first! My cup overflows.

  3. Esther Staddon May 10, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    They are so cute!

  4. Donald May 13, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    That is great, David. Are you all in Western Canada? Do you have Snow Buntings?

  5. James May 14, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    What a list! It’s nice to know you’ve seen the Merganser again; and I didn’t know there were so many different kind of warblers around. Wow.

  6. David Frazer May 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Donald, we live in eastern Canada (Sherbrooke, Quebec), and have never seen a snow bunting, but there was one spotted about 20 miles north of us this year, according to Have you seen any?

    I hope you will forgive me for taking so long in writing that post I promised. 🙂

  7. Donald May 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    That’s fine. I didn’t consider it a promise at all. The Lord will provide the right time.
    The only snow bunting the Lord ever brought across my path was a stray one at the feeder in Virginia of all places. It was a beautiful, unmistakable sighting that day many years ago, a real gift from the Lord.
    We didn’t have to canvas cold tundra to look for it, just stand still and watch it from the kitchen window.
    Keep beholding the fowls of the air!

  8. Donald May 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    U P D A T E

    The Kentucky Warbler was confirmed with a sighting this morning. Those outstanding black “sideburns” made it a memorable sight.

    One new addition: the Eastern Pewee, with a call that reminded me of Big Bear Camplands. 🙂

    By the way there was a Junco we saw west of us where the mountains are slightly higher. It evidences how close Salem is to the “tail” of the next coldest climate zone which reaches down the Appalachians. I don’t think I would have noticed that if you hadn’t mentioned it David. Very interesting!

    It is certainly summertime now.

  9. Michelle W. August 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Okay, now you have my curiosity up!! I grew up on Buffalo Calf Rd outside of Salem, WV (Doddridge Co). I’m REALLY curious now what part of Salem you’re in! I attended Greenbrier Grade School (which is now the logging company building) and DCHS. But I’m in N. Idaho now with my husband & HS’d children. Feel free to email me privately or send me a FB friend request. We may have LOTS of friends in common there! God bless.

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