Monday, May 9, 2011

Annual Pilgrimage to Mount Auburn Cemetery

Indigo Bunting, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
Today looked to be the sunniest day this week, so off I went for my annual pilgrimage (I use that word in its holiest sense) to Mount Auburn Cemetery for a morning amidst the migrants. Lots of activity to behold, both from birds and fellow birders.

The main attraction this season has been a highly visible nest of great horned owlets. It is impossible to miss, marked off by yellow police tape and spotting scope tripods. These must be the most photographed owlets in New England. Here's my contribution to the collective effort.
Not far away was a parent owl trying to get some shut-eye but having great difficulty in the blustery wind (see video below).
Attractive and talented songsters were abundant, including a lovely indigo bunting (above) and this surprisingly approachable scarlet tanager.
As for migrating warblers, well let me tell you.... If I were a more list-obsessed type this would have been a stake-out day. Cape May, Hooded, and Kentucky had all spotted by birders at one point or another. I actually spent a while waiting for the Kentucky to show himself (to no avail). But given this was my Mount Auburn day, and the blossoms were peaking, I thought I'd be better off soaking up the atmosphere than standing in the shade looking at rhododendron bushes through my binoculars.

Northern parula song dominated the place,
though I also saw/heard Nashville, chestnut-sided, ovenbirds, black-throated green, prairie, black-throated blue, and this precious black and white, which was just sitting there unmoving, occasionally making its squeaky utterance.
Doesn't it look like it's just viewing the blossoms? A little bird-style hanami?

In this short video, a little bit of indigo bunting and scarlet tanager singing (with myriad voices in the background). And the great horned owl parent practically getting blown off its perch by the wind.

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