Saturday, April 27, was the day for the monthly ASCA field trip. But with Karen Holliday birding out of state, someone else had to lead it. So I had volunteered.
The biggest surprise of the day was the number of birders who turned out: 38! The Arboretum parking lot was jam-packed by seven o’clock.
The first species calling and catching our attention was Summer Tanager. I think (and hope) everyone managed to see at least one of these; a bright red male was especially obliging by singing high in a treetop directly overhead. Next spotted were two male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, also high in a tree. I glimpsed a male Baltimore Oriole, also way up overhead, but am uncertain whether anyone else did.
Also heard singing from the parking lot was a single Black-and-white Warbler. Our sparse list (only 20 species!) for Saturday included a Worm-eating Warbler that was eating worms, and a Northern Parula or two. That was all the warblers we could muster. However, we heard lots of invisible treetop vireos—most of them probably Red-eyed Vireos—during the morning and even managed to see a few White-eyed Vireos. (As an excuse, I kept reminding folks that it wasn’t May yet.)
After completing the Arboretum Trail, we all adjourned and headed for the Kingfisher Trail. That’s where some of the species already mentioned were seen. But we were never again all birding together. Instead we were birding in smaller groups. Frankly, it was something like herding cats.
Dottie Boyles left early but made a quick side-trip to the Visitor Information Center in hopes of seeing a male Painted Bunting that had visited a feeder there the day before. Lo and behold, she saw him. But, as far as I know, no one else did that day. It was a timely reminder that there are always more birds around than we birders can find and identify.