My friend Pete says that he had White-eyed Vireo, one or two, at this location at least three weeks ago and maybe earlier. The Vineyard Birds II book lists the earliest record for white-eyed as April 29th. That sure sounds late, but who knows, and how many white-eyeds are seen and recorded on Martha’s Vineyard every spring? Not that many. Pete and I were at the pumping station at the head of the Lagoon on the morning of May tenth. We met up there with Sally, who was on her appointed spring birding rounds. Everything looked quite dull at first, although a close look at breeding yellow-rumpeds and yellow warblers should not really qualify as dull. Then we heard the vireo’s call and then the full song. He acted very much like a local, not a transient, to my eyes, as though he were not just passing through. Of course I already knew he had been seen in the same general spot a number of times, which very likely shaded my judgement. We saw no evidence that he was gleaning to feed a mate on a nest. He did sing up a storm, as the photos imply.
The only other migrant of note that we found was a Tennessee Warbler. Pete knew the song. I was trying to make it into some variable of a Winter Wren. We did see it, but mostly we heard its distinctive call and could not relocate it even though all three of us were scanning nearby vegetation for quite a while, trying to get an angle on it. I think it was throwing its song around like a ventriloquist. We would hear the song; but then two of us would point in directions about ninety degrees apart. We also remarked that it was feeding and singing close to the ground, rather than favoring the canopy habitat where you might expect it.
The butter-butt photo is a reminder of how exotic a fully feathered example can be.
I have a list of folks who get an emailed notice from me with a URL to click on when I have posted a new blog. There are also times when I just send out photos to the list without bothering to blog about them or post them to a listserve. Not on the list? Want to be? Just contact me (below right) saying you want to be on the list or, better yet, subscribe to Feedburner above, in the right side column for automatic blog feeds to your email. Getting off the list is just as simple.