The next warbler on my hit list was Prothonotary Warbler, so the target area this morning was the Halethorpe Farms Ponds along the lower Patapsco River. I was not disappointed! As soon as I stepped into the woods between pond #5 and the river I heard a male singing on the opposite (Anne Arundel Co.) side. A second male held a territory by the creek draining the pond into the river and offered a few photo opportunities. While watching the Protho I noticed a lot of warbler activity in the canopies. Turned out they were almost all female Blackpolls, with a few Redstarts mixed in. Also heard a couple N. Waterthrushes chipping in the wet woodlands. On the exposed mudflats at the eastern end of the pond, I counted 7 Spotted Sandpipers, 4 Least Sandpipers and a Killdeer. Two Ospreys were seen fishing around the pond. The third Prothonotary Warbler I heard singing by the pond near the western shore was busy mate-guarding his female on her foraging trips. Nearby, a pair of American Redstarts had set up shop. By adding Warbling Vireo to my yearlist I passed 300 species in the US this year!
Spotted Sandpiper (above) and Yellow Warbler (below):A handsome American Redstart
Tomorrow I am heading out to Delaware Bay to witness the shorebird feeding frenzy on horseshoe crab eggs. I hope to get some shooting done before the forecasted thunderstorms set in.