Before I get to Monday’s frustrating Mourning Warbler call I’ll give a quick recap of Saturday’s birding.
Since I’m not sure I’ll get to Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow before the breeding season is in full swing I headed there Saturday morning. The hope was to see the expected deep forest warblers not available in the rest of Johnson County while they’re still calling. The targeted species of Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, and Louisiana Waterthrush were seen or heard. Which were three of the four. But never even a hint of a Hooded Warbler, which is usually calling in the woods.
The other deep wood species were out in full force. Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Acadian Flycatcher, and Eastern-wood Pewee were everywhere. But with the clouds and trees, no photos.
On to Monday and the Mourning Warbler call.
The day started at the local grassland listening for Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink. My thought was the truck traffic from I65 would be less on a holiday. No such luck. With the wind out of the NW it made listening tough. So no Grasshopper Sparrow.
On to Franklin Township Community Park for general birding. First thing out of the car I heard a Black-throated Green Warbler calling across the road, otherwise it was quiet. I made the rounds constantly fighting off mosquitoes. Around 10AM a couple of Barred Owls started calling. I figured they were complaining about the mosquitoes.
Mourning Warbler Call
Right after the owls I heard an out-of-place call. I was aware enough to know it was one of the uncommon warblers and it didn’t take long to place it as a Mourning Warbler.
There is a reason field guides describe Mourning Warbler as a skulker, or always hidden in deep undergrowth. It never comes out to give a look.
I listened for over 3 minutes but the skulker never appeared. Darn.
A portion of a long recording of the Mourning Warbler calling. Listen around 2 and 9 seconds for the call.
Now it’s on to the best time of year. Breeding Counts. Stayed tuned.