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Up early this morning to chase birds at Green Point WMA.   While it’s still August, warblers seem to be moving back through in numbers, and Green Point seemed like a good place to try.

They were everywhere, moving through the green leaves, appearing and disappearing . . . with identification (and photographing) so much more difficult than in the spring.  No longer in breeding colors . . . the fall yellow and grays present some real challenges.

Still, I had good ids on American Redstarts, Black-throated Greens, Chestnut-sided, Common Yellow-throats and a Wilson’s Warbler.  Throw in a Red-eyed Vireo, a few perching birds and woodpeckers . . . it was a successful morning.

But then came the surprise:

While walking back to the car, I ran into another birder in the Green Point orchard.  We were chatting a bit when I spotted a large gray bird in one of the apple trees.  We pulled out our binoculars . . . and it was a Cuckoo.  After 10 minutes of viewing and photographing, we were both comfortable that we were seeing a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, rare in these parts . . . and a lifer for me.

The Black-billed Cuckoo that we saw back in June  . . . note the red eye ring, compared to the yellow eye ring on the YBC.

To paraphrase Forest Gump’s mom: “You never know what you’re going to get!!!”


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