Today was another awesome day down at Molera. First off, while doing an area search around 0900 I found a singing male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. This bird was probably first detected by Rick Fournier on Monday who heard the bird but never got looks at it. Nice start.... Then, after closing the nets around 1110 I decided to go look for the bird again, which I was hearing singing while closing. Pascal Cauchois (fellow intern at BSOL) joined me and we went hunting for the bird. We decided to wade down the river (trail to river bank is accessed before you get to the campground-in the alder grove) and succeeded in getting great looks about 100 meters downstream from where we entered. While we had great looks at the CSWA I heard a vireo sing a quick song and immediately thought WHITE-EYED!!! It sang again, this time just about 10 feet in front of us, but we didn't catch a glimpse of this skulker (I'm sure those of you who saw the 2000 bird here remembers how hard they can be to see). By this time we were in water up to our thighs and decided to try for it by walking to the campground. Both of these birds were in a flock of CB CHICKADEES, BUSHTITS and WILSON'S WARBLERS. We relocated the flock after arriving to the eastern edge of the campground (river side)and within 2 minutes heard the vireo again, which was singing just 10 feet in front of us again. Finally just east of where it was singing I finally spotted the bird. Both Pascal and I got fabulous eye-level looks only about 20 feet away!! But, while walking toward the bird through thick thistle and Poison Oak I heard another vireo above me singing. Right after getting looks at the WHITE-EYED VIREO the other vireo popped out in front of us and, bam, another YELLOW-THROATED VIREO!!!!! Yes, I started freaking out again, though not as much when I found the Cerulean. This YTVI was definitely a different bird than the most recent one in that it didn't have a band on its right leg and overall was much drabber in its coloration. This whole mind-bending experience happened between 1130-1210. I felt like I was at some Patagonia rest stop. So, the Molera Madness is still in serious effect here. I don't ever remember having such a great spring when I lived here for 7 years! The WEVI is Monterey county's 5th record and the YTVI is the 8th and the 6th for Molera. Also, of lesser note, one of the male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS that we banded last week is still in the open area across from the footbridge from the main parking lot and was singing quite a bit today. I had a different RBGR (not banded)singing yesterday at 0630 by the lab, just north of the footbridge. So what's next? I predicted that White-eyed Vireo would show up this spring along with a Yellow-throated Warbler so lets hope this latter bird is next to show up. Damn good birding......I would highly recommend coming down here and beating the bushes also please. Thanks.Bird hard!!
Big Sur Ornithology Lab