birdwatching in Kentucky

I hadn’t had much time to look for birds in Kentucky so far, but this weekend was a nice start. Yesterday we went to Raven Run Nature Sanctuary and, while it was a bit late in the day and the children weren’t exactly conducive to listening for birds in the woodland, I did see some nice things, including a White-eyed Vireo. Okay, not a spectacular bird in appearance, but it was the first one I’ve seen since my early childhood in Belize.

Today I went out early in the morning for my first proper birdwatching in Kentucky, albeit a short one since I needed to be back home by 9:15. It turns out I chose a good morning, since I immediately encountered a large flock of migrating warblers. In fact, I never made it more than a few hundred feet from my car. When I got home, there were a bunch of emails sitting on my computer from birders all over Kentucky reporting the presence of large numbers of warblers. My best sighting was a gorgeous Black-throated Blue Warbler, which is one of my favourite warblers and which, I am proud to say, is the first one recorded in eBird for the county.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (photo by Kenneth Cole Schneider)

So here’s my first proper Kentucky birdwatching report:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  50
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  3
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  1
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  10
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)  15
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  8
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  25
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  10
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  1
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  1
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  2
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  2
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  1
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  1
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  1
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)  3
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)  4
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  8
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  5
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  40
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  3
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