At 6:30 am I was the first car in the parking lot at the west end of the boardwalk, just moments ahead of a nice couple from Maryland. Willow Flycatcher and Eastern Phoebe were the only notable birds prior to reaching the lot. It was cool and windy this morning, and the leaves had really popped out since Tuesday.
A Cape May Warbler calling from the canopy got our attention as we entered the Boardwalk area. Canada and Magnolia Warblers were also calling, but already the number of birds seemed down from earlier in the week. I managed a few pics of a Gray Catbird, and heard a Canada Warbler in a bush nearby, but failed to find it. Blackpoll Warblers were abundant in the area, but also impossible to see. I did manage a momentary view of singing Red-eyed Vireo.
I walked the boardwalk for a good hour or so w/o a bird to photograph, but got to bone up on calls: Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Black-and-White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, Baltimore Orioles and more Blackpolls.
I had brief glimpses of a Prothonotary Warbler first thing, but failed to see any on my loop. I decided to stop by the observation tower for a few minutes before calling it quits, and admire a Tree Swallow resting nearby. As I watched the bird I heard the distinct "Tchip!" of a Prothonotary Warbler. Turning my head I found a female bird preening in a snag just a few feet away. I directed other birders nearby to the bird, and we all enjoyed several minutes of clear looks at the bird. I got several keeper pics before she finally headed off to deeper cover, and felt like I had gotten what I came for. I packed up and was back to work by 10 am.
What a great place! Thanks to Kenn and Kim Kaufman for inventing this place... :)