Sunday, September 12, 2010

American Redstart

On the morning of August 18, I was having my morning coffee and sizing up the bird activity in my yard, as usual. I spotted a Black-capped Chickadee, and I was pleased. The BCC is an occasional visitor to my feeder and always welcome. Then I spotted a pair splashy reddish, rusty colored sparrow. Oh, this was a good morning, two Fox Sparrows had come to visit. This was a first. I continued to scan the nearby trees and my feeder and there was a Yellow Warbler - a triple basehit. My yard was alive. Then, I saw flashes of yellow on a tail. I am used to seeing flashes of white on the tail from the many Juncos that frequent the feeder but this was a definite yellow.
I pressed my binoculars so tight to my eyes that my eye sockets were hurting. It was definite this was not a Junco. I traded off my binoculars for my camera and started to shoot. I wasn't quite sure what it was but I was shooting fast and furiourly, anyway.

I watched as it flitted around the tree and I reacted with quick clicks of the shutter everytime it came into the open, even a little bit. I surmised from the beak that it must be a warbler of some sort. It was busy catching flies for breakfast.
At last it came out of the trees and gave me some close views and close scrutinity, as this picture indicates. More than ten minutes had elapsed and they were still comfortable in the yard. Needless to say, so was I. (The American Redstart is known to be tame.)

One of my guests gave me the opportunity to have a good look at the the bright yellow, fanned tail, as if to say ", get a good picture." Thanks to my trusty camera, I was able to review the field guides and my images, and I came to the conclusion that I had one adult female and two immature American Redstarts come to call and stay for about 30 minutes.  They all were cooperative in stepping out into the open for pictures.

This image is most likely the adult female. She was the one who caught most of the flies, but I didn't see her feeding either of the others.  I don't know how it was that this common resident of Newfoundland found its way to my yard, but I am surely glad that it did. They have not returned but I continue to watch for them and other special visitors to brighten up my yard and my day.

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