Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cape May Warbler

 The Cape May Warbler was not even on my radar! One range map that I checked indicates that the Cape May Warbler can be found on the most southwestern corner of the province.  Other maps suggest that its breeding range stops at Nova Scotia. Which ever map is true this little Cape May Warbler is off course as it sits in the backyard of Karen and Gene Herzberg in Northeast St. John's.
Karen and Gene first spotted this rare visitor on Sunday afternoon and reported it on the bird forum right away. In short order birders began to arrive to see the bird. I didn't make it out that afternoon so I decided mid-morning on Monday to drive over and see if I could see the bird from the road.  Great timing for me....just as I turned off the ignition, Gene drove up and invited me in to view the bird.
Lucky twice...the bird was in the backyard as soon as I arrived. Amazing, a life bird for me, I was able to see the bird within five minutes of leaving home and in the comfort of the indoors.   The hospitality of birders is remarkable. It has been my experience that the act sharing a special bird is equal to the joy of finding it in the first place. Thank you Gene and Karen for being so welcoming.
Other birders have identified this as a juvenile male Cape May Warbler and according to bird historians, this is the first male to reach St. John's and is the first Cape May recorded since nearly twenty years ago. How special is that!

I watched from the patio door as the Cape May flitted from the pine tree to the suet feeder then back to the tree and then vanished for about ten minutes. It did return and with the help of some bright sunshine and an open door I was able to get a few shots.
The yellow on this bird just glowed in the sunlight. It is somewhat hypnotizing to watch a bird such as this. I could have stayed all day.
Needless to say I have stepped up the number of suet cakes put out in my backyard. I find myself gawking out the window all of the time hardly able to get on with day-to-day chores just hoping that a special warbler will pay me a visit.

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