Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Orange-crowned Warbler - Southside

Before the big storm hit, I revisited several places to check in on some winter warblers. I didn't have much luck until, out of the blue, this Orange-crowned Warbler flew in while I was searching for the Yellow-rumped and Townsend's Warblers.

 Before its arrival, several Black-capped Chickadees and Juncos appeared. I am coming to learn that when a chickadee shows up, something good often follows. I have also found that patience often yields the rare birds.
It seems the warblers tend to hang back and let the juncos and chickadees do the recognisance to issue the "all clear." Then, the warblers come, bob around the branches a bit, check things out and then vanish just as quickly as they came in.
I wasn't expecting to see this bird, which brings with its appearance a special thrill. All my senses perk up, and I work very hard to get a picture. Why? When my pictures have been so poor? Because I don't trust my ability to accurately ID the bird on the spot. I have to get a record shot worthy of providing an identification, if I ever really want to know what the bird is. This is especially true at this time when a rare bird could show up.

There is a certain amount of excitement associated with just the hunt alone, but to be rewarded with "yellow" at this time of the year is exhilarating.
I think more and more people in St. John's are coming to know this feeling. There has been an increase in postings on our Google Groups site, new names are appearing on the site every day, and I am seeing new people with binoculars and cameras at some of the hot spots. This is a really good thing.
In just three years, I am amazed at how the the number of active birders have increased. Because there are more birders out there looking, there are bound to be more and more birds found during the year.

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