Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Warblers of Yellow Color

 On a quick trip to Renews on Saturday, small yellow birds were crisscrossing the highway in front of me the whole way. Being in a rush, I couldn't stop every time. However, the temptation was too great to pass by La Manche Road without checking to see what could be there.

 I drove to the end of the road without seeing any birds. Ugh, waste of time. On my way back, I saw one bird and decided to stop. It paid off. One bird turned into a flurry of activity. Yellow birds were everywhere. Yellow Warblers, female Blackpoll Warblers, and American Goldfinch as well as the usual Black and White and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
 Skulking down low some distance from the road was this one. It stayed around a while, but getting a picture was torture. Just as I would get it out to show itself a bit, a flipping, zipping car would come whizzing down the road, typical of weekends on this road. It retreated into the cover of the woods. I struggled time and time again until I finally got some shots to study for an ID. Once I had a chance to look closely, I could see the broken eye ring, the hint of a gray band across the breast, no wing bars, and more. It turned out to be an immature Mourning Warbler!
 While focusing on the Mourning, this little yellow bird popped up on a nearby branch, stayed for a few moments and took off.
 Only my camera saw this bird as I didn't have time to raise my binos. I shot three pictures before it disappeared. When I looked at them more closely, I could see the cap on the head, but it went all the way to the beak. Could this be a special bird?
The back looked quite blue in the shaded light. Well, it turned out to be special, as they are all special. This immature Wilson's Warbler had all the distinguishing marks of a Wilson's, but it sure looked different from the bright, "lemony" yellow matures with a dark black cap. This is the time of the year to really reach deep into the distinct field marks of each little warbler to come up with an ID. I like the challenge and hope the opportunity arises over and over.

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