Monday, October 6, 2014

Orange-crowned Warbler

 On a cool, Sunday morning, I opted for my favorite bird-from-the-car route .... the northern loop from Portugal Cove to Bauline to Pouch Cove and back.
 There were numerous flocks of juncos and chickadees sprinkled with Fox Sparrows at the start of the run.  I was hopeful.
 I stopped everywhere there was activity, but turned up little of interest until I neared Pouch Cove.
 There, I was able to witness an amazing aerial act by one adult Peregrine Falcon and two immature birds.  I think I caught a flying lesson.
 I moved on slowly and noticed numerous juncos, chickadees and kinglets. I stopped to have a closer look.
 Staying in my car the whole morning meant all of my photos were distant shots.
 With my binoculars, I finally caught sight of a flash of yellow. Boy, did I perk up.
 I have to tell you I was in the area looking for over 30 minutes before this little washed-out bird appeared.
 Weaving itself through the alders, it was hard to get shots. Typical!
 Finally, it began to come out in the open for a few seconds at a time.
 Not quite sure what I was seeing, I tried to get shots from every angle. On the spot, I was thinking this might be a Philadelphia Vireo. However, when I got a better look at the shots on my computer, it just didn't totally fit.
I finally zeroed in on the ID by checking the Confusing Fall Warblers in Peterson's Guide. The depiction of the Orange-crowned Warbler didn't fit exactly, but it was the closest match. From there, I went to my "Warblers" book and reviewed all of the images of the Orange-crowned Warbler. There really was no exact match there either, but the bird certainly had most of the field marks. Further investigation on the Web, turned up a perfect match. My great little mystery bird is an Orange-crowned Warbler.  Is there any doubt about what the loop is one of my favorite runs?

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