Monday, September 21, 2015

Blackburnian in Blackhead

 It has been a fantastic three days of birding. Rather than lamenting the three "life" birds I failed to see, I am rejoicing over the amazing birds I did see.
 It really all started about a week ago, but picked up steam over the last three days. The first batch of nice vagrants I encountered was off Blackhead Road where I saw this beautiful Blackburnian Warbler in the open. At the same location, I got a glimpse and poor shot of a Northern Parula and a brief glimpse of a Black-throated Blue Warbler. The sighting of the Black-throated Blue yesterday really topped the first one by miles.
 There is an on-going sense of disbelief when the great birds just keep popping out of the woods. By far this year, I am much quicker on identification, but I still rely on the experience in our birding community to confirm the rarest of birds before I post.
Why? Because migration season is so short and birders have a limited amount of time to bird. I certainly do not want to send anyone on a wild goose chase.
 I have to confess finding all of these good birds is a combination of good luck, persistence and location. Looking for out-of-the way hotspots and monitoring them regularly seems to be the key.
This year, I have made a big effort to explore many roads not typically taken. The birds are here and not just in the same ole places. Habitat, time of day and persistence yields great rewards. I should add that most all of my pictures from the last two weeks are hazy. That is not a reflection on me: that is the incessant fog and overcast conditions we have had to bird in.

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