Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Yellow Warblers and Other Finds

Wasn't the forecast for clear skies the rest of the week? Thought so, but today was a very dreary looking morning. Had to wait until the second school trip to get any light and even that was pretty poor. However, I could still pick out a few warblers up in the trees around the lake under the clouds.

The most surprising was a Yellow Warbler near the edges of the outer oak limbs. These birds are typically the first early migrants and tend to head off by now but I was not complaining. Except for the fact that I had to rush back to the van for the camera.

Yellow Warbler

Like many warblers, this Yellow Warbler was moving fast in search of bugs and reminded me, again, how hard it is to get good shots of small birds on the hunt. Not that you can't see them. It is the small branches that end up between you and them and make the camera want to focus on anything but the bird.

Yellow Warbler

The best part for me was that this is clearly a male Yellow Warbler. I usually have gotten shots of juveniles or females but I was always wanting a shot of the male with those red-orange stripes.

Yellow Warbler

Buoyed by this brief warbler encounter, I decided to take a few minutes to head over to nearby Demetree Park. Might be something along the boardwalk. Indeed, there were a few birds crossing the small creek, including a couple of juvenile White-eyed Vireos. Even in this blurry shot you can see the dark eye.As they get older, the iris turns bright white.

White-eyed Vireo

Behind them and foraging in the cypress and tallow trees were several Swainson's Thrushes. Wish they would get closer. Then again, I get those more personal shots when I band them at Lake Lotus.

Swainson's Thrush

On the way out I saw another bird that I had nearly forgotten about. A Wood Stork flew overhead and landed on the fishing dock. Wood Storks are making a comeback over the years and I am more used to them around. Just realized I hadn't seen any in the past couple of months.

This bird was probably born earlier in the year as adult birds get very dark bills. The bills are nearly ivory when the birds are born.

Wood Stork

A little sunshine in the overcast, including some surprises. Not too bad.

No comments: