Thursday, September 24, 2009

Worth the Wait

Its been quiet up in here. The reason, ....

three full days of Midwestern March weather, in Colorado, in late September. There has been a serious case of socked in, leaden skies around here, and the migrants and birders were none to happy about it. I didn't get any local snow, but could see it falling just above my elevation on the foothills several times this week. Despite it all I ventured out both Tuesday and Wednesday at lunch, and both times came back damp, with very little to show for it.

Today Mother Nature seems to be pulling out all the stops to make up for it though. I was out at lunch on a beautiful, crisp, fall day. Fortunately, I had forgotten a memory card and had to immediately head back to my car. When I got back to the start of the woods on the South Boulder Creek Trail I caught a group of Chickadees moving across the trail just beyond me. I caught up to where they were crossing, and looking back caught this young fellow moving from branch to branch.

It was the first time I had seen a Yellow-rumped Warbler, (Audubon's - *note the yellow chin*), in first year winter plumage. Until I got back and had a look at a guide I wasn't aware that Yellow-rumpeds could have so much brown on them. A good close up view, but nothing compared to what I would see as the Yellow-rump passed me by...

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet not more than five feet from me, and ranging from one to four feet off the ground. I have seen this species before, but only breeding males, and only at a distance. Today I had a few good looks from close range. They seem even more tiny up close! The view above is better than what I have typically experienced, a head here, a tail in a different shot - always obscured by leaves or branches, or better - looking up into a pine tree - towards the sun.

This little lady, (maybe a non-breeding male?), was willing to sit in the relative open and give me a few nice looks. Even so this little spec was a constant blur of motion. Capturing it in the dark shade of the plum bush where it was moving proved to be far from ideal, but a satisfactory experience nonetheless.

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