Friday, May 7, 2010

Warbler Wowser Wakeup

I had a feeling this morning had a chance to be good. The weather had been socked in last night, and the forecast called for a bright morning with some areas waking up to an overnight dusting of snow. Based on my understanding of "fallout" that seemed about right. Instead of anticipating the predawn bird alarm with dread, I planned for it, and was out the door before six this morning. Everything seemed to have come together perfectly.

I returned to the South Mesa Trail parking area, and revisited the area where the Worm-eating Warbler had been seen previously. I had no more luck with that species, but it was a banner day for more common varieties of warbler. The Yellow Warbler (top), is one of my favorites. Bright and easily identified, it really works well in pictures. The accumulated snow didn't keep the Myrtel's Yellow-rumped Warbler (above), from enjoying a bit of breakfast. It just plowed off the branch as it went.
Next up was a Wilson's Warbler. It remained deeper in the understory, only occasionally popping up to the higher branches.

Virginia's Warblers were also about. They show that yellow spot in the middle of a plain white breast, and another below the tail. Virginia's also have a reddish crown, (click the picture to get a larger view) and an unbroken, bold eye-ring.

Just like any warbler they always have a next place to get to, and are usually off sooner rather than later.

It was a perfect combination of elements this morning; clear skies and no wind, enough snow to cover, but not so much as to damage the new growth, and colorful migrant birds to share it with.

There aren't many better ways to start a day!

International Bird Migration Day is tomorrow, what species are passing through your areas?
***Update: I found more pics from this trip that had rolled onto a new directory on my camera, the posts are visible here and here.


  1. You have that much snow?!! WOW. The photographs are beautiful. I love the Virginia & Yellow warblers.

  2. What an outing! You got some great shots and good variety too!

  3. Wow, I don't think of warblers as being seen against snow. Great photos of the little guys.