Thursday, May 2, 2013

Could it be... it is!


Awoke to a heavy wet spring snow covering everything and figured it'd be a good opportunity to capture images of birds that I don't normally see in snow. Our towhees have returned, along with all sorts of other sparrows, and of course the Yellow-rumped Warblers who seem to have camped out in our yard.

I was photographing the beautiful White-throated Sparrows in the snowy forsythia when I saw this:


Black and white... orange legs, looks like a black head... and is that a hint of yellow on its wings? Could it be...

YES! A male Blackpoll Warbler!


I've never seen one of these before. Couldn't believe my luck. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! While these birds are widely spread throughout Canada, the only time to catch them here in the States is during their fall migration to South America.


It moved from bloom to bloom and I wasn't sure if it was finding tiny bugs that had crawled into the flowers to escape the snow, or if it was drinking nectar.

The bird was kind enough to show me what it was after: It's pulling out the interior of the flowers and eating them:

 


Stewart Monckton from Australia, who writes a couple fabulous blogs, wrote something a few weeks ago that I really identified with as a bird lover: It's finding the unexpected in a frequented spot that really makes observing nature interesting. Finding this beautiful bird right outside our bedroom window is such an unexpected treat. For me this is what enjoying the outdoors is all about.

Wonder what else this odd spring weather will bring to our yard. Suppose that's the one good thing about having such cold, wet weather: Interesting birds!







24 comments:

  1. What a great sighting! I have to start checking out my forsythia more often. Lovely visitor and great photos!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! Looks like you've been enjoying a nice spring so far... :-)

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  2. Beautiful photos! Winter didn't get the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" memo.

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    1. Ha - it sure didn't Robin. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the RTs :-) Is your snow gone yet?

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  3. Totally splendid photos, and so interesting that he was eating the flower parts. I had a similiard bird OMG moment last week..watching Robins & Starlings.. A Virginia Rail in a Bradford Pear tree..huh? Of course that was the day I was w/out a telephoto lense ( of course!)

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    1. I thought it was supposed to be a partridge... in a pear tree? Sorry, couldn't resist, Cindy. I can't imagine seeing a rail up in a tree like that. What a cool experience!

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. I've been enjoying your travel posts on your blog :-)

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte! Any hawks on your platform yet? Hope you get some this year...

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  6. Lucky you! It looks like you were so very close to this beautiful warbler. Stunning photographs, Tami! Sightings like this is what really makes birding so much fun. Awesome!

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie. It was right outside our guest room window - was shocked to see it. And you're right - these little unexpected surprises are so fun.

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  7. Hi there - great pictures! Thanks so much for the comment and link! As you may have gathered I do spend a bit of time on my "wordy" blog!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Hi Stewart! I love your "wordy" blog. It's like reading mini stories or serials - but with fabulous photos thrown in :-)

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  8. These photos are amazing! The one of the seed in his beak.. WOW!
    I understand your excitement.. I'm absolutely beside myself when I find a new wildflower or rare bird in our parts. :)
    We managed not to get any snow here up north this past week.. our friends in the Redwing area sure were hit hard, though!

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    1. Thanks so much, Amanda! Those "little" discoveries really keep you attuned to nature, don't they?

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  9. Simply beautiful colours...lovely!

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  10. It look beautiful with those yellow flowers.

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    1. Maria, I take that as high praise from you - the QUEEN of flower images! :-)

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  11. Lovely find!!! That's a wonderful warbler. You should feel proud. That's a great bird!

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    1. Thanks, Chris. It was a pretty exciting morning :-)

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