Arrivals and Departures

Note: this post was written and ready to go on Thursday, 4/11, but for some reason I’ve been unable to reach the admin area of the site and couldn’t upload the post. The admin area is back on-line today, so here we are. 

More and more species of migrants are arriving, while our winter resident birds have begun to depart. I haven’t seen a White-throated Sparrow for a week or so and where there were flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos everywhere as recent as this past weekend, I only saw a single bird today. At least one Brown Creeper was still around yesterday and today I saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. The Yellow-rumps are in their breeding colors already and all three species should be heading north very soon.

Over the weekend I saw my first-of-the-year Louisiana Waterthrush,

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,

and White-eyed Vireo (no photo.) I located the Waterthrush by following the sound of his singing and found him, uncharacteristically, sitting near the top of a tall sycamore. He didn’t move from his perch the entire time I was photographing him. I have to wonder if he had just arrived and was taking it easy for a while.

Two days ago, I got home from work, let the dogs out and was greeted with the song of a Black-and-white Warbler. I kept tabs on him while the dogs did their business and he seemed to be staying in the same location. As soon as I had the dogs back inside, I grabbed the camera from truck and headed around the house to where I’d heard the singing. He was still there and he had a friend, a female that was staying close by, but keeping a low profile.

I followed them around for fifteen minutes, trying to maneuver so that the sun was at my back, even though it was overcast.

They kept flying back and forth between two hickory trees and I kept shooting as long as I had reasonably favorable light.

The bird in all the photos is the male. He was singing constantly, stayed lower in the tree than the female and I ended up focused almost completely on him.

That last shot was simple luck, the result of shooting almost continuously at four frames per second.

There was one more new arrival today, a Red-eyed Vireo foraging in the woods at the edge of the yard. These are birds of the forest, something we have in abundance around here and Red-eyed Vireos are one of our more common species through the summer.

And if you thought I’d finally run out of Yellow-throated Warbler photos to post, think again!

My office is right next to the back door and I can hear him singing all day long, even though my window doesn’t open. So each morning for the last week, I’ve spent my morning break prowling among the pines, looking for the little bugger. Don’t be surprised if he shows up again sometime soon.

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