Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some Recent Birdlife

Sunday, September 10, 2006
Fall Tennessee warblers can be picked out by their ochre-overall color, their super-thin bill, and subtle, thin black line through the eye.

We've had our traveling shoes on a lot here of late, but we've still managed to squeeze in short bursts of bird watching whenever possible. Here on the farm, most mornings go like this: Get up, scramble to get the kids on the bus (clothes, brush teeth, shoes, jackets, lunches, backpacks, run!), make coffee, head out to the deck or up to the tower for an hour or so with the birds.

Last Thursday we had 11 warbler species--and nearly all of them in our weeping willow during an amazing 15 minutes of action. The warblers were: magnolia, Tennessee, Nashville, hooded, black-throated green, yellowthroat, black-throated blue, chestnut-sided, blue-winged, Blackburnian, and blackpoll. The next morning we had many of these same birds plus yellow-throated, and American redstart. And three vireos: red-eyed, white-eyed, and Philadelphia! The Philly vireo is a bird we see each September but almost never see in the spring. We can pick them out if we're careful to watch for their snub-billed heads, and drab-colored bodies with a hint of lemon-yellow on the breast.

It's so birdy here this time of year. How I wish The Big Sit (coming on Sunday October 8!) were held in September! We'd clean up! It's much harder to get double figures in warbler species in October--even in early October.

Here are some images of birds I've digiscoped over the past couple of days.

The American goldfinches are beginning to fade from their bright canary-yellow spring and summer plumage.

A preening eastern phoebe in the morning sunlight.

Passing through late in the spring and early in the fall, the olive-sided flycatcher always makes itself obvious, perching in the treetops.

A fall Nashville warbler--the eyering is a dead giveaway.

Even in my fuzzy photo of this Philadelphia vireo you can see its stub-billed appearance.


On September 10, 2006 at 10:04 PM Anonymous said...

great birds!

On September 10, 2006 at 10:37 PM Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks for sharing these photos. It gives me hope that someday I will be able to take pics like that.
(I am still low on the life list numbers...only 89, so when I see a bird, I look at it instead of grabbing the camera.)

On September 10, 2006 at 10:52 PM Anonymous said...

Might that eastern phoebe be Luther?

On September 11, 2006 at 9:07 AM Rondeau Ric said...

So change the date dude.
We have an excellent selection of fall warblers, and Red-headed Woodpeckers, in the willow and hedge.
No Olive sided, but we get shore birds.
Bring it on.


On September 11, 2006 at 7:48 PM Jack said...


Two Tennessee warblers in 5 minutes! I just read where one was found here in Santa Clara County (CA) this morning, and then I saw your photo. They are very rare here...this is a county bird for almost everyone, and no, I haven't seen it...yet.

On September 12, 2006 at 1:23 AM Julie Zickefoose said...

Luther's too smart to go to Herrington Manor.