Thursday, October 29, 2015

Waiting for the Warblers

Call me lazy, but I like to pick a shady spot and just wait for the birds. This technique works best during migration, when it is impossible to know exactly where a warbler might appear. So, it makes sense for me not to waste the energy looking for them and just let them come to me. Actually there is a rationale for this approach, as birds evolved to notice and react to every little movement in sight. If you stay in one spot they tend to settle down in a few minutes and go about business as usual.

This is exactly what I did this fall. After getting my aerobic walk into the wetlands I dropped behind Mary Lou and headed down along the levee that borders the "wild side" of the canal across from our subdivision. One cloudless morning the sky was bright about 15 minutes before sunrise. At first, only the mockingbirds and catbirds were active.

A Gray Catbird flew in and roosted on a small dead tree only about 20 feet in front of me:

 Gray Vatbird 20151015

Within minutes the first warbler showed up, a female Common Yellowthroat...

Common Yellowthroat female 2-20151014

...followed by a feisty sub-adult male yellowthroat:

Common Yellowthroat young male 20151015

Slight movement in the bushes revealed a Black-throated Blue Warbler, which then stepped out into the first morning rays:

Black-throated Blue Warbler 20151014

A female American Redstart (we call the females "yellowstarts") was very hard to follow as it scurried erratically between the branches, stopping, starting and changing direction every second:

American Redstart female 20151015

The redstart's color seemed to change when I processed the photos for "warm" shade or "cool" sunlight:

American Redstart female 4-20151015

A male redstart, wet either from a bath or showered by the morning dew that coated the leaves, flared its colorful tail as it foraged in the branches:

American Redstart 3-20151015

American Redstart 4-20151015

I caught a brief glimps (and only one photo) of a Yellow-throated Warbler:

Yellow-throated Warbler 20151015

A Palm Warbler captured a juicy dragonfly...

Palm Warbler with dragonfly 2-20151015

...and paused to enjoy the repast:

Palm Warbler with dragonfly 20151015

A Prairie Warbler looked like a little stuffed toy:
Prairie Warbler 2-20151016

Northern Waterthrushes joined the other warbler species in the understory:

Northern Waterthrush 2-20151015

Another  streaked warbler species, the Ovenbird, foraged on the ground:

Ovenbird 20151015

The Ovenbird was aware of my presence and periodically craned its neck to watch me...

Ovenbird 4-20151015

...before returning to its task of turning over every leaf in sight:

Ovenbird 2-20151015

A small flock of Magnolia Warblers passed by:

Magnolia Warbler 20151012

The Magnolias preferred to glean the topmost branches of a Live Oak:

Magnolia Warbler 3-20151012

Black-and-White Warblers searched for spiders in the bark crevices:

Black-and-White Warbler 2-20151015

Black-throated Green Warblers were a "first" at our birding patch:

Black-throated Green Warbler 7-20151016

Black-throated Green Warbler 3-20151016

Black-throated Green Warbler 2-20151016

Northern Parulas have quiet ways and a subtle beauty:

Northern Parula 9-20151013

Northern Parula 8-20151013

Northern Parula 20151013

Fall migration is not only about warblers, but I'll save the rest of the story for another post.

For this week's REFLECTION we saw a patch of mangroves reflecting in the bay at Fort Lauderdale:

Mangrove reflection HDR 20151016

Our front gate before sunrise provides a  SKY and a FENCE (or at least the beginning of one!) with the crescent Moon and, above it, Venus still visible:

Monaco Cove Gate HDR 20151009

On the opposite horizon, a "false sunrise" brightens the pre-dawn sky over the Everglades. The rays of the sun, broken by clouds over the Atlantic Ocean and converging to the west, reflect off moisture and dust in the cloudless atmosphere:

Mirrored sunrise to west before dawn 20151009

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Beautiful collection of warbler images. The Nothern Parula is one of my favorites. Gorgeous sky shots. Have a happy Thursday and weekend ahead!

  2. I can only say "I envy you". I don´t see that many gorgeous birds if I wait a month. Not even in migrating times.

  3. such beautiful birds, none i've seen in person from the catbird on down... :) lovely skies, too!

  4. such great shots...the little one sticking his neck out is so cute!

  5. Not lazy at all, a genius way to capture these creative, joyful photos! Thanks.

  6. Hello!:) So many beautiful warbler captures, and you didn't even go looking for them! The Yellow-throated Warbler is a stunner, but they are all lovely birds.

  7. I love these birds...they are just so beautiful.

  8. So many sweet birds. I loved them all.
    Lovely sunrise/fence shot.

  9. Great photos, both sky and birds! I like the shots of the Ovenbird. Never heard of an Ovenbird before!

  10. Kenneth, your photos are gorgeous and the birds are lovely! Thank you so much for sharing, your photography is great and your photos bring me so much joy!

  11. What a beautiful post to scroll through, the birds are exquisite and the skies are gorgeous!

  12. Wonderful bird photos, but I love your mangrove shot! WOW!

  13. You always have such a great variety of stunning photos to share with us. Very beautiful.

  14. Another glorious set of shots.

  15. A glorious set of shots.

  16. Hi Y'all!

    My warblers almost never turn out in the photos. They move so quickly I never get the entire bird or part of it is blurred or it is obscured by the leaves from which it is feeding. Your photos amaze me! Love them.

    BrownDog's Human

  17. Hi Ken, I enjoyed your warbler post and images. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  18. The reflected tree is awesome.

  19. What a treasure trove of bird photographs. I'm glad you sat still. Wonderful captures of the Palm Warbler with the dragonfly!

  20. Gorgeous skies! I loved all of the birds! The warblers are so fascinating. My favorite was the ovenbird! Sitting still and waiting is sometimes hard, but it always brings rewards!

  21. Hi Kenneth As always your photographs aresendon to none.beautiful colection of birds as well as that superb refelction shot of the trees and the wonderful sunrise. Have a lovely weekend.

  22. gorgeous bird shots...and an excellent reflection with such a cool tree

  23. Beautiful birds!
    Very nice reflection photo, too!

  24. You have a real skill for catching small birds. The male redstart photo is stunning.

  25. Wow....I'm ecstatic! Such a super array of wonderments. I must admit I'm jealous of the Magnolia Warbler. It's very handsome and I don't recall seeing one before.

  26. And oh my goodness did the birds ever come to you! What a marvelous morning! I would love to see a Parula.. That would be a first for me!

  27. What a wonderful morning you had. Your shots are stunning. I envy you your viewing spot and your patience.

  28. Superb pictures. Difficult for me to pick out a favourite bird from all of these.

  29. Great set of pictures - I love 'walking about' to take pictures - but it really can be wonderful to find a decent looking spot, sit down and just wait. Its remarkable what shows up sometimes.

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  30. those weblers look fantastic indeed...I love the colorful feather they have..and the mangrove reflection is nice..cheers..


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