My favorite bird is usually the one I am viewing with my camera, or the one in the photo I am editing-- or maybe it is the best one seen today or this year or in my whole life. Sometimes I just get taken away and overdose on a certain bird which lingers close by, or is brilliantly colored, or one of this species.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler is simply patterned in black and blue and white. This migratory songbird breeds to our north and most winter in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica as well as in the Bahamas. Some may stay here in South Florida for the winter. In addition to eating insects, it is attracted to fruiting plants such as Lantana, Firebush, Trema, Brazilian Pepper and Ligustrum:
A group of five or six Black-throated Blue Warblers suddenly entered the area which I call the Lantana Patch just as I was ready to depart. Few small birds had been visible, almost certainly because a Sharp-shinned Hawk had been skulking in the trees. I suspected its presence when I heard a few subdued and brief alarm calls. Then the small raptor burst out of cover and flew off. The warblers, no longer threatened, appeared out of the low brush and started feeding on a row of Firebush (Hamelia patens) which had flowers, berries and lots of spiders and caterpillars.
They were very active and it was difficult to obtain clear views. This male flew out and perched in open shade for a few seconds as I took a burst of photos. A remnant filament of spiderweb stuck to his bill:
They often foraged on the ground:
Within 5-10 minutes I took over 100 photos. Most were out of focus because the birds moved about behind the foliage. This bad one was interesting as it shows an out-of focus warbler but highlights the food sources, as this species takes nectar from the flowers, eats the berries and enjoys finding all the leaf-destroying insects on this Firebush:
You may be getting bored, but here is a selection of "keepers" where I caught decent views:
I counted 5 male and 2 female Black-throated Blue Warblers. The females were very reclusive and I obtained only partial images. On September 23 I got a fairly decent photo of one. Her plumage differs greatly from that of the male, but there is a diagnostic white area at the base of the primary wing feathers of both sexes:
Also present in the Lantana Patch were Ovenbirds...
...a camera-shy Prairie Warbler...
...and my first-of season Painted Bunting, a green female:
Along the way, this one-eyed Northern Mockingbird turned a blind eye to trespassers:
A Florida Tree Snail slithered down a reed:
In mid-October, heavy clouds obscured the view of the full Hunter's Moon as I stood at the shore of the lake hoping to see it set almost due west. Suddenly, the Moon emerged beneath the cloud deck:
If you squint a bit you may see a pumpkin face:
The next morning, almost an hour before sunrise, the Moon lit our path as it shone out of a clear black sky:
It reflected on the surface of the slough in the wet prairie:
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display