Bird brained stories!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Only FIVE warblers? How lame is THAT?

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I don't want to see more goldfinches, chickadees, herons or cardinals. Or catbirds. It's not that I have anything against these birds. Not at all. Actually, they're among my favorite avian species. It's just that....well, it seems they are all I've been seeing lately.

I went out on Saturday morning, hopeful of a warbler migrant fallout. I missed a lot of these flying gems in the spring, so hoped to pick them up on their trip to the beach for the winter. Hmmph. While others reporting on the Wisconsin and Minnesota bird listservs talk of 10-20 species on their outings, I could find, oh, maybe five. Let's count them. Yellow Warbler. Big deal, they're all over the place. Common Yellowthroat, same thing, though a bit more difficult to actually spot sometimes. American Redstart. Ditto. Prothonotary Warbler, always a delightful sight, but I've been seeing them all along, too. Aha! Is that a Black and White Warbler flitting through the treetops? Yes! One new bird for the year. So there's my grand total of five warblers. I should have my American Birding Association membership revoked!

Still, it was a nice day to be out, large warbler counts or not. The Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons are numerous, chasing each other away from fishing grounds, and being uncharacteristically tolerant of that human with the big camera lens. Green Herons are hanging about as well, and though unseen, the Sora was laughing from the cattails. Noteably absent were Red Winged Blackbirds, usually among the most common of the marsh birds. Are they already gathering to migrate south?

To add insult to injury, I have to teach tomorrow. Now mind you, I'm not complaining about my job, I enjoy it a lot. Problem is, my job is interfering with an awesome opportunity. You seen, several birds not usually seen anywhere near here have been blown north from the Gulf coast, and some area birders are making the trek to a lake near Iowa City to see a Magnificent Frigatebird that's hanging about. It's just a wee bit too early in the school year to be running off with personal days. Besides, I need them to go to the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee next month.

Let's hope that when I go, I pick up a few of those birds as they make their way south!

And in another little bit of news, I'm humbled to have had my previous blog entry about the Whooping Cranes included in the current edition of "I and the Bird." Check it out. John, who writes A DC Birding Blog, did a wonderful job of gathering great examples of bird blogging and presenting this edition like a schedule from a birding conference. Thanks John for putting me in such fine company!


  • I hear ya Gwyn on seeing the same birds all the time .. while they are enjoyable to watch I always am wanting to see something new and exciting too. :) We actually were surprised to see 2 Northern Flickers in our yard last week (a male and female) ... they are common around here but I've never seen them in our backyard which was a treat! :) What an awesome opportunity to see that Frigatebird - shoot why oh why are there other obligations that get in the way such as work! haha :)Oh and I doubt you'll ever have to fear having your ABA membership revoked - hehe! :) Thanks once again for a great read on your blog along with a beautiful photo. :)

    By Anonymous Vonda, at 10:07 AM  

  • Gwyn, feel free to submit to I and the Bird any time!

    By Blogger Mike, at 10:31 AM  

  • now here's a familiar name/face- good to cross paths with you on the 'birder blog highway' Gwyn. I recall your crane photo on NPN and enjoyed reading about the experience here.
    Have a great fall season & good birding to you :)

    By Anonymous Cindy, at 10:23 AM  

  • what a delightful pic! sorry your counts aren't where you want them to be. :D

    By Blogger doris, at 7:35 AM  

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