Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Awesomeness among the swarms of yellow rumps

What a day!  The weather was gorgeous, the birds were plentiful.  Well, there were plenty of yellow rumps anyway!  And a ton of black-and-whites.

In non-bird news, it looked (and sounded) like the fish are spawning.  They are ~quite~ splashy!

On the way to meet the group I stopped by the upper lobe bridge and saw a bunch of awesome birds.  The group took a brief detour to see the hooded warbler - who did come out to show off, but did not want pictures - and then came back to the bridge.

This prairie warbler peeked out from time to time.
prairie warbler
 There was also a black-throated green, another personal favorite.
black-throated green warbler
 And a bay-breasted!  This is only the second time I've seen one, and the first time was way too brief.  Now at least I have some clue what they look like!
bay-breasted warbler
 Pressing on, we came to a tree where someone pointed out a kinglet.  And it's a good thing they did, because near the kinglet was this gem!  I could definitely see this morphing into a superhero costume.
Blackburnian warbler
 We briefly saw this scarlet tanager, but it flew after just a glimpse.  We did find another one later though, and I think everyone got to see it.
scarlet tanager
 I knew this was a vireo, so that's progress.  And I knew it wasn't a white-eyed or a red-eyed.  It is instead a blue-headed.  :-)
blue-headed vireo
 What?  Oh, no, it's no big deal, just a summer tanager hanging out with a magnolia warbler.  The kind of commonplace thing we see all the time.  Ho hum.
summer tanager, magnolia warbler
 Oh, that?  Yeah, an osprey flew over.  For a *while*.  Like, he really wanted to be seen.  "Look up, silly humans!  Feast your eyes on this!"
 We finally made it to the point to see this gorgeous guy.
Canada warbler
And then a strange thing happened.  The group left and I stayed on for a little while before heading home.  And I noticed that there was some sort of shift change in the birds.  It seemed like all of the yellow-rumps tagged out, and common yellow-throats tagged in.  And the black-and-whites tagged out, and ovenbirds tagged in.  Suddenly everywhere I looked was another common yellow-throat or an ovenbird.  I saw 4 ovenbirds foraging on the ground together, chill as can be while I watched them.  In retrospect I should have taken a picture.  However, I was apparently done with that nonsense.

A glorious day!