Friday, September 10, 2010

on my way with wandering warblers! (90-93)

The bird frenzy continues in the yard. Yesterday I spotted chickadees, american goldfinches, song sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, hummingbirds, flycatchers, crows, black-throated green warblers, gulls (overhead), some birds that I couldn't figure out what they were (either sparrows or grosbeaks, which I know sounds ridiculous, but anyway...), PLUS the following. All without stepping foot outside the house. Wheeee!!

I know these shots are lousy...my house backs onto a public park  and the birds were a bit too far for my 300 mm (I shot from the living room...just call me the lazy birder; in general I am not like this but I have a nasty cold so I took it easy and could kind of keep an eye on the situation throughout the day from the couch!). These are cropped right in. Hmmm...wouldn't it be nice to rent a 600 mm for the weekend? Anyways, I'm so close to 100 that I have my eyes on the prize and I'm not looking back. There's always time to get better shots later! And trust me, I really would love to spend $2000-8000 on a lens, really, I would.

Some of these IDs were tough. First of all, they're all yellow! It's crazy how many variations of yellow birds there are. I think back to my pre-bird nerd years. I would have said, "Hey, there's a yellow bird." Now my friends who know about my birding craze say, "Hey, I saw a really cool duck and thought of you." And I say "Duck? What did it look like? Where was it? What colour was it? What markings did it have? What colour was its bill?" And they look at me like I'm nuts, which I kind of am.

I spent a long time studying the pics in my bird book carefully to pin the features of each one of these birds. Secondly, they're in non-breeding plumage now, so they don't even really look like the typical pictures of each bird. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's website was really helpful in its descriptions and photos of non-breeding plumage.

 90: Nashville Warbler; Kanata; September 9, 2010
Well, you kind of wonder why this called the Nashville Warbler. Does it looks like he likes country to you?

91: Northern Parula; Kanata; September 9, 2010

92: Chestnut-sided warbler (non-breeding); Kanata; September 9, 2010

93: Magnolia Warbler (non-breeding); Kanata; September 9, 2010
NB: Maybe the only bird that Wilson named NOT after himself.

It's interesting because these are all birds that I can see from my house in the park but that will not cross the invisible line of my yard (ok, not so invisible: there is a gate and a hedge). So there is a pretty limited number of birds I see in my backyard proper, but always new ones just on the other side of the hedge. Strange, right?

On another note, the hummers are still around, are coming in droves in fact. It's like they came out of nowhere and they're there throughout the days, sometimes 3 at a time (chasing each other away of course...territorial little buggers!). A few times they came up to the window and stared at me at eye level right through the glass. Finally I figured out they wanted to get to the tropical plant I had in front of me (here I was thinking they were attracted to my pretty face! Paf!) They are so great, they are like part bird, part insect, part fairy tale, part awesome.

4 comments:

Funkysandman said...

they all look about the same until you have a second, third, or fourth look..that's amazing!
I thought the northern parula would be blue-er.

deepdowndawn said...

Yeah, it seems more blue in the illustrations. And maybe the male is more blue (and the tropical parula is definitely more blue). I was totally thinking it would be a more crazy looking bird.
I don't know if these birding people are colour-blind because black-throated green warbler I saw is definitely not green either....more like murky yellow.

deepdowndawn said...

actually, now that I think about it, it's got to be your ICC profile.

dmorin said...

What you are seeing is the fall colors or as you put it the (non-breeding colors). The Northern Parula is much bluer in the spring.

The Black-throated Green refers to the colour on its back. It`s much less sharp than its spring colours.

I am color blind, so I go by the location patches of black and white on a bird. When people describe something as `murky yellow` I just thank god they named it the Black-throated Green, because for me to decipher the shade that murky yellow is would be beyond difficult.