Wednesday 9 May 2007

Stressful? Sure enough...

Oh dear, spring migration can be hard at times. Especially in May. Remember what I wrote yesterday, about the birding race?
Well, I just wanted to go for a short walk through the Arb between 4 and 6 pm yesterday to take a few pictures of whatever would come my way (Bachman's Warbler and Ivory-billed Woodpecker being the main objectives as always).
It was a good day, with low nmbers of migrants but a good variety, e.g. 10 species of warblers, Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Buntings all putting up quite a show.
And while I was casually strolling along the fence of the Arb at the former Black-throated Gray Warbler site I saw this small brown bird:
It was hopping low through the bushes, not higher up than a foot or so, was clearly not a thrush, definitely no sparrow and the way it moved was very warbler-like. Of course it was so skulking, secretive, inconspicious and wary (great post there, Charlie!) that this alone pointed directly to its identity, but I never managed to glimpse a single field character.
Of course I wasn't taking my impression of the bird very seriously and walked on along the path.
But then, I had barely walked 20 metres, there came a bird song from precisely that area of the trail, and the song was not only pretty definitive, it absolutely matched the identification guess I had made about the little brown job and it was even (independently) recorded by a fellow birder Jacob Job and can be listened to here.
I give you three words:




Now, around the Great Lakes that's quite a species to come across and this was the second time I heard it but I have not managed a definite visual encounter yet!
Unfortunately I had to get back home in a hurry and it only sang once.

But of course, Jochen, you returned the next day?

Ha, I would have in April, but this is May, folks! No kidding.

Today I must urgently get some work done and it is raining anyway and tomorrow I'll be off to Crane Creek again and I had actually planned to write a post about last Sunday's trip to Rondeau Provincial Park today with a few cool photos of nice birds.

Too much, too much.

Here are a few of yesterday's pictures. I am doing my best, seriously, but May birding is not for the faint at heart and to be stressed out seems to be the experience of the relaxed days...

This Red-tailed Hawk was chased off its perch by Blue Jays. I like Blue Jays but frankly would also have liked a sharp pic of a perched Red-tail...

Nice male American Robin

Scarlet Tanager, the only bird that's even hot in the shade and cool to look at on heavily cropped images like the one above. You might have seen red before, but you've not experienced it until you've seen a Scarlet Tanager.


Larry said...

I tried to catch a photo of a Tanager but came up empty-beautiful bird.
May is overwhelming.I feel guilty whenever I'm not out birding because I feel that I might be missing out on something at that very moment.

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