Thursday 3 September 2009

Another quick post

With the shift from August to September, birders in North America will also perform a shift in birding activity: from shore to park and shorebirds to wood-warblers.

One thing however will remain largely unchanged and unaffected by that shift: the birding rhetoric of fall.

Yes, North American birders and particularly bird bloggers tend to infrequently refrain from enriching their posts with colour adjectives of the dull kind during the fall/autumn season. In other words, they whine and whinge a lot about the birds in brown, grey and shades thereof.

If you, my inclined reader, are amongst their ranks, pull yourself together, dry your tears and take comfort:

European birders are far worse off than you.

Now go and enjoy your hatch-year Blackpolls.


John B. said...

I don't think baypolls are really all that bad, though some need to be left unidentified (to species). Shorebirds are much more difficult because of the distances and heat waves.

As for your birds, one's brown and the other's, um, brown. Clearly different.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Ah those LBJ's Jochen? We all know about them. :)

Dale Forbes said...

I realised I had spent way too much time with African and Palearctic warblers when I looked at the picture and thought (quite honestly): "what rich colours - the olive green tinges, the rusty hues - almost brick red..."

I caught myself at that point - stupid african.

Jochen said...

@ John: when I prepared myself for warbler fall migration by reading ID books and guides, I also thought that baypolls were easy, only to find out on the photos I took that my first-ever fall baybreasted was indeed my first ever fall blackpoll. After that first experience however, I got them all right. Maybe it was because I had learned, maybe because I was wise enough not to photograph them for later scrutiny. We'll never know I guess, but they were a piece of cake ;-)

@Joan: what can I say to you, my favourite bird groups are pipits, followed by southern African larks. The different Long-billed Larks, the Red Lark, Dune Lark,... all amazing creatures.
No, I kid you not, I am being serious here.

@Dale: yes, we're not spoiled in the old world, are we? Not spoiled at all - to a point where we take pleasure in discerning different shades of brown. What you need is a week-long holiday around the Great Lakes in May. That will cure a lot - even African cisticola traumata.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jochen,

I'd happily settle for either Savi's or River Warbler turning up on my patch this autumn! Both are good rare birds... now if you want a really dull common brown job, try Reed Warbler -

At least some of the phylloscs are pretty - I found a beauty of a Wood Warbler yesterday (ignore the photo of the Barred Warbler - that's another dull one!) -

So please send me a nice American warbler... a Blackburnian would be nice!


Jochen said...

Hi Jon,
good to have you here, I am thoroughly enjoying your blog!

From where I am now, I am more likely to send you a Savi's than a North American warbler:

I (a German birder) am back in Germany, more precisely in Heidelberg which sucks, after having spent an incredible year in Michigan with my wife from the autumn of 2006 to the autumn of 2007. Because of the birth of my lovely son shortly after my return to Germany, I don't get much birding done nowadays here on the Olde Continent and thus still get most of my inspiration and themes for the (sporadic) blog posts from the time in North America.

You are lucky in many ways: first of all, you get to see some incredible vagrants and the suspense what might be found just looking out of your kitchen window must be an adventure in itself. And then, you also get to see your birds in a neutral environment. Your photos of the Wood Warbler really show what a beauty it is but here in Germany, I only see it singing below the canopy in a dull shady light or high up in the canopy against the sun: in one instance, it is a completely dull green bird, in the other a silhouette amongst the leaves.

I still have quite a few friends over in the States and will do my best to have them send you a blackburnian.
however, I'd advise you to remain patient until the next spring. Fall Blackburnians don't really count as Blackburnians.

Hope you got through the strom okay!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jochen,

Glad you're enjoying the blog - likewise I look forward to seeing what you've posted. Speaking of posting me things - I'll settle for a Savi's!

I grumble a bit from time to time when the wind's not coming from the right direction, but I really shouldn't - you're absolutely right, it IS exciting never knowing what might turn up from day to day.

Hopefully something will, and soon!


Laurent said...

Hi. talking about blackburnians, I had one last week while I was having a walk with my baby, practically in my backyard (not quite, though, so it did not count)

Everything I read here is scary. I was planning to go back next spring in my hometown for a little bit of european birding, now I am going to think twice about it!!!!

Charlie said...

Laurent, come on over - just ignore Germany and come to see the wonders of an English spring...oh, who am I kidding...Blackburnian Warblers *sigh*...

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