Saturday, November 24, 2012

Warblers on Christmas Bird Counts? Are they easy to find, Warbler Guy? Which warblers might I see during wintery-wintery Christmas Bird Count walks?

Good question, Cristin (in Davenport, IA).

Maybe you should head to Ashland, WI to see the true version of the BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER shown in this photo from 11/23/12?

Will it hang around long enough for you to see on the local Christmas Bird Count there?

Read the account from Ryan Brady, below, and you'll notice how rare it is to see this species so far north in late November.

As for more likely wood-warbler species to see in northern latitudes (upper Midwest, for example) in late December and early January: Yellow-rumped, Pine, Palm, Common Yellow-throat, Orange-crowned, and Yellow-breasted Chat are more likely suspects. Yellow-rumped is probably the most likely of the above list, with Pine next typical.


Yesterday when the temps were a balmy 60+ degrees I was sent a photo of a female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER at a feeder in Cornucopia, the northernmost town in Wisconsin.  If accepted by the Records Committee, it would be the 3rd latest in Wisconsin history.  With wind chills now in the teens and 6-9" of fresh snow across the Bayfield Peninsula, we'll see how it fares.

Interestingly, the homeowner also commented on seeing a flycatcher of some type (possible E. Phoebe), which is one that may have gotten away given the potential for a southwestern vagrant along this Great Lakes shoreline.  And one final tidbit, this is the same residence that recently hosted a Summer Tanager and not-so-recently hosted our only local record of Green-tailed Towhee. If his house ever goes up for sale, you know who will be first in line!

Not quite as rare but still a great find, budding young birder and photographer Cody Christenson found a PINE WARBLER at his feeders just west of Ashland in the snowy cold this morning.  I believe our latest, or perhaps second latest, local record.

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI

Monday, November 12, 2012

Warbler Guy, where would you go now to see Palm Warbler? Blackpoll Warbler? Yellow-throated Warbler?

Coincidentally, Evan (in Los Angeles), all three of these species are currently present in San Francisco's urban clutches within Sue Bierman Park (near the Ferry Building in the downtown area). Josiah Clark's recent post in SF Birds confirmed their presence.

In recent years, this "island of green" has hosted more than a few species of wayward wood-warbler species.

The urban-based, warbler-pursuing paparrazzi shall not be disappointed again this year, with the Yellow-throated Warbler repeatedly seen for the last weeks in this inner-city location.

To find it, go to the right side of this blog and note the bird's presence in the California bird species report, then click on the hot text button to see a Google map. Or type in "Sue Bierman Park, San Francisco" within Google maps to find this location.

By the way, if you see the Yellow-throated Warbler, it's gleaming, breeding plumage is evident because as adults, members of this species undergo only one full molt annually (i.e., A pre-alternate molt is absent, unlike the vast majority of wood-warblers that express this molting phase.) The result: After a late summer/fall complete "pre-basic molt," the current rendition of this species retains its current, bright regal glory amid the nearby bustle of downtown San Francisco.