My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Hide and Bird Seek

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

I have dishes to clean, laundry to do, cat fur to vacuum up, etc . . . . but after dinner I craved the need to find warblers! Who doesn’t have a bazillion of things to do at home?? But, I couldn’t help heading over to Allegany State Park to seek out some birdies (You shocked?). Within the first few minutes of walking along the bike path I heard a Red-Eyed Vireo calling!! The little red eyed freak wouldn’t show itself but did get a quick glimpse of a Magnolia Warbler. I finally gave up looking and continued walking along the path. “Shhhhh, their is a bigger bird in the dogwood”!! I use my bird squeaker that I keep on my camera and what pops up but a Rose-breased Grosbeak!! Hey, I have not seen these guys in a few weeks! “What Up”?? That was enough to scatter not the one but probably 10 Grosbeaks in their! Nope, make that 9 . . . . one of them is a Gray Catbird.

Gray Catbird - Can you find it?
Gray Catbird hiding in the Dogwoods (can you see it?)

In the background you can hear the Pine Warbler up in the trees but will it show itself?? Doubt it!! They never show themselves!! So . . . . I focus my energy on the dogwoods! Wait . . . . are those bluebirds calling?? As I approach I see maybe 6 Bluebirds darting in and out of the dogwoods.

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

They might be brightly colored but these Bluebirds are still hard to find among the thick leaves and blue dogwood berries. I am looking hard to find the best angle to take their picture and suddenly this bright yellow bird pops up. No kidding, this all happened within seconds and I just started shooting! Three pictures and away its goes. Looking on my D70s screen my first thought was Hooded Warbler (did I mention I didn’t bring my binocs?)! Looking at the picture at home now makes me think maybe a Wilson Warbler?? Should I post this on birdQUIZ to see what others think?? Anyone want to give this a try??

Wilsonia species
Wilsonia pusilla or Wilsonia citrine??

More action in the dogwoods and I have no idea where to look (or point my camera)! I hear them in the shrubs but they will not show themselves? Then this little warbler darts out of the dogwoods and fly into the pines! I hear the Pine Warbler in the background . . . . could this be?? Nope, just a Butterbutt! These guys are always in the dogwoods, should have known!

Yellow-rump Warbler

OK, now it’s starting to get fun! Birds are everywhere around me and trust me, it gets better! I see a bright yellow bird and nope it isn’t that confusing Wilsonia species!!! It’s like 3 times the size of that bird.

Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet Tanager

O MY GOODNESS! Sweet Scarlet Tanager . . . . let me saver this moment!

Tanager and Dogwood Berry
Scarlet Tanager feeding on Dogwood Berries!

A point comes in your life where you need to make the decision to never move from this amazing birding spot or move on!! I did finally make that decision and figured it was going to get dark soon. I continued my walk around the lake and who knows what else I might find? Right? I get to the other side of the lake and hear a bunch of Crows cawing! I am looking around for a hawk or maybe an Owl! All I can find are Bluebirds and did I mention Bluebirds? There had to be around 15 Bluebirds flying and calling! Thanks for the heads up Crows! I looked in the “White Pine” where many of these Bluebirds were flying from!

Hiding Warbler
Warbler Hiding Behind the Needles

I happen to see some yellowish colored birds flittering around (hmm, that’s not a Bluebird)! I am thinking they are Blackpolls or Bay-breasted Warblerish birds like what I was seeing last Monday! I take a few quick photos (I would figure it out later) and then took off looking for all those bluebirds!!

Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler

You guessed it . . . . these Pine Warblers (three of them were up their) were not calling but feeding!! How cool was that I did ended up photographing these guys after all?? I can’t wait to see what birds cross my path tomorrow but I think I will bring my binoculars with me this time!

30 responses

  1. Wilson’s Warbler 🙂

    12 September 2007 at 11:52 pm

  2. I suppose you’ll want to know why…

    The cheek/auriculars are olive colored, highlighting the yellow eyering. In Hooded, the whole ‘face’ should be yellow with olive outlining the back edge of the auriculars. Also the lores are solid yellow, they are slightly dusky in Hooded. See this photo for comparison:

    Also, it may be hard to tell from this angle, but the tail would be longer and you should probably see some of the extensive white in the tail if this were Hooded.

    However, if you say the tail flicked white, you will have proved me all wrong.

    Nice post.


    12 September 2007 at 11:57 pm

  3. Marg

    Me too-Wilsons! (sorreee)

    What a great birding evening you had Tom! We saw several kettles of hawks today-at least two hundred Broad Winged, Harriers, etc, but only a Western Palm warbler

    13 September 2007 at 12:00 am

  4. Hey Marg, just out of curiosity – where are you located, and how many Eastern Palms do you see? I see a higher percentage of intergrade or Eastern Palms here in Tompkins Co, NY than I do back home in Western NY, but still not very many.

    13 September 2007 at 12:05 am

  5. I’m feeling especially commenty tonight. Tom, what species of dogwood is that? I’m TA-ing Field Biology, and I’ll have to be teaching the various Cornus to my students tomorrow. Haven’t reviewed them myself yet 🙂


    13 September 2007 at 12:09 am

  6. @ Nick – I have nothing to disagree with your explanation. Although, didn’t notice the tail wag but I think the white on the tail could be hidden in that position! Thanks for your input!
    @ Marg – highfive and was a great time for sure! Would have loved to see the Pam and all the hawks! But, did see a (one) Broadwing on Monday!
    @ Nick – we get mostly Western Palms here and didn’t bring my knife to look at its pits! Could be silky or the red one! But, my guess (only a guess) its Silky Dogwood!

    13 September 2007 at 12:09 am

  7. Not being a birder, (oh what a wonderfully large font….I can see what I am typing) I can’t comment with the expertise of your other contributers. I just enjoy looking at your photos ’cause I love birds. Do you have a really great lens especially for getting closeups at a distance. What kind of dogwood is that?.

    13 September 2007 at 2:11 am

  8. Oh my goodness Tom! What a day you had! I can’t imagine being surrounded by so much sight and sound that you can’t decide where to point your lens. You lucky dog you! Beautiful photos. Made me smile this morning. Have a great day!

    13 September 2007 at 6:49 am

  9. After dinner is getting “shorter and shorter” for good light! I noticed how warblers and other birds love dogwoods too. What a great birding outing!

    13 September 2007 at 6:50 am

  10. Fun fun fun
    Makes me want to go camping there again soon.
    Just to go birding.
    Wish I had known more about dogwoods before I put it my red twig dogwood. It doesn’t get to many berries.
    But in winter against the snow it is beautiful.
    BTW dishes can wait. 🙂

    13 September 2007 at 7:25 am

  11. Moe

    Beautiful photos! I love the one of the Tanager with the dogwood berry!

    13 September 2007 at 9:02 am

  12. What a fabulous birding trip! I so envy people who can field identify warblers. I know a handful by song and feathers, but it is a real small group.

    13 September 2007 at 9:18 am

  13. I am so glad you followed your instincts and went out looking for birdies! What a wonderful time you had! Thanks for sharing these magnificent pictures. They are all beautiful, but the 4th one down is my favorite. 🙂

    13 September 2007 at 10:40 am

  14. I love the Eastern Bluebird. I really like their colors. It sounds like you had a wonderful evening. I am looking at getting a better camera with better zoom. I have bird feeders and have counted 15 different types of birds that come here throughout the year. We live in the largest songbird region of the Nation. And I would like to take advantage of that. Have a great day. *nita*

    13 September 2007 at 11:07 am

  15. Tom, this is the kind of walk I dream about.

    13 September 2007 at 11:45 am

  16. Birdbander11

    Hey tom, Your right that picture of the tananger was the money shot. But your also right on the Wilsons warbler it may be a female Hooded, but I agree it is most likley a Wilsons. You really need to make a calander for the MAPS!

    13 September 2007 at 12:13 pm

  17. You have a lovely area to go for a walk in the woods! I so enjoy seeing all the different birds. So many of these I have never seen in person.
    Migration has begun and I am putting more seed out.
    Autumn is almost as fun as Spring! I also am aware the hummers will be leaving soon. I will miss them.

    13 September 2007 at 12:28 pm

  18. Wow – that’s quite a nice outing, particularly for spur-of-the-moment. Maybe I can drag the wife over the Palmyra Cove (or local birding spot) today after work… I could definitely use the break!

    Nice shots throughout!

    13 September 2007 at 12:56 pm

  19. You certainly inspire me to head out after dinner, instead of doing the chores. What an incredible experience seeing all of those beauties. Are these all migrating? Or do many/most stay the winter there?

    13 September 2007 at 1:22 pm

  20. WOW! All that bird action after dinner! I’m so jealous. You’re right, who needs clean dishes when you can have all that birdie fun! Great photos!

    13 September 2007 at 1:49 pm

  21. What an awesome birding time you had, Tom!! That’s cool you got the pine warbler!!

    13 September 2007 at 4:12 pm

  22. Oh my gosh, what a rush you must have felt having birds all around you. I’m so jealous of you sometimes.

    13 September 2007 at 8:22 pm

  23. Hey…No fair Tom all I had in my dogwoods were starlings, why can’t I get a group of birds in my backyard like that, Beautiful images I love the Tanager.

    13 September 2007 at 9:15 pm

  24. Kaz

    Can I come walking with you?

    13 September 2007 at 9:21 pm

  25. @ nouveaufauves – What is great about birds is that you can enjoy them at many different levels! I am using a Nikon D70s and 400mm lens. It’s Silky Dogwood or the Red one! I didn’t have a knife to look at the pit to see which species it is!
    @ Jayne – sure did and thanks! Glad to have helped make you smile my friend!
    @ Ruth – ugg, shorter and shorter for sure but one good thing is that it gives me more time when I do my Saw-whet Owls!
    @ Toni – it’s a great time of the year and would love to do a little birding with ya! BTW: They can’t wait when I have company coming this weekend!
    @ Moe – thanks and I always love seeing Tanagers!
    @ threecollie – thanks and do all that without my binoculars! We all start with a few and then work our way up to the harder species! I still have a hard time with many of the shorebirds!
    @ Lisa – I am glad also and that is probably my fave also! Heck, it’s probably a Wilson’s and my first wild wilson’s that I photographed!
    @ Nita – Thanks and there are many great photo equipment blogs that are out there that can help you decide what camera to get! Great with your birds at the feeders!
    @ Mary – Some days are better than others – didn’t get anything on today’s evening walk!
    @ Birdbander11 – hey, shouldn’t you be at school?? Thanks bud!
    @ Sherry – Allegany is a very great place for many things! I sure did throw you some great birds but it will only be a matter of time till you find some of these guys!
    @ marty – I love your Jay picture, very cool for sure! Hope you were able to get out after work today? My evening walk didn’t go that good!
    @ Robin – I sure hope you do and for sure get out of your chores! The only one that we might see in the winter is the Yellow-rumped Warbler!
    @ Chicago – perfect after dinner treat for sure! Hmm, I can have that problem sometimes!
    @ Pam – thanks and very glad to have found the pine warbler!
    @ Barb – It was great but sorry to make you jealous!
    @ Bernie – lucky starlings were not in these but I know they do their share where they are! I two loved the tanager!
    @ Kaz – sure, anytime!

    13 September 2007 at 10:11 pm

  26. Marg

    Hi Nick-I’m in Toronto Ontario Canada-hmmm how many Eastern Palms-not that many-let me get back to you after migration ;D

    14 September 2007 at 8:13 am

  27. Wow, Tom, that must have been so exciting for you to see all those different birds! I’m glad you got so many pictures. I’m looking forward to spending some time in the woods this weekend and hope I get a chance to see some migrants still coming through our area.

    14 September 2007 at 2:03 pm

  28. @ Marg – I probably have only ever seen one in my life that I know about!
    @ Ruthie – Really wasn’t that many but for sure they were quality of birds! I also hope you get a good chance to also!

    14 September 2007 at 6:17 pm

  29. you obviously had a fabulous birding day… what I would have given to be a musca domestica sitting atop your baseball cap! 🙂 Beautiful shots Monarch! I would have loved seeing your Rose-breasted Grosbeak! One of these days – I look forward to meeting one. Great dialogue and your photos are outstanding!

    15 September 2007 at 11:21 am

  30. Just out of curiosity-What kind of camera do you use?You seem to get good pictures not mater what.

    20 September 2007 at 7:04 pm

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