Sunday, July 16, 2017

Assignment: Warbler

On our annual trip to Connie's family cabin in Potter County, our friend Frank gave me an assignment. He wants photos of all of the birds that are found on Hogback Mountain - the mountain and area surrounding our cabins. He specifically wanted a photo of Hooded Warbler which we hear in the woods all around the mountain. Hooded warblers are easily heard. The male's song is very loud and distinctive however, seeing the bird is challenging. Photographing them is even more difficult since they are a bird of the deep woods with low lighting.

With 4 days to accomplish the task, I set out to photograph Hooded and other warblers. Started slow due to some torrential rain. This Common Yellowthroat was happy when the sun came out.

Common Yellowthroat
I got a bonus with Blackburnian wablers posing for me. Here is one guy who came to investigate me and Peanut right outside of our cabin.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler
Here is Yellow-rumped warbler in the pine trees near the house. I forget that these birds nest in Potter County and am pleasantly surprised when I see them flitting around.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Meanwhile, we found another accommodating Blackburnian warbler up at the slate quarry. This time, I used sound recording on my iPhone to draw the bird closer. Here he is looking at me like "you're not an intruding male, why do you sound like one?"

Blackburnian Warbler
Once he checked me out and figured he was safe, he hung around the rocks and picked up a few bugs to munch on.
Blackburnian Warbler
There is a great spot to watch and photograph birds down along the stream. I headed out by myself one morning in hopes of finding a few birds. Luck was on my side. This juvenile Black and White warbler picked bugs in a tree right beside the bridge at eye level.

Black and White Warbler
He didn't care about my presence at all.

Black and White Warbler
He was doing a great job feeding himself.

Black and White Warbler
This Yellow warbler also showed up to feed his baby in the same tree. That baby looks big enough to get her own food.

Yellow Warblers
I ran across this family of American Redstarts at their nest just upstream from the bridge. Here is Mom checking up on the 3 babies.

Female Redstart at nest
Here is Dad feeding one of the babies a big fat insect. Male Redstarts are very colorful with black and orange markings.

Male Redstart at nest
I made great progress with the warblers but struck out on Hooded until our last day. I finally ran across this female at the edge of the path, close enough to photograph.

Female Hooded Warbler
I noticed that she had that big bug in her mouth and sure enough, the baby appeared and screamed to be fed.
Baby Hooded Warbler
Dad was close by keeping an eye on the situation.

Male Hooded Warbler
Finally, assignment accomplished! But that didn't end the photography. I also ran across this baby in the woods.

Fawn
And these Mandarin duck babies at the campground where they are kept as pets. All three are named Daisy.

Daisy
Every year, I wonder why we don't stay longer. (oh yeah, because we have jobs)
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