Spent a day birding around Trepassey with Catherine B. on Sunday. Thanks to Catherine, I was able to see this great little Cape May Warbler. It was with a Blackpoll, Wilson's, several Yellow-rumped Warblers and chickadees.
This turned out to be the best bird of the day. Birds in general were scarce. We had to go deep to see most all small birds with the exception of sparrows. They were abundant.
When checking around Cape Spear this morning, I caught a fleeting look at a pale yellow bird. I couldn't see any detail, but knew it was not a bird I see every day.
Doggedly pursuing this bird for about 1000 yards, I finally got a few photos. It was staying low and under cover making it very difficult to get shots.
When I finally got a few shots, I checked the camera and thought it was a Philadelphia Vireo. When I got it on my computer, I lost confidence in the ID. A similar bird to the Philadelphia is the Tennessee Warbler.
Given the whitish color under the tail, the darker wing and very slight wing bar, this bird seems to be a Tennessee. This is probably an immature bird as it seems more yellow than any I have ever seen before. It was hanging with a very bright male Wilson's Warbler, Chickadees and Kinglets.
A special thanks to Anne Hughes for an alert Saturday morning about her newest find - a beautiful Hooded Warbler at Cape Spear. I was only five minutes away.
I zoomed to the Cape, alerting another birder along the way. The Hooded was still about playing hard to get. It was particularly active but stayed well hidden most of the time.
For a second at a time, it showed itself. It became a bit of a game to try to anticipate where it would next appear in the hopes of getting a picture. This, after all, is the first male Hooded I have seen.
It must be something in the air, high wind air, that brought three Hooded Warblers to our shores this year. Many years pass with no reports at all.
These two images show the bold white outer feathers in the tail.
As the rain rolled in, I took one last look and hurried to my car. Last reports are that the Hooded has stayed around for at least 24 hours providing many hours of excitement for local birders.
Some mornings I just get a feeling it is ideal to find a good bird or two. This morning was one of those times. I was a little concerned about the high winds, but when I got into the zone the wind wasn`t too high at all.
Despite the feeling, there were hardly any birds along the road going to Cape Spear. When that happens, I resort to the hotspots. It was around 8 a.m. with very little traffic on the road.
I stopped at the top of the hill and was able to see only one warbler, but it was a nice one - the Palm Warbler seen below. I kept an eye glued to the sides of the road for any movement. There was none.
I headed to the edge of the woods before it opens up to the last stretch to Cape Spear. There were many sparrows about, robins, jays and flickers were trying to ward off attacks from the raptors sweeping through. They were successful.
Then, I spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler and got hopeful. It was followed by a Black and White Warbler. Tensions rise. Then, in a flash and out of nowhere flew in this beautiful Chestnut-sided Warbler. It is only the second one I have ever seen. It stayed a while and flew off. Scanning the area for it, I found two Baltimore Orioles. Wow! Non stop! There were actually more small birds flitting around next to the road until a motorcycle whizzed by. Gone. Everything left and left me with my head spinning.
The other nice bird seen today was this Red-eyed Vireo found in the Shea Heights area. Sweet!
Common warblers are becoming more and more uncommon. I hiked the trail beyond Cape Spear and found this little Wilson`s hanging with a sparrow before the boardwalk. The wooded trail was very quiet with only a few sparrows and chickadees.
At this time of year, it is so important to be on your toes because you just don`t know what is peering out at you.