Had a wonderful walk with the regular crew (Marshall, Donald, Ralph, Keith, Ed, Chris & Chris, as well as Yurim, Maria, and a few others) at Great Falls this past Sunday. Warblers were in abundance, and we were lucky to have a photo op with one special little Magnolia Warbler. Below are a few pics, provided here mostly for close study but also because it's just such a beautiful bird. Maggies have quickly become one of my favorites migrants.
(One note: Unfortunately, unlike Common Yellowthroats, Maggies seem to be impervious to my pishing.)
It's been an excellent summer of birding for this newbie, and as of Friday the 13th, 2013, I've moved beyond the 100 species threshold. Officially, at least on my eBird list, the 100th species was a Yellow-throated Warbler (it may also have been a Magnolia Warbler or Black-billed Cuckoo, as all three were seen at roughly the same time). In any case, though I didn't get a photo, it was an excellent bird, and it will always have a special place in my woodpecked heart.
we waited until June for our next bird walk. again, this one was with Jay and Carol as our guides. we hit Hidden Creek and the back side of Lake Fairfax. most memorable moment by far was when the Cooper's Hawk flew directly past our heads, scooped up a Carolina Wren, and flew off to have a snack. pretty intense stuff, particularly considering how near and dear Carolina Wrens are to Carol's heart.
and here I am, still with no proper attire or gear, still with elbows out, still not fully committed. but lovin every minute, anyway.
here are two photos of a warbler (?) we couldn't quite identify at Banshee Reeks yesterday. some speculated it might be a Connecticut Warbler, but though there appears to be a slight eye ring, there also appear to be wing bars. in any case, the photos are horrible, but I believe they're the only records we have the bird in question.
UPDATE: looks like the best guess for this little bird is Magnolia Warbler. the search for Connecticut Warbler continues...
can't think of a more fitting way to start this blog than with a picture and video of my first red-headed woodpecker. while chasing after a cooper's hawk at Great Falls National Park, our group ventured onto a path we don't normally take. and there the red-headed was (spotted first by intrepid birder and avid studier of wind patterns, Donald). the red-headed proceeded to devour a cicada, providing us with a long, unobstructed view for well over 5 minutes. (apologies for the mediocre photo, but we were still quite a distance away.)