Monday, April 21, 2014

Prothonotary Warblers @ Occoquan (+ a mystery)

Prothonotary in flight.
After scanning the wires carefully for early warbler arrivals--and after asking for
directions from other birders--I headed over to Occoquan today in hopes of finding some Prothonotary Warblers. The Prothonotary song was easily heard after only a few minutes, and with only a little bit of trouble, I soon had ample views of multiple Prothonotary Warblers. I managed an inordinate number of crappy photos, but I did get a really cool pic of one Prothonotary flying down a tree.

There were also numerous other warblers, including songs from and views of both Prairie Warblers and Northern Parulas, as well as brief views of Yellow-throated Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. Half way between the Prothonotary boxes and the parking lot, I found 2 unidentifiable warblers. They resembled Pine Warblers, but two things were fishy: the song in no way resembled Pines, and they weren't feeding in pine trees. I've listened to countless songs online and in apps, and I've looked in three different field guides (including the new Warbler Guide)... to no avail. Birds were of the same species, mostly yellow coloring, no streaking, clear wing bars, faint eye ring, and flat, black beak. Song did not match any of the Prairie, Palm, Pine, Prothonotary, etc. variations.

I'm hoping someone (Dave Boltz, Phil Silas, Elton Morel, Larry Meade, Dixie?) will stop by tomorrow and figure out this mystery.

Prothonotary at rest.

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