Confusing Fall Warbler

At long last, I ran into some migrating warblers today as I neared the end of my 3 hour walk. The black-and-white warbler looked rather sporty to me with such sharp contrasts between its colors. The American redstart was a fairly easy ID, especially with the Stokes Guide. What a handy little book! The prothonotary warbler was fairly easy, too. The purest yellow on that bird!

But the next warbler stumped me. Even Stokes and Sibley didn’t seem to provide a definitive match. So I decided to take my field notes home and do more study, including searching the web for photos. Here are my field notes: Complete white eye-ring. Gray above from head to tail (kind of a titmouse gray). Pale yellow wash on its belly and breast. An ever so slightly dark outline of its bottom-most primaries along the flank (hardly worth mentioning really). I landed on the Nashville warbler and look forward to your comments on this.

I saw some interesting behavior from a group of 3 white-breasted nuthatches on a white oak branch near the lake’s edge. One of them would partially flare out its wings and raise its tail to the others, showing its bright rusty undertail coverts. What is this all about? I almost always see only two, paired-up. Three’s a crowd, perhaps?

Nearly all of the warblers were in one spot. I needn’t have done all the hiking I did to find them. 🙂

I also heard some flycatchers, two Acadians and one Great-crested. I love their very dependable voices, always rendering their calls according to my sound recordings.

There was something smelly near the bridge, like a dead animal. Sure enough, a turkey vulture showed up, perching on one of the power poles near by. Eventually, it flew off, but I’ve heard they can smell a rotting carcass from a long way. Yum, yum!


About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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