Sunday, May 19, 2013

Two More Quickies

As I head out for Minneapolis in a few short hours, I thought I'd try to add a couple more birds to the photo list. Willow Flycatcher and Golden-winged Warbler were the targets.

Early this morning my dad and I visited Maple River SGA. I always get Willow Flycatchers singing from the power wires along Taft Road. Today we saw or heard at least a dozen Willow Flycatchers, they were seemingly everywhere. However, Willow Flycatcher looks identical to Alder Flycatcher. Voice is key. At the start of this big year, I pondered how to tackle this issue. The obvious answer is to take video, with audio, of the bird singing. My digiscoping camera does a pretty good job of handling this task. I then shot the bird with my SLR for good measure.

Willow Flycatcher singing, with multiple birds in the background

I took some stills of the same Willow Flycatcher.

Willow Flycatcher (same bird as in video above)
I was surprised to see so many Willow Flycatchers along this little stretch of road, but it was nice to have them back. Also along Taft were at least 3 singing Clay-colored Sparrows. 

Next target was Golden-winged Warbler. Gratiot-Saginaw SGA is a good location for this bird. We ran into one singing Golden-winged, but it moved around a lot, and the area is separated by a wet, wide ditch. The bird finally moved to a bare tree, out in the open, and I wasted no time digiscoping this beautiful warbler.

Golden-winged Warbler
Distance to the bird and backlight prevented any top notch photos. This gorgeous warbler was one of my last two eastern warblers for the year. Connecticut Warbler is my last. I won't have a chance at this bird until the fall where I'll have to be very lucky to pick one up during migration.

My friend Kevin Welsh and I depart Michigan on the 23rd to start out job/grad project out west in the Great Basin area of Nevada and California. However, we will be taking the scenic route, with  2-3 days in SE Arizona! It is my only chance to get there this year, so this whirlwind of a trip will have to be very productive. 

I hope to add a bird or two in Michigan during my last few days here, but time is very limited.

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