Sunday, May 15, 2011

Northern Parula

©2011 Steve BorichevskyThis can be a frustrating time of year. The warblers are migrating through and some are settling in. I was walking along a stream in Dogtown when I saw three warblers low to the grown hop up and start chasing each other.

On a cloudy day deep in the woods with a relatively slow lens, the autofocus had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to focus on. By the time I got compliance from the lens, my target had hopped and turned around. It is a frustrating time of year for sure.

To give you an indication of what is frustrating about east coast spring migration, many of the warblers come through after the leaves have developed and since warblers, depending on the family, like bushes, tree tops and being in the canopy.

As a bird-nerd, I would have had my binoculars and field guides. I would have seen the bird and relished in the coolness of having another checkmark on my year list and one on my Massachusetts list. As wildlife photographer, I would walk away frustrated that another on go away.

Warblers are considered the jewels of the North American birding world, and us bird-nerds live for spring migration when the warblers come through. But this story didn’t start at the stream side on the return leg of my walk. It started when I entered the woods and I heard a buzzy trill. I was in the woods for four hours before I was able to actually see one through the canopy.

A half mile later, it was getting onto noon and I was getting hungry. Time to finish off the walk and get some grub. I could hear Yellow Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Tufted Titmice, Baltimore Orioles, Common Yellowthroat Warblers, Grey Catbirds, all up in the canopy. Frustrating.

Then I happened upon a small brushy patch in a hayfield. I heard the buzzy trill again and was determined wanted to find it. And there he was, in crabapple tree feeding on caterpillars! How fortunate, he didn’t seem to mind my presence.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Northern Parula in Wild Cherry. Available as a greeting card on Redbubble. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Northern Parula in Wild Cherry. Available as a greeting card on Redbubble. Click on the image to go to Redbubble.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Then I heard another buzz. It was my cell phone, probably Becky wondering if I would be home for lunch.

“What?”… “It’s doing what?” … “What color is the smoke?” … “Where are you?” … “Is it dripping a lot or a little?” … “I’m on my way.”

How does her car always know? Followers know this isn’t the first time, nor the second time I’ve been pulled off of a photo opp by that VW Golf. Remember Eider Decisions? That’s it, this is the last time. We went off to the dealer and got her a new car.



Carol Mattingly said...

I was right there in the woods with you this cloudy Sunday morning as you labored through and finally found pay dirt. That beautiful beautiful little yellow warbler is so adorable. I have never seen one here. Steve I am sorry your walk got interrupted by a car problem. My day got interrupted by one on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon I had a new car too. I wasn't putting another dime into my four year old Saturn as I'd already put many extra dollars in it last year. Love my new car and hope your wife loves hers. Carol

sheila lynch said...

what a great post! You can almost hear the parula singing the photos are so good. Then there is the drama of the VW Golf, sad but adds to the story. Beauty, drama, and a much lighter checkbook at the end. I am on the edge of a new car buy, but it will take great drama to push it. Too bad it happened while bird watching!I have never seen a Northern Parula till now!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Fascinating post, Steve! What an adventure, and at the end your persistence was greatly rewarded with some outstanding shots!!! I hear birds all the time up in my personal canopy but never see them. Reckon I'll grab binoculars next time. GREAT post!! AMAZING photos!

bunnits said...

What a beautiful little guy. You can almost hear him singing in the photos.

Greyscale Territory said...

So loved this story behind the stunning photos! Smiling about the car! That could so easily be my predicament! But this little bird is a delight! Gorgeous melting pot of colour at the throat! And it looks so cheeky with beak open!

Roy said...

What a great coloured bird Steve.
I like the third shot down particularly. Marvellous.

WPgirl said...

Beautiful shots. What kind of car did she get?

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