The Bufflehead Birder

September 22, 2008

Parulas on Parade

Again, despite my desire to linger over tea and a new book at my favorite coffeeshop, I was glad that I had shown up for a morning bird walk with the Wyncote Audubon Society. It never fails, but to get out into the woods gets my mood up and often ends up with some worthwhile surprises.

Militia Hill, my favorite part of Fort Washington State Park in Whitemarsh, PA is always likely to provide something interesting. Plus, there was the promise of donuts and coffee at the end of the walk. And even if the walk proved to be scanty of sightings, why we could just take our donuts and coffee and go hang out on the grand 2-story hawk watching platform and join in with the birders gathered to help tally migrating raptors for the 2008 Hawk Watch.

Warblers were coming through too, and happened to be actively looking for what insects were still around. We had a few Black-throated Green Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, one Black and White Warbler, and some American Redstarts along with a couple of immature males with yellow on the undersides of their wings and tail (Yellowstarts). I hadn’t ever seen one of those outside of a bird book.

But our most popular warbler of the day were the Parulas, including one stubborn one who was still in breeding plumage. Just about every greenish blur dashing from tree to tree turned out to be a Parula.

They were even cooperative at times by staying in view near the ends of branches, and I did not come away with Warbler-neck, as these birds foraged in the lower branches.

Below I took 2 still frames from a video clip I got of a berry-eating Parula.

Parula in Sumac

Taking photos of warblers is like taking snapshots of accelerated subatomic particles.

Parula with Sumac Berry

Thank you Nikon P5100 video and PhotoShop.


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