Yesterday we took a few hours to do our exercise/bird walk in Whitewater
SP, a favorite place there's been little time or energy to visit this year.
We chose Trout Run Creek trail because its length was suitable and it's
relaxing, with or without scads of birds and wildflowers. However, the
postings of Louisiana Water-thrush and Yellow-throated Warbler from prior
days, did induce us to spend a bit of time checking for those species.
A mere snippet of sound was all we got from the Waterthrush. The first pass
through the Nature Center parking lot yielded nothing of the Warbler, as
well. Upon inquiry, we were told by staff that the Warbler had been seen
once across the road, but also that someone had been studying something
intently in the picnic area next to the Center that morning. We checked
both places to no avail, and as it was late and beginning to rain more in
earnest, started for the car.
It was then that a warbler-sized bird in the conifer high overhead, drew my
attention by its vigorous, under-branch, food-gleaning and constant
movement. All that was visible was gray-white underbelly against gray-white
clouds, with wet binoculars, though I was looking for black mask and yellow
Then it became apparent that the bird was feeding one or more begging
young. Not having read or heard that the Warbler may have had a breeding
partner, I foolishly dismissed the possibility that this was our sought
Yellow-throat, and quit trying for a view of face and throat. But after
scrambling into the car, I did get a full look at one of the fledglings
that followed its parent in our direction. It was not one I recognized.
At home, Malcolm Gold's posted message and photos provided the epiphany,
sending me to the guide-books. What I saw, matched photos and renditions of
the Yellow-throated Warbler (I'd only seen an adult, and only once, several
years ago, with better looks). Had I been less dismissive and more
persistent, I might have known what I was seeing! Still, having seen the
youngster was special in itself.
Here's a thank-you to Malcom and all who posted-- not least of all for a
lesson in the value of forebearance and patience in pursuit of a bird
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