Thursday, June 13, 2013

Well, since my last post I have been from the extreme southwest of our province, up into the Bruce Peninsula and a few other places in between looking for the lovely little birds that spend their winters in the Caribbean, Central and South America and then fly thousands of miles north into the Canadian Boreal Forest and even as far as the northern Tundra to mate, nest and raise their young before turning around and flying all the way back to their winter homes.

Many of these little things are no bigger than a mouse, although much more brightly coloured when they arrive in their breeding plumage. When they return to the south some of them will have changed into a more subdued colour scheme and are much more confusing to identify.

Warblers are very tiny and very quick little birds, always on the move through the branches looking for spiders, caterpillars and other bugs that we can't even see.

Bay Breasted Warbler
This year I was hoping to find and photograph a Bay-Breasted Warbler as I didn't have even an identifying photo of one. As luck would have it - and trust me when birding you need lots of luck - we saw Bay Breasted warblers very often this spring!

Chestnut sided Warbler
I also wanted some better pics of a Chestnut sided warbler and again hit the jackpot - I have a few really nice pics that I will be using as reference for a painting eventually. This shot I thought was cute with the warbler framed by the leaves.

Yellow warbler
We didn't see as many Yellow warblers as we have in some years but there were still enough to get a few good pics of them- these happy little guys are still my favorites I think.

Black and White warbler
and there were quite a few Black and White warblers this year as well - they make their way up and down tree trunks much like a Nuthatch or creeper behaves.

Eastern Phoebe - a Flycatcher
Along with the warblers come the Flycatcher and Vireos. These  usually tend to be a bit larger than the warblers and much less colourful - which makes them much harder to identify! Some you can only tell what they are by learning their call and behaviour, they move just as fast as the warblers and once they get up in the trees with even small new leaves on the branches they are very hard to pick out.  I am learning the easy ones but most just confuse me!

Blue Headed Vireo
 Next time I will share a few more pics of warblers etc and also a few shots I got of some captive raptors at a raptor show that I attended. Although we are having a really slow start to summer weather, a day here and a day there separated by rain and cool temps the flora and fauna are still doing their "thing" so I have some nice butterfly and flower pics to share as well.

Thanks for stopping by!