[Tweeters] Secretive fall warblers in my hawthorn

Paul Hicks phicks at accessgrace.org
Tue Sep 9 14:14:07 PDT 2008


Monday a Yellow Warbler spent the day (from at least 1pm til dark) in my
hawthorn tree. I have learned every fall to expect warblers, usually
singles, visiting for most or all of the day in this tree--I'm wondering if
anyone has a similar experience. [Do they gravitate to this prickly tree for
safety? How do they not get skewered?] Wilson's Warblers are most regular,
appearing in late July and August (this season around the 23rd.) for one to
three days (not consecutively). Less regular are Yellow Warblers. These fall
warblers hardly make a peep, but forage secretively though fairly actively.
The only way I detect them is catching their movement or, as the case today,
hearing (above the din of the main drag out front) the faint and frequent
snapping of the bill on a bug. Today's bird was not skittish yet was
amazingly difficult to spot. The tree isn't very large or dense, but it
could take up to 5 minutes to see the bird even though I could hear it
moving and eating (approx. 3 to 8 "snaps" per minute). Another amazing
thing: I mowed the lawn right next to the tree, but the visitor (apparently)
stayed put. (I had waited a long time until I was convinced it was gone, but
apparently it was just napping.) Makes me wonder how many fall migrants I
would see if I were actually home more often or did more yard work! Good

--Paul Hicks, Tenino, s. Thurston Co / phicks AT accessgrace.org

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