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josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Mon Apr 18 19:14:09 PDT 2016
Yesterday evening, while enjoying the dramatic verdant explosion that has transformed my yard this week, I was treated to a little warbler show in the great, tall maples in our backyard.
I first noticed the chip calls of two bright male Audubon's yellow-rumped warblers foraging in among the fresh, green leaves. A moment later, I put my binoculars on what I thought was one of the yellow-rumps, but instead turned out to be my FOY black-throated gray warbler, a male that sang periodically! After the black-throated gray flitted away, I thought I refound it in the same spot. I was instead astounded to see that this warbler was smaller, with a bright yellow belly, throat and undertail, a dark back, and a distinctive gray head - this was a Nashville Warbler!!
The Nashville wagged its tail a few times as I watched, fluttering and hopping beneath the maple leaves at the very top of the tree. After two minutes of good views, the warbler flitted out of sight.
Now, this was a very nice sighting already in and of itself. But there is something even more special about it: in the very same tree, I photographed my lifer Nashville warbler on April 19th, 2015! That Nashville was also traveling with other warblers, in that case a dozen yellow-rumps. Amazing that I got one in my yard two years in a row, in the very same tree!
The other FOY warbler, black-throated gray, also has a special story. On August 26th, 2013, I saw my lifer of the species, a female, in the upper left branches of the rhododendron tree in which we hang our feeders. The next black-throated gray warbler I saw... Was a female in the exact same upper left branches of the same rhododendron tree, exactly one year later on August 26th, 2014! That time, however, I couldn't give the warbler more than a moment's viewing; I was a little busy watching the female American redstart fluttering around the bushes in my yard!
Good birding and a happy spring (what warm weather this week!), Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA
Josh.n.glant at gmail.com
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