Blackburnians and Friends

I returned to the North Branch Nature Center early this morning to look for the elusive Black-billed Cuckoo (which I did not see) and check for fall warblers.  It was a grey overcast morning with little activity at first but once the sun started warming things up, bird activity cranked up.  I was by myself, armed with my Nikon Monarch binoculars and Canon 60D camera.

Young Cedarwaxwing hiding in bushes

There was lots of flycatcher and kingbird action as well as the ever-present Song Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats.  Seeing some movement deep in some bushes, I got my binos up and saw the gaping mouth of a young bird — and trying to take a photo with all the foliage, captured the image of a juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  The tail was much more red than the adults but from the mask and the noise it made, I was pretty sure of my call.

White-Throated Sparrow

Moving just further into the underbrush, I came face-to-face with a couple of White-Throated Sparrows and grabbed a couple of pictures.

Then the activity up high picked up — with all the constant flitting around and resultant neck craning that warbler watching can entail.  Sometimes I understand why Audobon shot them and took his time identifying them.

Blackburnian Warbler

Perhaps my favorite is the Blackburnian Warbler because the males are easy to identify and just gorgeous.  There was one this morning that I grabbed some poor shots of and then a Black and White Warbler popped up.  I saw Yellow-rumps as well as Yellow Warblers and missed a bunch more.

Common Flicker

Heading back, the Flickers were again on the path and one posed nicely for the camera.  It was a nice Saturday morning outing with about 27 species noted.

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