Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wood Warbler Season

My first thought is, when waking up in the morning, where am I going to bird today. I can't wait to get up and get going. I am fortunate not to have to travel very far to arrive at great birding spots. They are all around me. I just have to make up my mind whether it's going to be a pine forest, a second growth terrain, a grassy field, a swamp,  pond or river...

This weekend with warblers on my mind I hiked up Hogback Mountain to the top of the Tower Trail where last year I had seen my first Blackburnian Warbler astonishing me with his bright orange chest. And I saw him again, on the same moss-covered weather-beaten conifer, with the morning sun reflected in the blazing orange of his throat and chest.

 Eventually he dropped down into a  spruce to forage.

He found a fat spider...

...which he promptly swallowed. Last to go were the spider's legs.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

 Photographing warblers, such as the Black-throated Blue Warbler above or the Black-throated Green Warbler below, who are at home in the shady understory of a forest, present a special challenge. What's needed is a lens with a wide aperture to let in enough light, but the best I can do with mine is an aperture of 6.3, which means I have to use a slow shutter speed and high ISO to get anything at all. So usually I end up with grainy underexposed photos that require a lot of post processing work.

Black-throated Green Warbler

I found this Chestnut-sided Warbler in a power line cut. He was in bright sunlight but didn't want to sit still in his pursuit of insects through the brush until he finally flew into a distant tree to rest for a few minutes.

Cheers and happy birding!

Thanks for visiting. Please leave a comment.


  1. Hi Hilke

    What a wonderful collection of wablers. I really enjoyed the post.


  2. Great views of warblers!! Hilke. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  3. Your beautiful warblers are so colourful...
    Your captures of them are stunning.

  4. It sounds like you have a great variety of habitats close by. The color on that first warbler is amazing!

  5. Very nice Warbler captures! Indeed it's tough to get photos of these beautiful birds in low light.

  6. Great catches Hilke! The Blackburnian warbler looks like he might ignite the forest by his presence alone. These are amoung your best. Bravo!

  7. They are so beautiful, and your photos are lovely!

  8. Your shots are beautiful. I think I have to do birding too.

    Duck photo shoot

  9. Love the warblers and you did great with the photos, Hilke.

  10. I'm a wee bit jealous that you have so many pretty warblers. That Blackburnian is a stand-out!

  11. WOW is all I can say--that blackburian is Brilliant!! I have to do the same...HIGH ISO to get the light doesnt always work so well for me as it obviously does for you!! Happy Birding.

  12. A lovely collection of warblers. I really love your captures of the Blackburnian Warbler!

  13. Such lovely species -- wonderful finds!

  14. Nice combo of great photos and helpful commentary! Just discovered you--I'll be back.

    That Blackburnian is really something--what a flashy guy.

  15. Oh, they are all wonderful!
    Lucky you to get so many gorgeous fellows & photos!
    I wonder if the spider legs tickle - and no, I won't try it ;)

  16. Fantastic capture of the spider 'lunch.' :)
    I love the shot of the black throated green warbler on the little branch. Nice composition and oh what beautiful bokeh!
    Thanks for your visit. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

  17. So many beautiful, colorful warblers! Wonderful images! Fantastic capture of the Blackburnian with the spider snack. This terrific post is most definitely a feast for the eyes!

  18. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments!


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