In the past few weeks I have had several fall migrants passing through my area. The temperatures in northern California have been in the high 90’s to 104 degrees so having the only water hole in half a mile probably helps attract birds to my water feature. Click on photos for full sized images.
Of course I was excited when I walked onto the back porch the other day and saw a stealth, fast moving, black and white bird sneaking around in the oak trees. It was obviously not a woodpecker. No, it was a Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens).
The male above was accompanied by a female…
and what appeared to be a first summer youngster that I caught taking a bath!
And enjoying it!
Much easier to spot skulking about in the trees and bushes, weighing the possibility of danger against the certainty of a nice cool drink, or a refreshing bath…
is the migrating Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia).
The male above and the female below.
Also hiding in plane view was a fledgling Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), it’s parent staying hidden in the trees.
Finally out in the open, clinging to an oak branch, was a young female Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana). Note the remnant of the gape at the base of the beak.
Then, the very next day, this indistinguishable bird flies down from the trees. What could it be? That large eye and what looks like a fairly large beak, with a pale lower mandible, similar to the Tanager pictured above, but a much smaller bird.
Oh, it’s a first year Yellow Warbler!
I love migration season! I was lucky enough to shoot a video of the Black-throated Gray and Yellow Warbler taking a bath together too! Enjoy!