Forest Park’s waterhole is known as a great place to see lots of wood-warblers without having to walk for miles or suffer from “warbler neck” because you are looking up into the canopy too much.  At the waterhole the birds come to you; you just have to patiently wait for them and eventually they come in for a bath or a drink.  So it was with the Orange-crowned Warbler this weekend.  One wintered in Forest Park this year and I had managed to get brief glimpses of it in December but nothing since, despite numerous observers seeing it in around the park.  Then, after I left the waterhole on Saturday I heard through the birder grapevine that it had shown up at the waterhole and basically made itself at home, singing and flying around and foraging for a couple of hours!

Sunday found me with no choice but to try and see the Vermivora celata, normally considered a rarity on the east coast in spring, for myself.  Within twenty minutes of being at the waterhole the bird made an appearance, but I wanted pictures.  It took over an hour and a half, but, finally, it foraged in front of me twice, and I took well over 200 pictures of it.  The best are below.  Had the light been better they could have been great, but I’m still pretty happy to get shots like these of such a cool little wood-warbler.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.