Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Next Day...

Ever since 2002 when I started digiscoping, it's become a tradition of mine to capture a stunning Yellow-rumped Warbler portrait each spring. There are a couple reasons I do this. First of all, it's fun! Secondly, it gets me warmed up for the swarm of migrants that will pour in late April and May – it's really good practice for fast-moving birds. And it's also a way to gauge my progress over the years. Just look at 2002's Yellow-rump portrait for a comparison! This morning I'm content that the above image is 2011's. He's a beauty, isn't he? Naturally, I'll still digiscope a Yellow-rump if I find a cooperative one in inviting light, but for now I feel like I've accomplished this seasonal goal.


Though the strong winds didn't die down overnight, we at least had clear skies and lots of sunshine today. The temperature was still in the low 30's in the morning, but it warmed up to the upper 40's by noon. The warbler flock I was with in the sleet yesterday was still present near the Parmenter Street bridge. The sprightly birds looked quite a bit more comfortable and there were lots of midge flies for them to eat. They'll need it. We're supposed to get around an inch of snow tonight, so food will probably be difficult for them to find in the morning. Once it warms up, they'll be back in business. The Pine Warblers were also still present and I was able to get some nice images of them today:

Location: Pheasant Branch
Observation date: 4/17/11
Number of species: 52

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2011 Mike McDowell


  1. This year's image of the Yellow-Rumped Warbler is much sharper. Good job.

  2. Thanks! It was a pleasure photographing them!


  3. I love your 2011 Butter-Butt photo....such a beautiful bird and yet he does not seem amused at the sleet and impending snow. Who could blame him?! Great capture, not only artistically and photographically, but also in bringing out personality....something that doesn't regularly happen with wildlife. Kudos!

    ...Yellow Rumps and Blood reminiscent of my days in the Midwest....Welcome Spring!

  4. Thanks! Come back and visit us sometime!