On the Split Rock River

Today, I took a gentle hike on the Split Rock River Trail, a loop that’s part of the Superior Hiking Trail, mostly within Split Rock Lighthouse State Park boundaries.
Most of the birds I saw were what-was-thats, could-that-bes and already-seen-’ems. This happens to me a lot.
It didn’t matter. Hiking under cloudless skies, in conditions that were just cool enough to make walking pleasant, along the gurgling Split Rock River and then up on a bluff that provides a spectacular view of Lake Superior was more than enough. Any new and/or interesting birds I saw would be a bonus.
I got that bonus near the end, on the section of the trail that overlooks the lake, just before coming to a small shelter.
A group of birds were partying in a couple of conifers. I saw flashes of color and edged closer to get a better look through the binoculars. The birds were playing hide-and-seek with me, but eventually I focused on a warbler with a fiery orange head giving way to a bit of yellow and then a white breast: my first blackburnian warbler.
There was a lot of color in those conifers, because they also hosted at least one American redstart (orange and black) and warblers with lots of yellow on them — these moved too quickly for me to identify them.
Earlier, I might have seen a magnolia warbler, and I might have seen a sharp-shinned hawk. But I wasn’t sure enough about either of them to count them.

One thought on “On the Split Rock River

  1. Wow. What a great way to spend a perfect May day. We don’t have that much color here but still have visits from the Oriols and Rose Breasted Grosbecks. We hope for a scarlet Tanager but don’t see them in our back yard most years.
    Three baby Robins are about to take flight from their nest above our front door lamp.

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