More from Tony

More fantastic pictures came from Tony M. today. Thank you Tony!

I’ll save the hummingbird and the black-and-white warbler for a day or so. Today, a Baltimore oriole:

And a gorgeous Cape May warbler, a "lifer" for Tony:

I took advantage of a Friday off and hiked in the Ely Peak-Bardon Peak area today. My warbler for the day was a chestnut-sided warbler, only the second I’ve ever seen. The first was on May 27, 2005, on the Western Waterfront Trail. Yes, it is scary that I have records of these sorts of things.

Earlier, just on the far side of Ely Peak, I think I saw a bluebird. This would be significant if true. I have dim memories of seeing bluebirds when I was a child, and it has been one of my chief birding targets as an adult. I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me: If you go to such-and-such a place you can’t miss seeing bluebirds.

I would dutifully go to such-and-such a place, and I wouldn’t see bluebirds.

The bird I saw wasn’t the pure blue of my memories. If it was a bluebird, it’s what the bird book uncharitably describes as a drab adult female. It certainly had the orange breast, particularly as it caught the sun while perched on top of an evergreen tree. The book describes the song as being "pleasing soft whistles," which certainly fit. (But would the female sing?) The curious thing was a black patch on the throat. That’s not in the book. But nothing else seems to come close to fitting.

Ideas, anyone?

Later, I saw an indigo bunting. No doubt about that one.

And I heard, but didn’t see, my first white-throated sparrows of the year. This is one of the very few birds I can identify by my ears alone. There’s no mistaking that song, which sounds to me like: I … KEEP … sayin’ the same thing over and over again.

I finished hiking an hour before it started raining, which was nice. I brought a tick home with me, and I’ve imagined many others. Be careful out there.

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