My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Northern Waterthrush and Chestnut-sided Warbler at Tifft

Published May 16, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Northern Waterthrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Cedar Waxwing

My nemesis bird, the Northern Waterthrush, was conquered at Tifft Nature Preserve this morning. Thanks to Doug's sharp eyes, we were able to locate this elusive bird and its mate. I thought the Northern Waterthrush would be a little more shy, but we actually got some pretty nice views of the pair as they toured and flitted around a small, boggy area. We even got to hear the male sing for a short bit! A life list addition is such a nice way to start a day!

A little tip on ID'ing the 2 waterthrushes: the Louisiana Waterthrush has a much broader, longer white eyebrow and no streaking on the throat while the Northern's eyebrow is narrower and shorter - and it is streaked on the throat. The Northern has a more yellowish tint to the light underside too. The Northern Waterthrush prefers bogs and swamps while the Louisiana prefers clear, faster running water. Since I saw my first Louisiana Waterthrush only just 9 days ago, I had to really study the differences between the two.

Very soon after the waterthrush, Art, Doug, and I located another warbler: a Chestnut-sided Warbler - and only a little while later, we spotted 2 more. The pair was in a bush and never came out into the open, so unfortunately, we only got a very quick and limited view. I added the one, poor photo that I barely squeezed out, but it's more just to show we saw them.  The good news is that it appears the warblers are finally coming into our WNY area, albeit slowly...

The rest of the morning produced the following warblers: numerous Yellows, an American Redstart, a Black-throated Blue, 2 Black and Whites, 2 Common Yellowthroats, and a Nashville. Other mentionable finds were: 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Warbling Vireo, a Red-eyed Vireo, about 7 Baltimore Orioles of different shades of orange (based on the male's age) and my first female Baltimore Oriole of the year, 4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 2 Veerys, a Swainson's Thrush, many White-crowned Sparrows, a Brown Thrasher, Warbling Vireo, 2 Cedar Waxwings, and a Cooper's Hawk carrying prey as it glided through our end of the preserve.
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Northern Waterthrush, today's lifer
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Northern Waterthrush
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Common Yellowthroat (male)
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Black-throated Blue Warbler with his breakfast
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Black-throated Blue Warbler
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Black-throated Blue Warbler
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Black and White Warbler
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Chestnut-sided Warbler - very poor view. There were two in the shrub and just one click and they were gone...
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House Wren
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White-crowned Sparrow
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Young male Baltimore Oriole
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Mature male Baltimore Oriole. There was a big difference between the 2 males in the depth of orange.
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Brown Snake soaking up the sunshine
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More sunbathers
Reply from: Art on 5/17/2013 10:15 AM
 Nice photos. The best part is that you can admire them without them flying away. I enjoyed birding with you yesterday. The highlight for me was the song finder which I am now in the process of ordering. Wish I could have stayed longer but did get a Canada Warbler on the way out!
Reply from: Sue on 5/18/2013 5:18 AM
 Hi Art, It sure is nice to be able to re-live our experiences through the photos. I was thrilled that the song finder is going to help you. I should probably blog about that one day as it may help others with hearing loss. I'm jealous about that Canada Warbler you found! I've been looking hard for one! Hope to see you out again soon! ~ Sue