During the first two weeks of May (2018) I was a complete maniac! Well, I am a bit nutty in general but… I get super pumped up during spring migration. During this time, most people know better than to make any attempt of having any type of conversation with me – you can see it in my eyes… I’m possessed and I’m on a mission! This happens every year around this time but this year, this year was different – My determination was on another level. All winter I worked on my audio and visual ID skills (The Warbler Guide is an excellent resource) – I was getting my warbler on and no one was going to stop me!
With the help of a wonderful migration tracking tool called BirdCast (created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), I had a pretty good idea which days to look out for certain species. I was out and about by 5:30 am (before going into work at 9), I birded during my lunch hour and again after work at 5:00 pm until the sun went down which was around 7:45 pm. Saturday and Sunday – all day! After doing this for two weeks straight, I was exhausted and I think a few of my friends thought I flew of the ledge this year (Ha! pun intended). But I’m happy to say I am satisfied with my efforts.
Here are some of the warbler sightings I was able to capture – I saw a lot more than depicted below but you’ll have to check out my blog Triple B (currently in progress) to find out what happened to the others.
Taking photos of warblers is serious work – You need a lot of patience, a good understanding of their calls/songs (to help locate them in the canopy & understory) as well as their foraging movements. In my opinion, the best time to get great warbler shots is right when the shrubs and trees are in the first stages of leafing out. Having a good camera helps but its not the end all say all (I’m using a Nikon D5500 with a 300 mm telephoto, no super zoom lenses – at least not yet) – The real key is understanding the environment, your subject and having patience.
Although this years goal was to see (& correctly ID) as many warblers as I could, I did see a number of other exciting birds, including a few first time sightings – And of course I can’t ignore all the wonderful blooms along the way. As I mentioned in one of my other blogs (check it out here Double Dipping) Birds and blooms go together! Check out Double Dipping Pt. 2.
I hope you enjoyed this post – Let me know your thoughts below & most importantly, get out there and love Nature!
All Images, Audio & Artwork © 2018 N.Fontaine
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