A Rocky Warbler

Welcome to March everyone!  Always a weird feeling when another month is torn off the calendar.  A variety of emotions and feelings seems to collide at once.  First a slight wave of panic comes over me as I realize that the quota counter resets back to zero and I have to start thinking about at least 6 new topics worth the time my readers generously give me.  Soon after that a major concern washes over as I quickly compute the days left before the summer’s planned 50K running event.  Then a major swing to the positive as the thoughts of spring make their way in bring a big smile with the excitement of getting back out in the field for the early migration.  Of course, it always ends with the sobering “WHERE THE HELL DID THAT LAST MONTH GO!?!”  I like to keep myself very busy and have a to-do list that probably rivals small novels in paper thickness – hate to leave this world without getting the very most out of it.  While I try to figure out how to squeeze a few more minutes out of the day, figured I’d put out a quick post on a pretty cool looking bird.  Before I do that though, wanted to give a shout out to Brian over at Butterflies to Dragsters (link here) who just celebrated his second year of blogging!  Those of us with our own blogs know very well the work that goes into them and Brian has been putting up some amazing stuff from his outings across the pond.  Check him out and wish him a happy anniversary, you will not be disappointed.

Decided to go with a quick post today from a shoot back in May of 2014 – I know, I know, I’m waaaay behind, but these calendar pages keep flying off the walls.

Wilson's Warbler found at Rocky Mountain National Park May 2014

Hit the jump to see a few more picture of this very distinct Warbler.

If I remember correctly (wow, it’s been almost 5 years now), we were out in Denver for the Teacup Dog Agility Nationals.  Linda was running our toy Poodles.  We decided to add a few extra vacation days to the trip being that it was a ways from home and we were driving due to the dogs anyway.  One of the locations we decided to visit was the Rocky Mountain National Park.  One of my nemesis birds (along with the Red Cockaded Woodpecker and of course the Puffin which my brothers enjoy teasing me about) is the White-Tailed Ptarmigan.  This bird prefers high elevations including above the treeline in the Rockies (10,000ft and up).  I’ve been up there multiple times now and each time hiked up to dizzying altitudes only to come back with an empty tin.  It is hard enough carrying the Beast close to sea level let alone at that elevation – reason number 2,136 why I spend so many hours in the gym and pounding the road.  One of these days I’m going to get that bird – feel free to get in our bet as to whether Ron gets a Snowy Owl before I get the Ptarmigan (hint, bet on me, Ron hates birding in the cold).

Wilson's Warbler found at Rocky Mountain National Park May 2014

Even missing the target bird (multiple times) it is still hard to be too down with the journey.  The Rockies are beautiful country and there is plenty of other wildlife to spend your time with. Take for instance this Wilson’s Warbler.  Looks rather dapper with its yellow threads and black cap.  This specimen was busy going back and forth between the denser trees and the forest edge causing me to quickly play with the settings to try and compensate. The darker shots show a nice contrast, but the overall coloring of the bird ended up slightly more subdued than they really are.  Still think a bit better than the first time this species showed up on this blog (link here).  To appease Ron, adding in some additional angles to give a full feel for the bird.  Here is the side and undertail which carries the same yellow hue throughout (also in a lighter setting).

Wilson's Warbler found at Rocky Mountain National Park May 2014

The Wilson’s is one of those birds you should have easy access to if you live anywhere in North America or down into Central America.  They pretty much have it all covered at some point during the year.  They prefer to breed in Canada and a few sparse places like the Rockies and then migrate through the continental US to spend their winter months in Central America working on their beach bods while sipping drinks with little umbrellas.  They are one of the smallest Warblers in the US and one of the most energetic being constantly on the move to find food or show off its fast and fairly high pitched song to their mates.  Hyper birds are not a good mix for the Beast.  After spending some time trying to get these flying bananas in the tin the arms start screaming.

Might as well give the remaining angle for your viewing pleasure

Wilson's Warbler found at Rocky Mountain National Park May 2014

The end ha!

Hope you enjoyed spending some more time with Mr. Wilson’s, one cute Warbler.

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