Confusing spring warblers

My old copy of the Peterson field guide has a couple of plates of confusing fall warblers.  And they do look confusing.

But this morning I got confused too – in the famous Rock Creek Park.  I joined a group of birders and we were looking for migrating warblers high up in the trees.    My guide was Wallace Kornack who certainly knows his birds – he was a great mentor for me.  But the other birders present were all very helpful and friendly to a UK birder who doesn’t know his Black-throated Green from his Magnolia.  Thank you from me to all of them.

We saw and heard a lot.  There were: Black-throated Greens and Black-throated Blues, Parulas, lots of Yellow-rumps, American Redstarts, Black and Whites, Yellowthroat, Bay-breasteds (maybe the best one of the lot if you know what you’re doing) and Nashville.  There were others but these are the ones I saw or heard.

And they don’t all look the same but many of them are yellow and black and white with some blue or red or brown.  And they hide behind leaves.  And the sexes are different. And they stay at the tops of the trees. And, and, and… And they move like lightening.

But they are beautiful – really beautiful.  And they are amazing and lovely.

So I am going back for another lesson in lessening confusion with Wallace tomorrow.  And I am really looking forward to it.


3 Replies to “Confusing spring warblers”

  1. Brings back fond memories of a weekend at Point Pelee rather a lot of years ago. Amazing spectacle after a winter spent in Ottawa. About the same date in May but still few leaves on the trees so the daunting variety a bit easier to pick out. I’d love to go back sometime.

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