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Friday, February 2, 2018

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Spring Migration 2017 was the year of the Black-throated Blue Warbler for me. Every year a species seems to dominate my birding expeditions more than others. One year its the Blackburnian ,one year its the magnolia and the list goes on. In years past I was never able to get a good shot at one ,always a quick glimpse or the bird was 100 yards away. No matter where I went in 2017 I saw BT Blues and some real close . I  wonder what 2018 species will be .

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron .... What is there to say : big,quiet stealthy,patient and superb hunters! I watched this heron take more fish than a couple fly fishermen a few hundred yards down the creek.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Least Flycatcher

There was one tree in the spring of 2017 that was hosting several warbler species ,and kinglets . My target was to catch the 3/4 Cape Mays  that were playing the cat and mouse game flitting in and out of the dense flowering tree. It was a difficult task to say the least as you only had a split second to click that shutter . With all the bird activity going on in that tree , there was one small bird that gave you more than a second and it was this small Least Flycatcher.At the time I was more focused on the warblers  and just took a quick shot at this guy thinking it was a RC kinglet .

Blue -winged Warbler

These warblers have been getting harder to find over the years . Their buzzy song and call is unmistakable  and closely resembles the even harder to find Golden -winged Warbler. I have had good looks of this bird at Forest Lawn sporadically in the past ,but Beaver Meadow in  N Java  NY is pretty reliable for this bird every year which is a known breeding area . May is the best time to head to the meadow as the males sing their hearts out looking for a mate making it so much easier to find and see them. Once nested they are much more quiet and harder to find as is usually the case with all the warblers .

Black & White Warbler

One of the tougher warblers for me to photograph for some reason is the BW Warbler. Although a bit larger than most of the other warbler species you would think they are an easier target . Their behavior reminds me of the brown tree creeper where they start at the base of a tree and circle their way upward around the trunk  at a pretty frantic pace . Of the many years photographing birds I finally connected with a shot I liked in May of 2017 so hopefully the poor image drought is over  on these guys . Seen in many woodland lots and parks I usually have good looks of these guys at Forest Lawn,Losson Park and Amherst State Park.starting in early May and late summer /early fall.

Prairie Warbler

The spring of 2017 gave me a new lifer warbler. After hearing reports of one being found at Amherst State Park ,I went on the search the next day. It was a beautiful mild May morning and had great looks at many of the familiar warblers and migrants that the spring migration brings .After a few hours of searching and hopes starting to dwindle, an unfamiliar call and song was heard . After several frantic minutes of narrowing the location of that song down ,I finally caught a glimpse of a handsome male singing away along the creek bed . Although this warbler is not rare so to speak  in my area , WNY is on the far northern border of its range and is seen regularly in the southern part of my area. 

The Eastern Bluebird

The rather small colorful thrush  is my NY State bird ,It is usually seen in the wide open grassy areas of the countryside and has pretty stiff competition finding nest boxes with all the house sparrows,starlings and tree swallows . Many years back Losson Park had a decent population sharing nest boxes with the swallows but have since disappeared since the vandalization and destruction of the boxes .In the past few years Knox Farm , INWR, Dunkirk Airport and Beaver Meadows have been a pretty reliable spot to get a glimpse and photo of these beautiful songsters.