Sunday, April 3, 2016

Yellow-throated Warbler on Second Try

This was our second weekend to take a drive down to Commons Ford Park in south Austin looking for the Yellow-throated Warbler reported near the boathouse. Last weekend, we had gone on Easter Sunday and by mid-afternoon it was a zoo of picnickers. We had run into Joe Hood, another Austin-area birder who had seen the warbler earlier in the morning. We heard what we were fairly sure was the Yellow-throated in the tree cover on the other side of the sluice and later in the mix of cottonwoods and cypress to the far left of the boathouse where we were joined by three other birders. I never did see the elusive critter and did not log the observation.

Today, again due to other obligations, we got there later than desired. This warbler is very loud and we heard it as soon as we got to the boathouse, again on the other side of the sluice. I prepared for another frustrating afternoon. However, I finally spotted it when if flew to one of the closer trees. We then spent an hour or so tracking it from tree to tree hoping it would come down lower so we could get a more detailed look. We can't complain though as we got some nice colorful photos despite the distance. This makes bird number 300 on my life list; a great bird with which to reach that milestone!

We also found a Northern Parula at along the trail leading back to the parking lot. A passer-by asked what we were looking for and we answered "small birds called warblers." Her reply was, "oh, those are the ones that are taking all of our land." Given the struggle for the survival of the Golden-cheek Warbler, that was a pretty depressing opinion to hear.

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