First fall warbler migrants of 2014!

   At 3:30 this afternoon I decided to take a walk around the trail through the woods behind my house. I was hoping (as I have been on nearly every trip that I have taken since September rolled around) to catch a few early migrants. I every spring and fall (fall, especially) I get revved up for some warbler action. Lets face it folks, there's nothing quite like warbler watching to get you going. Warbler watching is almost an entirely different sub-hobby than regular birdwatching. Instead of a handful of often drab and altogether unexciting birds that just don't cooperate, while warbler-watching you get to experience bird watching at its absolute best. You have a fair number (in most instances) of small, brightly-colored (once again, in most cases) birds packed with energy. And warblers don't just not cooperate. They are worse than most, but they also make it fun.

   But to return from my narrative-turned-rambling, I did stumble upon a small group of warblers. The small group of warblers contained three warbler species, and one vireo species. Leading the charge were common yellowthroats. Also present was at least on American redstart, and another species which didn't allow me close enough a look to fully indetify it. It was either a mourning warbler or northern parula, but which it truly was I do not know.  To be clear, I did not see the common yellowthroats, but rather identified them by their call, and the only identifying look I got at the female American redstart that I saw was the distinct bi-colored tailfeather undersides. And as for the vireo? A lifer blue-headed vireo! This is the bird that first drew my attention to the group, and this is the bird I saw most clearly. And though blue-headed vireos do pass through Ohio during migration, the bird was listed as rare in eBird for the location and date, which makes the sighting even more exciting.

File:Blue-Headed Vireo 1.jpg

Blue-headed vireo*

   Unfortunately I don't have any photos to share (at least none that I took), but I will suffice it to say that the trip was a total blast (the first wave of migrants always make for a good birding trip), and fall migration has started in full swing. Keep your eyes peeled for those warblers (and vireos, and kinglets, and creepers, and... well, you get the point. Right?)!


*Photo via wikimedia commons

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