Mike & MerryLynn m.denny at charter.net
Wed Sep 25 17:45:13 PDT 2013

Hello all from MerryLynn,
Incredible migration day here - now that the rain hit I can post. This cold, cloudy breezy weather finally put some birds down here - Lots of tanagers, warblers, vireos and even our second ever in-our-yard Red-naped Sapsucker was here just before the rain hit.

This morning I went out as often as I could as there were lots of Yrumps, Wcrowns and other birds moving thru. Around 9:15 I bundled up and went out in our carport to watch for hummingbirds - had seen one zip by the window but not sure which kind. As I was watching our dozens of goldfinches and sparrows movement in our honeysuckle caught my eye. I focused there and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet popped up, then a Yellow Warbler, then another bird that had my adrenaline going! First saw the head - gray from forehead to nape with large white almost fuzzy broken eyering. Greenish to olive back, yellow from throat to vent in varying shades. Very little faded streaking on sides just below wings. Definitely warbler with small thin bill, flitting thru honeysuckle eating aphids. Had several good views then it flew up into taller trees with the kinglet and yellow warbler - I ran in and got camera - back out and traffic scared birds up across street into tall maple. Watched for 15 min. and finally saw it briefly along with many Yrumps. Never heard it vocalize but the Yrumps were chipping all the time.

These birds then flew south towards Stone Creek - so I grabbed pack and walked down there - spishing till I was dizzy - this area is where I have found Black-throated Blue and Blue-winged Warbler in the past.
Found Western Tanagers, Cassin's Vireo, both Kinglets, MacGillivrays, Yellow, Orange-crowned and many Yrump Warblers but no Prairie after over an hour of covering the area. So it is probably not chaseable - but Stone Creek by the Walmart in College Place has produced in the past. There are also many White-crowned Sparrows and at least one Lincoln's Sparrow.
I found the closest Prairie Warbler illustration to my bird in Sibley 1st fall female warblers page. Went thru warbler book too and can't think of anything else it could be - did not see it bob tail but it was flitting thru branches and upside-down and sideways a couple times - don't think I could have gotten a pic even with a camera - it never held still enough.

There is one record of Prairie Warbler in Walla Walla County from about 1990 - out near the delta. Not seen by us.

Met my mom at Fort Walla Walla park for a walk and had another MacGillivray's Warbler, more tanagers, Golden-crowned Sparrow and lots more common stuff. Sharp-shinned Hawk there and Cooper's thru our yard earlier.

Get out and bird! ML

Mike & MerryLynn Denny
Birding the beautiful Walla Walla Valley

"If you haven't birded, you haven't lived"

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