[Tweeters] Mercer Island - Nashville Warbler

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 21:35:01 PDT 2015

Hello Tweets,

The birding gods are really paying me back after I dipped on the
Black-throated Blue Warbler! They gave me a real treat today.

After a hectic but successful pancake breakfast for my Boy Scout troop this
morning, I came home to enjoy my afternoon. I planned on maybe visiting
Luther Burbank Park. First, I checked Tweeters. I read about a trip to
Lincoln, Whitman and Adams counties, and also about Mr. Hobbs’ visit to
Marymoor park. Both mentioned a special bird: the Nashville Warbler.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to see one of those,” I thought. I have never before
seen a Nashville, and I hoped to maybe see one on the east side of the
Cascades this summer.

I stepped outside, and was surprised to hear the chips of many
Yellow-rumped Warblers! They are normally a scarce bird in my yard, with
maybe 1-2 sightings each year. But today, they were all over! So I came
outside and sat on the patio steps, enjoying the sun, watching the warblers
and caressing my cat. Two Steller’s Jays collected nest material right near
me, and a male House Finch (also rare in our yard, though they’re common
just across the forest) visited our feeder.

That was when I noticed a small bird right in front of me, investigating a
leaf cluster. At first, I thought it was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but then I
could see the gray head and yellow throat from where I sat. My mind briefly
flicked to a female Northern Parula, but I knew it wasn’t that. When I got
my binoculars on the bird, what else did I see but a thick white eyering!
“Nashville Warbler!” I called out excitedly to my dad, who was also sitting
in the sun. The warbler fluttered to another branch, then flew higher into
the canopy. I got good views, and a few diagnostic documentation photos,
which I am happy about; this bird was moving about a lot! They’re not the
clearest, but I still like them, because the show a very special bird.

I only briefly saw the crown and didn’t note the color, so I don’t know
what sex this bird was, but I think I’ll call it male arbitrarily just
because it seemed pretty bright; it could have been a female, though,
because when I did see the crown I didn’t notice any red. I did see the
bird’s tail wagging, so I know that it was the expected western or
Calaveras subspecies.

The bird disappeared into the canopy, and I skipped away happily. A
Nashville Warbler in my yard! I had just been thinking about this bird, and
how I wanted to see one. And here was one, right here in my backyard!

Here’s a photo I got (The bird is in the center right, clinging to a branch
and looking downward):

It’s my theory that this warbler fallout in my yard was a mini-version of
the one that happened at Frenchmans Bar Park on the Columbia River; that
is, a rarer warbler was travelling among a horde of Yellow-rumps. I’m so
lucky that a warbler fallout brought a Nashville Warbler to my yard! It is
my fourth self-found rarity, of which two have been in my yard, and three
out of four have been warblers (American Redstart, Palm and now Nashville)!

Later today, at 6:04 PM, I encountered another warbler fallout in Pioneer
Park. I didn’t have my binoculars, but among the singing and calling
Yellow-rumps this time was an interesting chip note. I’m thinking
Black-throated Gray, but I don’t know. What do you think?

Over the moon all over again, Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com
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