[Tweeters] Stakeout possibilities on Tennessee Warbler don't look quite so bad

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 23 19:50:20 PST 2019

Hi Marv, Sam, Ryan, Bobby and Curt and tweeters,
I know, in a tweeter post replete with broken links and punctuation littering the text I called our Tennessee Warbler the Stakeout Bird from Hell. 
But consider this: today it showed up at 1:05.  A very skittish bird, it seemed to become nervous and intimidated by the activity of some of the bigger birds and left for a minute or so, but then came back cautiously approaching a bath spot and making itself reasonably visible although I still couldn't get a quality photo.  Then it found a spot to bathe that was behind a rock again, and again left in a blink of the eye and I actually missed it's exit.

Now, we have a number of mid-day visits recorded.  I would put a 15% chance (This isn't science, mind you) that the bird will show up tomorrow say between 11:30 and 1:30.
There is immense danger of someone spooking this bird but that's only if people are in the house by a window or door or outside on the back deck, and they move or make a loud noise.  There could be 15 people on or just in from the driveway, and as long as they weren't moving or making a lot of noise, the bird would probably never notice.  Visibility  of the creek from the driveway area is fine.  The converted garage even has a bathroom and we could leave it open plus set up some chairs.
The thing I hate about stakeouts is you trade the normal joys of birding for a single win-lose scenario.  I have deeply feared Host's Remorse Syndrome as I have been almost certain that if I try to get people to show up here and then have to apologize for the abject failure of the effort and I'll feel bad for wasting everyone's time and even worse because they didn't see the bird.  
But this bird is seeming to show some possible regularity.  If anyone would like to, they are certainly welcome to give it a try. Let us know when in an email to me at ednewbold1 at yahoo.com and I'll send some kind of map or something.

Also, I'm calling the series of photos Tennessee Warbler Bad shot #1, Bad Shot #2 and Bad Shot # 3 but I put those last two up on my website, and they do give more info about the bird.  Here's the link, which shouldn't be broken this time, thanks to Delia's technical assist (Scroll down past the New Mexico shots to the bottom of the page.)


Sorry to be so long-winded, but one thing about our experience with this bird seems odd to us.  Delia called it a diagnosis by exclusion. Even though she was waiting specifically for it, the bird's identity didn't scream out to her, but she eliminated one possibility, then another and then got to TEWA.  The same thing happened to me today.  I thought, that's an odd Junco, NO that must be a Kinglet, no, oh.... That's it!  Even though it was the bird I was waiting for.   My memory of this bird back in PA is all from spring, when they could be abundant at times, but I can't remember if I ever had fall birds that looked like this.

Thanks all,
Ed Newbold (and Delia Scholes)

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