Redstarts and Warblers and Buntings, Oh My!

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The cold front moved through and brought not only cooler temperatures, but lots of migrant birds!  I spent a very nice morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve with Dyeyo.  We chased lots of little birds and ended up with a pretty good migrant count, including an Indigo Bunting!! :)

We hiked the Heron Hideout trail, Marsh Rabbit Run trail, and Wading Bird Way trail this morning.  We hadn’t been on Marsh Rabbit Run for more than two minutes before we spotted a male American Redstart.  I’ve only seen females before, so I was pretty excited.  We chased that little bird in and out of the oak treetops for over an hour!  Photographing him was quite challenging, for many reasons:  the light was uneven, the bird kept hiding, autofocus kept triggering on the leaves instead of the birds, etc.  So I was happy to get a few shots with the bird in focus, kinda-sorta looking at the camera. :)

We heard Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers all over the place.  They are so cute!  I’m glad that they are back.  For the most part they are staying high in the trees now.  In a few weeks, they will start to come lower into the vegetation on the sides of the trail.  Then it’s really easy to get eye-to-eye pictures of them.  This one was singing, then he hopped closer and closer to me.  Just as I focused, he opened his mouth to sing, then jumped towards me.  I wasn’t sure if I got the picture, but I did!

We saw a bunch of different warblers today (although compared to some of the counts on Birdbrains today, our counts are puny.)  We found a Yellow Warbler, a Tennessee Warbler, several Common Yellowthroats, a Palm Warbler, a Prairie Warbler, and the redstart.  We always seem to see the first of fall Palm Warblers on October 1.

Out on Wading Bird Way, I couldn’t resist taking more pictures of the baby Limpkins, despite spending all morning with them yesterday.  They were out on the trail when we got there, but the tram came by and scared them away.  They came back out pretty quickly when Mom brought an apple snail!

One of the babies saw Mom hunting for a snail and made his way over to her immediately.  He wasn’t going to miss his breakfast.  The other chick stayed on the rocks by the culvert.  He was very timid and waited until he heard the sounds of feeding before he started swimming.

On our walk back, we found my friend Nancy who had very good news for me – she’s officially cancer free!! :)  Then we found an Indigo Bunting, which Nancy had never seen before.  He’s a male and he’s molting.  You can still see bits of blue on the tips of his wings.  He was a great way to end a fun morning.

Bird Species List (35 total): , White Ibis, American Coot, American Redstart, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher (FOF), Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue Jay (heard), Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe (heard, FOF), Grackle sp, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Indigo Bunting, Limpkin (babies!), Little Blue Heron, Mottled Duck, Palm Warbler (FOF), Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker (heard), Prairie Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-winged Blackbird, Swallow sp, Tricolored Heron, White-Eyed Vireo, Wood Stork, Yellow Warbler

FOF=First of Fall

Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?

Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

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2 thoughts on “Redstarts and Warblers and Buntings, Oh My!

  1. So many great shots of those tiny little birds. Love that little blue-gray with his beak wide open. Glad to hear there are still 2 baby limpkins. It was great seeing you this morning, even if it was short. Hope you got some good stuff in the woods.

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