Every once in a while, I have a day where the birds just seem to come find me. Friday was one of those days. I got out earlier than usual, which may have also contributed to the birds being more active, and spent a good hour in the woods.
The first bird I saw was this beautiful Nashville Warbler. The bird gave me a couple of great looks while frantically hopping around in the bushes.
I was walking by an area full of Goldenrod where the morning sun was shining. I was lucky enough to have two warblers appear on the scene. The first was this Tennessee Warbler, a new bird for me.
While seeking help online as to this bird’s id, I had an interesting discussion about white balance in photos. When shooting in a huge field of golden flowers during the golden hour, photos will often have a golden glow to them. That’s often very desirable–it’s why so many photographers plan their shoots around the golden hour. I originally posted a more “golden” version of this photo, and some of the birders online were confused about the id. It looked as if the undertail coverts and tail feathers were very yellow as opposed to more whitish. As soon as I reposted the photo with a cooler white balance, the id of Tennessee Warbler was given without hesitation. This was a great reminder of how the white balance of a photo, and the color of the light you are viewing/shooting in, can affect the id of a bird in the field and in photos.
I also saw another new-to-me bird there, this beautiful Northern Parula.
As I was heading home, I suddenly noticed a bird fly into a tree nearby. Having seen my first Yellow-billed Cuckoo a few days earlier, I thought I had found another. But as I was focusing on the bird, I noticed that the bill was not yellow. This was a Black-billed Cuckoo. This bird sat nearby for a long time and I got some great looks at it. That was my third new-to-me bird for the day!
Back at home, the birds have been very active in my garden. We always have Tufted Titmice around, but we seem to have many more of them lately. This one stopped by for a drink from the bird bath.
Finally, just before dinner that night, the American Goldfinches were all over my Cut-leaf Coneflowers eating the seeds. This one let me slowly get within 5 or 6 feet of it. It’s not often I get that close to a bird, and I absolutely adore the sharpness in the photo that results when it happens. I especially love the bird’s eye in this photo.
After a day like that, I make plans to go birding again as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get out yesterday and today is windy, rainy, and overcast.
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!