Saturday, 21 November 2009

Palm d'or

An update following yesterday's warbler conundrum.

I had very brief views of a couple of warblers moving along the hedgerow at the Nanaimo estuary, the first one I thought at the time 'might' be a palm warbler but I didn't get all that much on it and when I checked Sibley I noticed that it was well out of its range. I was utterly baffled.
The second bird seemed equally confusing, resembling a yellow-rumped warbler in many ways but with a bright yellow throat. I also thought it had yellow undertail coverts?

Anyway, I contacted Guy Monty (a very knowledgeable local birder) who thought I could be right about the palm warbler and came down this morning with his wife Donna, where we relocated the bird and indeed it was a palm warbler.
Those in the UK reading this, check out your American field guide distribution maps and you'll see why I was initially cautious... I suppose it's a bit like finding a yellow-browed warbler back home. Rare but not mega.

Today it was with a yellow-rumped warbler, which was probably the same bird it was with yesterday but God knows why I didn't ID it at the time as I've seen lots of them, and indeed one about half an hour earlier! Could have sworn it had a bright yellow throat yesterday (as opposed to the slightly buffy throat this bird has)... was it a different bird or was I hallucinating? I think I'll go for the latter...

Thanks to Guy for the pic of the palm warbler.

Other birds seen while warbler hunting included a northern harrier, northern shrike and later, 1 short-eared owl. There were quite a few trumpeter swans passing over during the morning including a flock of 13.

Back at the condo, a Cooper's hawk was upsetting the robins in the parking area.

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