Yellow-throated Vireo

The Celery Bog has been very vireo for the past two weeks. Red-eyes, blue-heads, philadelphias and bells in the bush. White-eyes gazing at me from a tree. The warblingest vireos warbling. But there is one who has eluded me so; I wonder if today I’ll see… OH! There he is, a Yellow-throated Vireo!

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Magnolia Warbler

The brutal afternoon sun hammered the treetops as I walked along in the woods below. This is usually the worst time of day for warbler photography because of the harsh light, but today the leaves were filtering it nicely. Pausing to take it all in, I watched a tiny yellow leaf falling gently, falling, falling, climbing, chirping??? Ha HAA! It’s a Magnolia Warbler! He kept his distance as I waited for him to pause in a sun beam. Clickety, clickety! Intrigued by the sounds of my camera, he moved closer, but not too close. Another sun beam, Clickety, clickety! Again he moved closer, and now he is too close. As I tried to move back far enough to get another shot, he moved closer. It was a game to him now, so I quit trying to take his picture and just enjoyed the moment. It’s hard to imagine just how small some warblers are until you’re standing beak to beak in an epic staring contest with a Magnolia Warbler.

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Pied-billed Grebe

My little Pied-billed Grebe pal was so busy foraging beneath that log that he didn’t realize I was there. This is by far the closest encounter I’ve had with this timid little grebe and he quickly moved away upon realizing he was being photographed. Some odd old nicknames for this bird include devil diver and water witch, and a group of grebes is known as a “water dance” although I think “cutie pieds” would be better.

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Blackburnian Warbler

Last spring the best I could do with the Blackburnian Warblers was a few fluffy little butt shots as they darted away. I recall shaking my fist in the air and shouting I’ll see you in the fall, dadgummit! Or was it more like some pouting and begging? I don’t remember. It’s not important. Anyway, as promised, here’s a Blackburnian Warbler from this fall!

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Black-throated Blue Warbler

“What am I, chopped liver?” I went to the bog this morning and saw some vireos and a couple of warblers, no major developments but it was a nice walk in the woods. I went back this evening because there was good light and, well, it’s the fall WARBLER migration! I wasn’t there five minutes when I stopped in front of a prime warbler bush and when I realized there were none present I thought to myself: This place is completely devoid of warblers right now. As I stood there sulking, eyes glazed over and staring blankly at that bush I realized something: There’s a Black-throated Blue Warbler staring back at me!!! Wait a minute, did I say that devoid thing out loud? Can you read my mind? Do you understand english? Was I speaking BIRD? He immediately got bored and flew to the other side of the bush, You CAN read my mind!!!

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Chickweed Geometer Moth

Rule #1 as a world-class wilderness explorer: Investigate everything. You never know when you might discover a tiny moth that looks like the shavings from a freshly sharpened colored pencil! And as a bonus this moth has an awesome name too: Chickweed Geometer!

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Black-throated Green Warbler

I’ve said it before and now I’m more convinced than ever that warblers enjoy the sounds that an SLR camera makes. I watched from below for several minutes as a Black-throated Green Warbler danced in the treetops. She saw me waiting patiently and still she would not come down. When it seemed like she was bored with me and began moving away, I had to do something. Come here bird!!! Pleeeze? That didn’t work, that never works. So I fired off a few shots with my trusty Canon. Not only did she turn around and come back, she came down from the treetops and parked it right in front of me, as if to say Why didn’t you TELL me you were a photographer!?!

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Wilson’s Warbler

Psst, hey you, guess what time it is. It’s fall warbler migration time! Woo hoo!!! I saw a little yellow somebody flitting about in a bush today so I waited to see if he would pop his head out and say hello. In a very uncharacteristic move, this Wilson’s Warbler actually came out! I knew he wouldn’t stay long so I swung my gear around and lobbed a couple of no-look shots in his general direction. I’d like to say this was just a lucky shot but I am a world-class wilderness explorer, after all.

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White-breasted Nuthatch

On a scale of 1 to puppy licking your face, the White-breasted Nuthatch is about a 9.5 on the friendly scale. This pudgy little bundle of cuteness lives at the Celery Bog year round and you can always tell when he’s near because of his constant meep meep call. Who ranks higher? Well, let’s just say I’ve met some warblers who were seriously thinking about licking my face!

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Mississippi Kite

Okay, go past the bank and turn right at the car wash, then the next left. I don’t usually get too fired up about this kind of urban exploration, but I received directions to the nearest Mississippi Kite, a rare bird for these parts, from a fellow at the Celery Bog so I thought, why not cruise through the neighborhood and see what we see. Great directions! There they are in the dead tree on the corner. The first thing I noticed was that magnificent tail, but when he gave me a mid-air, hovering head tilt I was so glad I set out on this adventure!

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Squirrel Sunday

Squirrels don’t sit still for photos very well this time of year, so when I came upon this little dude I had to do my best squirrel charming. It’s a lot like snake charming only less dangerous, well, not dangerous at all really. Easy boy, that’s it… nice and easy, SNAP!!! I got one shot off and he was gone!

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