Sunday, April 26, 2015

Alabama Part 2: Diversity - Warblers

[Kentucky Warbler, Shell Mounds, Dauphin Island, Alabama, April 21, 2015.  A male, as told by the bold black on the face. Getting this photo took all the stalking skills I could muster, since Kentucky is a notoriously elusive critter.  It was also dark; this was shot at ISO 6400, 1/200th of a second. Click to enlarge all photos.]

As explained in the previous post, I'm just back from a week in coastal Alabama, where we had, among ~160 bird species, 29 (!) species of warblers! And many, even the skulkers, were readily observable as they fed hard after their 600 mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico.

We couldn't quite manage to find that 30th species, though we tried hard.  Swainson's Warbler and Mourning Warbler were among the missing prospects, but still, it's hard to complain about this kind of diversity. Here's a sampling:

[Male Bay-breasted Warbler, Audubon Sanctuary, Dauphin Island, AL, April 21, 2015.]

[Male Cape May Warbler at Bottlebrush on Dauphin Island, AL, April 20, 2015.]

[Worm-eating Warbler, Dauphin Island, AL. We saw Worm-eatings almost every day.]

 [Above, Louisiana Waterthrush, and below, Northern Waterthrush, Shell Mounds, Dauphin Island, AL April 20, 2015. How to tell them apart?  Note the Lousiana's whiter eyebrow, that extends well past the eye and even broadens slightly rearward, as well as it's bigger bill and buffy wash on the flanks.  It was a little late to be getting Louisiana on the coast, they are early migrants.]

Up next:  a couple Alabama rarities.

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