Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Do You Warble?

This past weekend was our Victoria Day long weekend.  It has become traditional to open the cottages up this weekend, and a lot of people refer to it as May Two-Four weekend, referring to the beer that will be consumed rather than the date of May 24.  We don't have a cottage, so no need to hit the highway with throngs of others to air out the cottage and see what damage Old Man Winter has done to it.  I imagine there were some unexpected surprises in cottage country after all that snow we received this past winter.

I visited my dear old (so old!) dad on Saturday, and visited a nice park on the lakeshore.  He can barely walk now, and he toddled over to a bench with cane in one hand and our arms linked to save him falling.  He's one stubborn man, and like he always used to quote to us "there's no fool like an old fool".  If he would agree to the use of a wheelchair, a more adventurous visit to the park awaits him.  "Don't make me into an invalid!" he barks, so we resort to the canes and the wobbly shuffle which will carry him 20 feet if he's lucky.  We look at the lake.  We watch cormorants fly by in V-formation.  We comment on the lack of people at the park (which I thought was good, and he thought was a shame).  We eat the bananas he grabbed from the cafรฉ bar at his retirement home, "One for you and one for me".  It isn't the best of days between us, but it ended on a positive note.

Back at home, after the long tedious drive, I always feel so exhausted now.  Maybe it's age.  Maybe it's stress.  Maybe it's just the horrible drive trying to stay out of the way of those drivers who will forever drive at speed trying to be first in line.  I went to my bedroom to lie down, and went to open the window to let in some fresh air.  A sudden flash of orangey red caught my eye in our "stinky bush" just outside my bedroom window.  We don't know what the name of this bush is, but the flowers absolutely stink! and it has forever been the "stinky bush" to my family.  Even the leaves stink in the fall.  But back to the orangey-red flash!  It was a warbler!  My little rest was forgotten, and I grabbed my camera and headed out to the patio instead.  I took over 200 photos (thank goodness for digital, eh!), and most of them looked like this ...


Lots of green stinky bush leaves and branches with just a smidgeon of bird.  See that pretty warbler in there?  The warblers never sat still for more than a second it seemed as they flitted every which way catching tiny bugs, and they're so tiny I could barely get the camera to focus on them. 

Eventually, I got lucky, or else the little warblers took pity on me and sat still and in full view, and I was able to get some very decent shots.  I had my bird book handy, my binoculars and the camera ... oh, and tea! ... to help me identify these birds that I'm not all that familiar with.  My weekend was perfect, as I watched these very active little beauties flit around eating all the bugs that are so prevalent right now.  They're not biting bugs, but there are clouds of them to inhale when you walk into a dark corner or out your front door.  The warblers loved them!!  They had a feast all weekend long.  Where are the nice shots you ask?  Well, say no more, and enjoy ...


American Redstart


Blackburnian Warbler


Blackburnian Warbler ... warbling!


Blackburnian Warbler ... he's hitting a high note here
 
Myrtle Warbler


Myrtle Warbler
Male Chestnut-Sided Warbler ... I like how he's nicely camouflaged here ... and also his grumpy face
 
Chestnut-Sided Warbler ... catching a bug!
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Female Chestnut-Sided Warbler ... I love all the markings on her back
Female Chestnut-Sided Warbler ... love, love, love!!!

 
Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird taking a rest in the redbud tree
Nashville Warbler who would not come out in the open, and this was the best shot I got of him
 I hope you enjoyed the photos.  The last photo of the female Chestnut-Sided Warbler is my favourite.  This little sweetheart sat in a mock orange bush right beside me and allowed me to go crazy with the camera.  She is so tiny!!  Maybe two inches long in the body ... and you can't beat her for utter cuteness!
 
These miniature beauties graced us with their presence for the entire long weekend.  Now they seem to have all moved on again in their migration to more northern woods.  I also saw a Least Flycatcher too, but his photos didn't turn out.  A great birding adventure for me, and I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my home!
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Wendy
 
 

27 comments:

  1. Oh Wendy! What amazing photos! I showed them to my hubby. We have several warblers too but none of them as showy as your Male Blackburnian Warbler. He is gorgeous! Of course they are all very sweet in their songs. We saw one of the tiniest palm warblers we've ever seen last weekend when we hiked. We thought at first it was a hummer it was so small. Love your photos my friend! Hugs, Diane...and hubby

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    1. I've seen all but the Blackburnian Warbler pass through here in previous years (I keep a list). I just love the little guy though, he was a real surprise for me! Glad you and your husband enjoyed my photos :)

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  2. My goodness! You certainly had the whole bird kingdom at your window! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos - I haven't seen those bird species since I moved out west!

    xox

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  3. What an amazing set of photos you have taken - that is some epic bird watching in your backyard. It was totally worth going through 200 photos just to get those amazing shots. I am not sure I have seen warblers here, just lots of robins, blue jays, and chickadees and the now elusive hummingbird. The blackburnian warbler is quite the looker. I'd flip out if he landed in my yard.

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  4. Wonderful clipping of beautiful birds!

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  5. You got some excellent photos, Wendy. Those birds are beautiful and you definitely have an eye for capturing their movements and behavior. It sounds like you're making the best of things with your father. It can't be easy for you. But I know he feels your love and appreciates what you do for him. I feel the same way about driving lately, I just can't wait to be off the roads. I used to love driving but as I get older, I'm just scared and annoyed every day. :)

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  6. I suppose the old (and not so old) hang on to every smidgeon of independence. 'Tis a shame when you both could have enjoyed a more adventurous 'walk'.Those photos are breathtaking, Wendy!! I thoroughly enjoyed drinking in your glorious photos of those beautiful birds. They would certainly put a smile in one's heart!!

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  7. You lucky thing Wendy having those beauties on your door step, your photo's are stunning, thank you for sharing them with us. I think they must have come to visit you to brighten up your day after the stressful time you had visiting your Dad, I know how hard it is but you made his day by just being there as for the driving I hate it too there are so many idiots on the road, I think when my old banger has breathed it's last it will be pubic transport for me. :)

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  8. These images are wonderful, yes thank goodness for digital! My dad was exactly the same although just before one holiday he hurt his leg so we needed to get him a chair, I think he quite liked being pushed around.....he would never admit it though! :) x

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  9. Oh Wow Wendy! These photos are so lovely-so glad you grabbed the camera and not a nap-I have never seen these warblers-very beautiful
    when we lived in Illinois for over 25 years we lived right on the border of Wisconsin and on up the road a bit was Lake Geneva-same thing there too-everyone opening up their homes-and about this time-all the prices went up too in the stores so we had to shop in another city til fall

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  10. These are fabulous shots,Wendy! I think they are better than the ones in my birding books!
    Jane x

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  11. It is amazing how restorative the garden can be. Your bird pictures are super. I don't think I have ever seen a warbler of any kind in my garden.
    I am going home in a few weeks to check on my parents. I am excited and worried at the same time. It is time for my parents to be out of their house (Mom is 90 this year), but I can already here her response when I bring up the subject of a move. "Don't push me.", she'll say. Mom wants to move in her own good time. Unfortunately there is no time table for "her own good time." It's hard to watch your parents enter that final stage of life isn't it?

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  12. Oh Wendy, I can so identify with this post, right down to the part about grabbing the bananas from the retirement home cafe bar (do they all have one of these?). My mom lives in a retirement apartment, and it is a seven and a half hour drive away, and more like nine hours if it's winter and the roads are bad. I love my mom, but absolutely dread going, mostly due to the drive. By the time I get back home I am totally exhausted, and it takes me a couple of days to recover. I don't dare blog about it because once in awhile, when my mom remembers how to work her iPad, she read my blog. Unlike your dad, she is still very mobile. But my brother and my big worry right now is her driving. Something must be done. Sigh...

    I love your warbler pictures! I can't believe how many kinds you had in your yard. What a treat!

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  13. Outstanding photos! That Blackburnian Warbler stole my heart!

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  14. Lovely photos Wendy, I enjoy seeing the difference between garden birds from where you live & where I live. Dealing with elderly & quite often petulant parents is far more tiring than dealing with your own children I find, perhaps that's just my parents! Take care.

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  15. I am afraid that I have no idea what your stinky bush is Wendy, but it looks as though it is very happy! Your bird pictures are amazing, such great shots. As you say it is great to be able to take loads of photos and then edit them and discard and so on afterwards, sooooooooo much better than taking a roll of film, waiting a week to get them back - after you paid a small ransom of course! - and then only getting a couple of good ones. You know the rest re the other things! xx

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  16. Sweet little birds, I've not seen warblers here and I'm going to go on-line to hear their song.

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  17. Awesome photos Wendy! Always nice to see the different types of wildlife in other people's backyards ...x

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  18. What amazing photos of the birds! Thanks so much for sharing them. Have a wonderful long weekend.
    Julie

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  19. Stunning images, and what beautiful little birds. We have nothing like most of these here.

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  20. My gosh, you've got a whole portfolio of phenomenal images there! Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. Wishing you a lovely weekend this weekend friend. And I am so glad that after feeling stressed that you were given the gift of these birds! These shots are amazing! I really think that you should frame them...I just love them! All the best to you...Nicole xo

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  22. Oh Wendy what glorious photographs, they are absolutely stunning. You are a wonderful photographer Wendy and really know how to capture these gorgeous little birds. I love each and everyone of them. Sending you lots of positive wishes for you and your lovely Dad and your family Wendy. Sorry I have not popped over to see you so much lately, hopefully work will be a little quieter for a while and I can come and visit you every post. Have a wonderful weekend Wendy, big hugs, Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  23. Wendy.... what beautiful photographs. And what a treat to see these pretty birds after feeling so stressed. I do hope you are feeling better. xx

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  24. Hello, so glad you included the link for this post. I did not realize I missed it and it is full of beautiful warblers.. Lucky you! Lovely images...

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

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