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Monday, May 01, 2006

Saturday Misc.

I was standing in the Midwood with Steve, Michelle and Valerie. We were trying to relocate an unusual looking Eastern Towhee seen earlier. Yellow-rumped Warblers were still dominating the upper story activity. I began watching them instead of the underbrush. There seemed to be a hazy, yellowish layer of air stretching just below the tree tops. At first I just thought it was a smudge on my lenses. I asked around, just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. It was real. The oak trees were releasing billions of tiny pollen particles into the wind. That explained my suddenly itchy eyes.

A Blue-winged Warbler singing an unusual variation of the expected song spent the morning in the Midwood. Raphael and I ran into Ed, Tom and Phil early in the morning. They also commented on the odd improvisation. Another observation today was a sudden abundance of low growing, Star of Bethlehem flowers.

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Aquilegia caerulea)
(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus)
(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)


Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,
I thought I saw a Blue-winged warbler foraging on the ground in Prospect Park on Sunday. It actually had this same expression when I got my glance at it. It was in the woods on the right of the path along the pond approching the Adirondack bench/arch when walking toward the Boathouse. It had white spots around the eye (but not a ring, that's what's stumping me bc none of my books mention wh. around the eye at all) and I didn't get a good look, but the bk eyestripe was dominant. Could it be this bird? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Rob J. said...

Hmmm, that's a weird one. The Blue-winged Warbler is the only yellow warbler with a prominant eyestripe. It's possible that it was just a Blue-winged with some feathers out of place. Also, Blue-winged Warblers hybridize with Golden-winges Warblers. The resulting "Lawrence's" or "Brewster's" sometime backcross creating unusual looking blue-wings or golden-wings. You might want to pick-up a copy of "Warblers" by Jon Dunn & Kimball Garrett.

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