Friday, November 8, 2013

A Vireo in the Swamp; plus a Warbler Flashback ...

[SW Florida. November 2013]

The heady days of Spring warbler migration are now but a distant memory. Yet, the faded colors of passage and overwintering warblers can still be observed in November in Southwest Florida.

But let's start with the vireo -- the White-eyed Vireo to be precise:


Found year-round in Florida, the White-eyed Vireo's range expands to the entire Southeastern US in the Summer.


Looking like a typical vireo, the white eye is not only the origin of its moniker but also diagnostic in identification. This striking vireo was observed at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Now moving over to the warblers:
  1. Northern Waterthrush
  2. Common Yellowthroat
  3. Pine Warbler
  4. Northern Parula
  5. Black and White
  6. Palm Warbler
  7. Prairie Warbler


Two Northern Waterthrush were observed at Corkscrew -- rather late in migration.


A non-descript songbird, the Northern Waterthrush is an atypical warbler: drab, fond of aquatic habitat and a serial tail-bobber.

Common Yellowthroat is our most widespread warbler -- found everywhere except the desert. However, seeing one is a different story -- the yellowthroat is a skulker and is best located by its harsh chips.


Higher up in the trees at Corkscrew, a Pine Warbler was spied in with a mixed feeding flock:


... the flock included the resident Northern Parulas:


And, Black-and-White warblers are starting to become more numerous -- this one jumped to within inches of the minimum focusing distance of my 400 mm lens:


Perhaps the most abundant warbler this time of year is the Palm:


Whoever named it (i.e., Johann Gmelin), probably was not aware that it is one of our most Northerly ranging warblers -- breeding in the coniferous bogs of the North. On the plus side, "Palm Warbler" certainly sounds infinitely better than "Coniferous Bog Warbler".


Finally, a Prairie Warbler -- this one observed at Ding Darling.


While most of the rest of the country shivers in the cold winds of winter, Southwest Florida still affords opportunities for birding in the sun -- catching colorful songbirds such as vireos and warblers at their wintering grounds.

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