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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pine Warblers at Corkscrew Swamp

Not all the US summer warblers escape to South or Central America (or the Caribbean) in the winter -- some warblers, like the black-and-white, yellow-throated, palm, pine, yellow-rumped, northen parula, ovenbird, and prairie can be found wintering in Southern Florida. And, for those looking for a "warbler fix" in the winter, Corkscrew Swamp is a great place to visit.

In an uneventful early November walk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Collier County, just before exiting the premises, a feeding flock of passerines livened up an otherwise quiet morning with Pine Warbler being the star attraction.

First up, the female -- in winter as in the summer, the fairer sex is also the duller and her drab plumes stand in contrast to the male's which still show a hint of leftover yellowish summer brilliance.

In the early morning, these warblers were joined by blue-grey gnatcatchers who flew within inches of the photographer -- making repeated forays into the air, plucking insects and making crisp clicking sounds:

And talking about hawking insects, here's a successful catch by the pine warbler:

While this feeding frenzy lasted only 5 minutes, it nonetheless afforded several spectacular photo opportunities; and what started out as a slow morning ended instead in a burst of electrifying activity...

.. thereby proving, that surprises await the patient (and the occasionally lucky) observer.

1 comment:

Bob Pelkey said...

Patience and luck indeed rewards those that settle down at the right place. Heavy rains in the summer of 2012 should favor the Swamp's signature Woodstork nesting activity this season. While otherwise focused on shore and wading birds, my warbler fix has been fulfilled with this article.