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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#8 - Blackpoll Warbler; Sandy Creek Park, NC

There comes a time in a birdwatcher’s career, not long after he starts, when life birds stop coming to him during the course of a normal birding day, and he must seek life birds if he wants to keep getting life birds. For me, this happened sometime after my first year of birding had passed me by. I couldn’t just get a new life bird by stepping outside my door, or visiting my local park. It would take something more concentrated than that.

Thus, I started paying attention to the great resource that is eBird. Not only where people had seen the birds that I wanted to see, but more importantly, when. Those bar charts come in handy with a bird like the Blackpoll Warbler, which for some unknown reason decides it has to migrate much later than the other warblers, and around here is most common in the last week of May and the first of June. So, during those dates, I started hitting my local birding haunts hard.

And it paid off! After hearing (but not seeing) the birds at 17 Acre Woods, I headed off to Sandy Creek Park, which you may remember from last post as the place James and I got those sweet looks at a Northern Parula. This time though, we found a small bird flitting around in the tops of one of the willows. Of course, said willows happened to have the sun behind them, so at the moment I couldn’t confirm the bird as anything other than the more common Carolina Chickadee, and I mean who can blame me? That’s kind of what it looked like! 

Blackpoll Warbler - Sandy Creek Park, NC; 05/21/2010

But then it skipped on over to the shorter willows across the path and I able to confirm my lifer Blackpoll Warbler, which James managed to snap this picture of. Not the greatest picture in the world, but hell, it’ll do!

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