Chestnut-side Warbler – Fall Migration
On August 27 at Paletta Lakefront Park in Burlington, Ontario there was a mini influx of migrating fall warblers, flycatchers and vireos. Capturing these birds digitally can be tricky and frustrating at times as leaf coverage is a significant barrier whereas in the spring before the leaves have filled in it is often much easier (relatively speaking) to locate and photograph these songbirds.
The Chestnut-sided Warbler featured in today’s post was the most camera friendly of the warblers I saw that day. Due to reduced lighting in the lower tree levels and in an effort to keep my ISO setting in an acceptable range (thereby reducing noise), I chose to lower my shutter speed to 1/500 sec. This increased probability of blur caused by camera shake with this hand held combination, but fortunately with the help of the image stabilizer on the lens I was still able to achieve sharp focus most of the time.
This individual shows some chestnut along the side and yellow wing patch. For comparison purposes (keep in mind there can be much variation among individuals) I've included a photo below that I made this past spring at Magee Marsh, Ohio. As you can see there can be major differences between spring and fall plumages (and of course between males and females). Fall plumages are typically more drab and these differences in plumage can make identification somewhat challenging.
As illustrated in the above photo, Chestnut-sided Warbler habitually cocks its tail. Being a long-distance it has longish wings (Stephenson & Whittle 2013).
Above a good view of the underside showing white undertail coverts and a white tail with black bordering at the corners.
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Chestnut-sided Warbler Wood Warblers
Stephenson, Tom and Whittle, Scott 2013. The Warbler Guide, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey