Wood Warblers - May 2016 at Rondeau PP, ON, Point Pelee PP, ON and Magee Marsh, OH
May is a great month of the year, if you are a birder or bird photographer in Ontario or the northern USA. it is the time of year when warblers and many other bird species are migrating north to their breeding grounds. Recently I visited three areas that are hot spots for warblers during spring migration: Rondeau PP, Ontario, Point Pelee NP, Ontario, and Magee Marsh, Ohio. In fact Magee Marsh celebrates this time of year with The Biggest Week in American Birding festival, which was held from May 6 - 15 this year.
During my trip, I made close to 4,200 photos. Fortunately for you, I won’t post them all here. In addition to photographing warblers, I also photographed several other species, some of which I have recently blogged about (see my blog posts on Henslow’s Sparrow, Lark Sparrow and Curlew Sandpiper). I have added close to 60 warbler photos to my photo galleries, most of which can be found in Wood Warblers - Part 3 and some in Wood Warblers - Part 4 photo galleries on my website. In this blog post, I’ve highlighted some of my favourite warbler photos from this trip. I encourage you to check out the above mentioned photo galleries for additional warbler photos I made but have not included here.
I like the Yellow-warbler image above because of the red, yellow and green colours even though the bird is not totally unobstructed.
I find Hooded Warblers difficult to photograph because they are usually partially concealed among the leaves and twigs. This was my lucky day as this male (see above photo) provided great looks for at least 20 minutes. Below a male Hooded Warbler flies off to a nearby branch. Notice the distinctive white outer tail feathers, which are often flashed.
Above, a Palm Warbler is shown perched in a cedar tree. This bird, photographed during a fallout at Point Pelee NP on May 11, was one of many birds I observed and photographed at close distance. For non birders, which may not be familiar with the term "fallout", it sometimes occurs furing the spring migration period when conditions occasionally exist where strong, turbulent winds and/or rain trigger a phenomenon called a "fallout." I double dipped later that day when I arrived at Magee Marsh, Ohio during the late afternoon, which had also experienced a fallout that day. I couldn't have asked for better lighting as the sun was reasonably low in the sky and behind me, making the direction of light excellent for many of the birds I photographed.
Bay-breasted Warbler, shown above is one of the most attractive warblers, in my opinion and I was fortunate to have good quantity and quality of light on this occasion. There are several challenges to successfully photographing warblers, including, but not limited to, viewing them when conditions are favourable, with excellent quantity and quality of light, unobstructed views and nice blurry backgrounds.
The female American Redstart pictured above graced me with some great views.
This Yellow-throated Warbler was a life bird for me, which is why I’ve included it here. I hope to capture better images of this species on one of my future outings.
The Black-and-white Warbler shown above highlights the black-and-white-striped crown and back, which is diagnostic in all plumages. The photo below of the same species shows the large black arrowheads on white undertail coverts, which is also diagnostic.
Black-throated Green Warbler above shows off its bright yellow face, olive auriculars and bold black throat and upper breast.
The above photo provides a nice perspective of a Northern Parula, in my opinion, showing the green back patch surrounded by blue.
This Tennessee Warbler stole many insects from a spider web that I don’t believe were meant to be shared.
Like the Northern Parula photo, only this time with a Cape May Warbler, this photo shows a nice perspective from above. Notice the yellow collar, white wing patch, greenish edging to flight feathers and greenish-yellow rump.
Above, a Common Yellowthroat posed for me at Point Pelee NP, something I don’t experience frequently enough with this species.
This photo of a Prothonotary Warbler is one of my favourite warbler images from the trip. It’s collecting nesting material and doing an efficient job, in my opinion. More photos of this and other species mentioned in this post can be found by checking out my photo galleries (see related list at end of this post for details).
Above a Northern Parula belts out a tune.
Here I managed to get one of a very few good looks I got of a Black-throated Blue Warbler on my trip. The white “handkerchief” at the base of the primaries makes this species easily identifiable in the field.
I’m not sure exactly what this Magnolia Warbler has in its beak, but I do like the pose.
This Chestnut-sided warbler posed at eye level for this picture.
I didn’t get many good looks at Blackburnian Warblers. Here’s one of my images from the trip.
Wilson’s Warbler showed nicely, although the direction of light could have been better. Did I mention that it's very difficult to get everything falling into place to make great warbler photos? Had it been on the other side of the path, where the Mourning Warbler was found, the direction of light and the resulting photo, would have been much improved.
Above a Mourning Warbler preens its feathers. I was fortunate on this very cold early spring morning following snow and hail to get by far the best looks I’ve ever had of this large, skulking, ground dwelling bird. This and the photo before it of a Wilson's Warbler were made within minutes of each other. Notice the difference in ISO settings (320 for the Mourning Warbler, 1000 for the Wilson's Warbler), which shows you just how much direction of light can impact your photos.
Another nice clean view of a Mourning Warbler. Braving the cold weather was well worth it!
New Gallery Photos Added Gallery
American Redstart Wood Warblers - Part 3
Bay-breasted Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Black-and-white Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Black-throated Green Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Blackburnian Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Cape May Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Common Yellowthroat Wood Warblers - Part 3
Hooded Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Magnolia Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Mourning Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Northern Parula Wood Warblers - Part 3
Palm Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Prothonotary Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Tennessee Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Wilson’s Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Yellow Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3
Yellow-throated Warbler Wood Warblers - Part 3