I rode with three friends to Hastings, Michigan last Thursday for Michigan Audubon’s Cerulean Warbler Weekend. The goal was to get good looks at Cerulean Warblers, and we did after several tries.
However, Friday’s weather was miserable. The rain was constant and temperature below normal. This shot of an American Redstart leaving was a typical view.
And here is a typical look at a Cerulean Warbler high up in the canopy. About all you can tell is that Ceruleans are white underneath. Fortunately, the looks would improve the next day when the weather did.
The rain never stopped the Red-eyed Vireos from singing. I stood under this bird’s tree and listened to him sing for a long time. In the background, my brain was playing the Bach I’m learning, and the Vireo’s song fit perfectly over it. I wished I could have played for him, we could have had a great jam session.
This Downy Woodpecker was pretty well-soaked.
Saturday started out cloudy but when the sun came out around 11:00 a.m., the birds woke up and we started to get our first really good looks at Cerulean Warblers. Unfortunately I had few photo opportunities. The birds like to stay up high in the canopy, and just when you think you’re on them, they fly. Rather than stay in one area, they move from limb to limb or tree to tree. So my best shots turned out to be extremely backlit.
But now that I have had great looks, I plan to concentrate more on the photography next time.
This Chestnut-Sided Warbler was backlit too, but he had a bit more color to show.
Sunday morning we got up very early to take a bus tour of some birding hot spots of Barry County. I finally managed to get a few pictures.
This Acadian Flycatcher was on her nest right by the road. Still pretty dark in the woods.
Out in a field later, there were six Turkey Vultures in the sky at one point. Here’s two of them.
Eastern Phoebes win my award for This Spring’s Most Cooperative Bird.
This Indigo Bunting was so busy singing, he sat still.
There were a lot more birds than pictures, but that’s okay. We had a good time.
You know you’re on a birding trip when everyone in the bus yells “Dickcissel!” simultaneously.
We got great looks.