Warbler Overload – Part I

Suddenly the weather is summer, and with the heat after a long, rainy prelude, the trees are leafing out and spring migration is in full force. I was contemplating two other posts of recent outings but Tuesday’s visit to Riverside and Riverside Lawn demands attention first. I didn’t go out yesterday because I was helping a friend, but it’s just as well as I needed some extra time to process nearly 1,000 photos to begin this series.

There was a tremendous fallout of warblers along the Des Plaines River. While I anticipated as much – this was the kind of thing I dreamt about previous years while stuck sitting in front of a computer at work – I just didn’t expect the magnitude of this fallout. I literally saw so many individuals of several species, it was almost maddening. It took me 3 hours to cover a little over a mile, which up until now has taken me two hours tops. I was moving slowly anyway, as the morning grew hotter, but I just kept seeing more and more birds. I counted 16 warbler species. They will not all be represented here, but I have even more species and photographs to come from the day before at the Chicago Portage. So hang on, here we go. (I have decided to split this up into three or more installments or it will never happen.)

I started seeing Chestnut-sided Warblers right off the bat, which made me happy because I had not yet seen them this year.

They ran the gamut, from brightly-colored individuals…

To drab birds…

And somewhere in between…

If I accomplish nothing else in this first of many installments, I must pay tribute to the beautiful Prothonotary Warbler that is at the top of this post and appears in more photos below.

Seeing the Prothonotary so well and having the opportunity to photograph it was breathtaking.

I would like to continue but it’s late and I have to get up early to beat the heat tomorrow morning, so I will be back as soon as possible with some more birds from my big warbler day. Because I have to make room for even more birds seen since then!

4 thoughts on “Warbler Overload – Part I

  1. Wow great clear, bright pictures of the prothonotary and Chestnut sided warblers. Waiting for the next installment. So I can see more of the warblers I did not see. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Bob. This will be going on for some time. A side note on the prothonotary: I ran into some people on the paved trail in Riverside this morning who had seen the same bird caught in the stupid webbing that has been added to the grass on both sides of the walk. They were concerned and wanted to help but luckily the bird freed itself. I showed them my pictures on my phone and they confirmed it was the same bird. However as I was talking with Ken this morning also about the webbing, I suspect birds are attracted to it because they think it’s potential nesting material. I suspect it does not do all that much to stabilize the grass or the ground if that’s what the people who put it there are trying to do.

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