Our migrations always seem to be punctuated by the arrival of Yellow-Rumped Warblers. In the spring, their arrival in great numbers signifies the beginning of the end of spring warbler migration. It is much the same in the fall. So while I was delighted this weekend to see them easily because of their numbers, I could not help but think that the warbler numbers would be dwindling, and fall would give way to other species.
Yesterday there were perhaps 30 or more Yellow-Rumped Warblers foraging in and around the meadow at Lyman Woods in Downers Grove.
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Chicago Portage
Today I went first to Ottawa Trail Woods where I saw virtually none of them, unlike spring. By the time I got to the Portage, there were only a few Yellow-Rumpeds hanging out with some American Goldfinches. But when I circled back around to the south bridge before I left, there were perhaps 20 or more foraging in the duckweed-covered shallows with as many American Robins.
I have many other bird photographs from this weekend but I have to get some sleep, so I am limiting myself to the Yellow-Rumped Warblers for this post.
I am surprised by this particular setting, which I didn’t realize at the time I took the pictures, I was so busy following the bird’s movements. But the duckweed background, branches and sparse leaves strike me as very shibui.
Actually this is thrice upon a wren. Last Sunday I visited the Chicago Portage, and although I did not see the Carolina Wren, it sang three beautiful songs for me that I was fortunate to capture. The picture above is from two weeks before, the last time I saw him. Here are his three songs (second clip has two songs):
I also was lucky enough to hear (and briefly see) a Winter Wren. This is a bird whose song I have wanted to hear for a long time. Now I can hardly wait to hear it again. The picture above is not the same winter wren, only the last picture of one I could find easily. It’s hard to believe such a tiny bird can make so much music.
Forward one week to yesterday. I could not access the Portage because of flooding, but I did manage to visit Ottawa Trail Woods North where I heard and saw this House Wren. Maybe he’d been up all night with the weather, but he managed to sing and show his face.
I have already noticed one thing in the field. When I stop to record, it’s as if I suddenly become part of the environment. The birds almost seem to lose their fear and start appearing from everywhere. I suppose the simple explanation is that I am not moving, but I can be very still without recording and it does not produce the same results. Maybe I am more relaxed than watchful, or attentive in a way that only birds could respond to. I suspect they know I am listening to them and they prefer that sort of attention to gawking at them! Whatever it is, it’s pretty amazing.