Jump to content
Whatbird Community

That worst feeling ever ...

Recommended Posts

So I was out with the family for our usual weekend walk and picnic dinner. Not really a birding outing but I always bring my binos and if I don't pause too often usually avoid annoying the non birder significant other. I managed with the help of my 4 year old to convince us to visit a place that we used to go quite often but haven't been in a year or so (it is a better birding spot than my wife's current favorite ?)  It had been a pretty good day and I was up over 30 sp - not bad for an hour with plenty of distractions and responsibilities. We were almost back to the car when I spotted something I knew was new. Right there in a tree 30' away, right out in the open, and only 10' off the ground , was a pair of brilliantly colored new birds. I took a good long look through the binos and tried to get a good mental picture in my head.  It was obviously a warbler, and one I knew I had never seen, but since we don't have very many that come through this area and I've only seen a few of those I didn't expect it to be too hard to pick it out of a lineup after the fact. Once we got home and I had a moment I opened the Western US section of Merlin and expected to spot my new lifer - nothing was even close?.  I  ended up spending an hour going through a list of all the warblers for the whole country and could only find one or maybe two that could possibly be what I saw. Magnolia or maybe at a stretch a Blackburnian without the orange were my only possibilities and both are extreme rarities around here. So now I'm left with knowing that I for sure had something rare - 80% certain enough of what I saw to count my own lifer and probably only 50% enough info to convince a reviewer with.? 

Unless someone has something else it could be that I  missed. The marks I am absolutely certain of are that it was yellow nearly all over with some facial markings and what really stood out were entirely dark/black wings with a lot of white over that. Not a wing bar or two but extensive white markings over the top of the dark wings mostly or entirely confined to the 'shoulder' area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Swap the binoculars for the camera next time.  I find that binos aren't very helpful when I'm in a situation where I'm trying to identify a bird in between doing something else.

I know but when 95% of what I see is stuff that all I need is a 2 second glance to get an ID but half of it is out of range without optics of some sort I find that binos are so much faster. Guess it's just a trade off I have to make one way or another since packing both isn't really an option most of the time. Especially soon when I'll have a kid in the front pack to contend with too. It's so much easier before they get big enough to bounce while you are trying to track a swallow ?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

My only other suggestions are Evening Grosbeak or Bullock's Oriole. 

I would have called it smaller than both by a bit and I've seen the grosbeaks recently. It doesn't look quite right either but the oriole is within the range of possibilities for the field marks I noted.  It's also more likely for the area. Although I've never seen one here in many years of watching I know people do. If that's the case maybe I have a chance of finding it again at some point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Avery said:

Possibly a Winged Warbler? Check out the hybrid complexes (I know it'd be super rare)

I saw a couple of pictures that looked as close as anything else I've seen but I think it'll have to remain a mystery. One wild hybrid would be crazy enough without there being two or a pair. Guessing the oriole is the most likely option but still doesn't seem right so I'll just have to leave it unless I am really crazy lucky and find it again next weekend.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...