Saturday, April 19, 2008

First Warblers, Er,Oops, Make that Goldfinches

A flash of yellow drew my eye to the first warblers (oops, make that goldfinches -- see below) I've seen this season -- first one, then a second, alighting in my neighbors' tree. Click on the photo for a better view of the two birds with lemon-yellow breasts, one some distance above the other in the tree. Soon the trees will be leafing out and it will be much harder to see birds like these.

As I told a friend the other day, I know just enough about birds to be dangerous. My favorite birding expert took a look at my photo and informed me that these are goldfinches, still in their paler winter plumage (that's what threw me off). It is still a little early for warblers here. Goldfinches, I learned, can be seen year-round here in southern Minnesota , though I've seen very few and then only in the summer or early fall.

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Deb said...

Warblers?! It did not reach 40 degrees here today. I'm afraid warblers are a couple weeks off here. But I did see and hear my first song sparrow today.

Penelope said...

Oops, see my correction. Not warblers after all; goldfinches, apparently!

Thanks for writing.

Rob Hardy said...

Don't worry. I had one of those moments today. I saw something that I identified as a "ruby crowned kinglet or maybe least flycatcher or maybe some kind of warbler or something." Who knows?

Penelope said...

Hey, Rob -- I'm looking into investing in a camera with a significantly increased zoom (my birthday's coming up...) There are some compact digitals with up to 20x zoom, and no need to carry around a big heavy lens. I also intend to try some "digiscoping" with Dave's spotting scope. We'll see... Should help with the identifications and result in better bird pics for the blog!

Rob Hardy said...

Tuesday, April 29 (ten days later): now the Lower Arboretum is full of yellow-rumped warblers.

Penelope said...

Affectionately known in the birding world as "butter butts"! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!