I don’t visit Vischer Ferry much during the summer. But as the days get shorter the clouds of mosquitoes thin out, and once again I can check the paths for migrating birds.
It’s not just that fall plumage warblers are harder to tell apart, but the thick foliage only allows frustrating brief glimpses of birds in quick motion. Nevertheless I was able to find a half-dozen warbler species: Black-and-white, Canada, Magnolia, American Redstart, Blue-winged, and Common (should be Ubiquitous) Yellowthroat. And for all the pictures I took, I don’t think I got one feather in focus…
Some people say Roger Tory Peterson’s one error was labeling that plate ‘Confusing Fall Warblers.’ It sets up an expectation of difficulty that is, with a few exceptions, exaggerated. It might have been more accurate to say ‘Fall Warblers: Easier than silent sparrows!’ Or ‘You want confusing? Check out shorebirds!’
Waterfowl are a lot more cooperative. This Great Blue Heron stood like a sculpture framed in green.
At a nearby reservoir, male Wood Ducks were transitioning into nuptial plumage. This fellow’s blue-green iridescent wings caught my attention, but it’s his eye that makes the picture.
I’d never noticed that furious crimson eye so clearly before. Probably because full breeding plumage is so stunning!
This was taken a bit later in the season last year, in October. For some reason he had formed an attachment to a female Mallard and escorted her all around their little pond.