Friday, November 9, 2012

Black and White Warbler at Magee Marsh...photos, sketch, and a painting

A female Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) was very thorough in her inspection of this weathered and half-dead tree. She systematically nabbed insects right and left from the nooks, crannies, and crevices of the bark (and I don't think she left any bits of the lichen unturned either :-)...

A female Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) gleans insects at Magee Marsh.
This beautiful female Black and White warbler foraged for several minutes right in front of me,
letting me marvel at her beauty and industriousness. (These photos go all the way back to May of this year when I was at the Biggest Week in American Birding.)
This post is for my parents, Joni and Jer, my cousin, Curg, and my Aunt Diane. They all traveled up to Maumee Bay State Park this weekend to look for ducks up on Lake Erie. Everyone was in need of Big Water, and Lake Erie, which is only 4 hours away, was the cure. I was supposed to go with them, but work got in the way. Magee Marsh is only 20 minutes from Maumee, so I told them to be sure to stop by the boardwalk. They did...on Nov 5, but it was closed for duck hunting (Nov 5 - Dec 1). So they didn't get to see the beauty of the boardwalk, but I'm going to lure them back up this May when all the warblers are there. That's the best time to go anyway, so I thought I'd post a small taste of what's to come this spring for them! I saw this Black and White Warbler on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on May 5, 2012. She was just one of hundreds of warblers flitting through the trees that morning...

...a female Black and White warbler forages for insects. She creeps along branches and the trunk like a nuthatch!
It was slightly overcast that morning, but the gray light only helped emphasize her beauty!

Black and White Warbler searches in crevices and under bright green lichens looking for insects, spiders, and eggs.
The wet bark on the trees and the overcast skies above showcased the bright green of the lichens.

Black and White Warblers can frequently be seen walking down the trunk like a nuthatch.
...no crevice, hole or crack escapes this little female's attention! 

...a Black and White warbler examining the decaying remains of a branch in the trunk.
Always nuthatch-like in their movements, Black and White Warblers can crawl up and down and around on a tree...

...sitting pretty! You can tell this is a female Black and White Warbler because her cheek is gray in stead of black.
You can tell this is a female because she has a gray cheek. Males have black cheeks.

Pencil sketches of a Black and White Warbler by Kelly Riccetti
...sketches of the Black and White warbler I photographed that day. 
I drew this page in my sketchbook that evening from photos I took that day.

Original watercolor painting of a Black and White Warbler by Kelly Riccetti
...a quick watercolor sketch of the female Black and White Warbler 
(painted from one of the sketchbook drawings).

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16 comments:

Elaine said...

What a little sweetheart! I love the last photo and your sketches and painting. Magee Marsh sounds like a lovely place to visit.

Montanagirl said...

Such a cute little bird. So pert and busy! Love your photos and sketches. That painting is really nice too!

Kerri said...

Oh she's a beauty - and your watercolor is magnificent!

Janice K said...

So pretty....Amazing how she blends into the tree on which she is feeding.

Have a great day!

TexWisGirl said...

she's just beautiful, as are your drawings/paintings. nice against the rough bark and lichen.

Carol Mattingly said...

She is so beautiful Kelly. Just love this post. I may trip up to Magee this coming May. Not while all the birding week is on but when there is a little quiet to see what I can find. Have a great weekend. Carol

Marie said...

It's nice when they sort of "sit still" for you, isn't it?! Excellent shots of a busy little bird. I think I need to come down to Magee Marsh next May and see what all the fuss is about!

Alistair said...

Nice, the Black-and-white Warbler is a new one for me. I just checked: none have ever been reported on ebird.org for my area of western Canada. But, then the yard bird I posted yesterday has yet to be seen in Ohio. Its the Steller's Jay.

Tammie Lee said...

how fun that you are sharing the future with them and us! Looks like you will have and did have a wonderful time with the warblers.

always love seeing your art in the mix of your wonderful photographs.

Banjo52 said...

Still more help with bird i.d. Thanks! And great photos besides.

Sarah Knight said...

Beautiful!

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

Amazing amount of beauty--color and shading--in such a little creature. And, yes, an overcast sky brings out the most vibrant color.

Julie G. said...

It's always a pleasure to see the stunning Black and White Warblers. So very gorgeous against the textured bark and lush green lichen. Terrific photographs! They are so very hard to capture as they quickly flit around the trees. I marvel at your artistic talent. Superb sketches and watercolor!

Jerry said...

Fabulous post as always. Great words, photos and that watercolour is a delight!

Gillian Olson said...

What a delicate little bird, great pictures, drawings and awesome painting.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! Black and White Warblers are so fun. They walk down the tree like a nuthatch! Who can resist that? Mom, Dad, Curg and Aunt Diane had a great time at Lake Erie. The saw a blanket of ducks over the water and migrating mergansers. I just wish I had been there with them. Next year!!