Friday, June 19, 2015

There's magic in the swamp...

This Northern Parula charmed a group of adoring fans along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh during the 2015 Biggest Week in American Birding. I was there with two of my birdy friends Kim Smith (Nature is my Therapy) and Janet Kissick Hug (Nature's Feather Music). We were actually looking for an elusive Blackpoll Warbler singing low in a swampy tangle when this spunky little fella flew in and perched right next to us...

A Northern Parula along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh
I think we were all dumb-founded for a moment as the brave little bird studied us. I've never been so close to a Northern Parula. They usually laugh at me from the treetops where they're safely out of camera range, but this birdy bird was different. He seemed to be curious and sat watching us photograph him...

A Northern Parula studies a flock of adoring fans...

...this Northern Parula took his time looking back and forth at a steadily growing group of people marveling at his beautiful colors and proximity.  What can you say? It's the Biggest Week and there's magic in the swamp.




...eventually he tired of us, turned the other way, and flew off to nab an insect.

The Biggest Week = A Giant Love-fest of Birdy Birds and Birdy People
...which is why I love going to the Biggest Week. I see incredible close-up views of birds I don't see very often, and I get to do it surrounded by people who love birds as much as I do. There is something special about waking up and heading out to the boardwalk where you are among hundreds of people who all love birds. It's great. Wherever you turn, you meet a person willing to help you ID a bird, or point one out...or a person just as excited as you to talk about their finds and what they saw further up or down the boardwalk (in other words, you get no blank looks or glassy-eyed stares when you start talking about birds, their nests, migration, ________, etc.). If you're going, let me know. I'll find you on the boardwalk!

Mark your calendars...the dates for the 2016 Biggest Week are set: 


http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com

9 comments:

Rick Forrestal said...

He was absolutely posing for you.
What a gift.

Congratulations on your rare shots.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Rick. Kim, Janet and I were shocked. He was so close and so sweet. Literally, he sat and watched us for a few minutes. It was fun to watch the group of people around us grow too. He was a very famous bird that day! :-)

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What a darling little bird. I hope you have a fantastic time with the birdy birds and birdy people. It's so much fun to do something you love with a group of like-minded people.

Frank said...

It is views like these that make birding an absolute joy.

Fabulous shots Kelly.

Midmarsh John said...

Really lovely shots of a little beauty.

Roy said...

Great shots, Kelly! Heh, heh! I was watering the flowers out in front of the garden center at work the other day when a male and female pair of Goldfinches decided to perch nearby and watch me work. I'm positive I was being laughed at; they knew I didn't have a camera with me!

Janice K said...

Oh, Wow! That must have been so neat. Love the pictures!

Roy Norris said...

A bird that lends itself to your amazing painting skills Kelly.

Kelly said...

@Kathy - you are so right. Being around like-minded people is fun! Thanks!

@Frank - you said it, Frank! It's luck...and it feels like Mother Nature is whispering to you, sending you a gift! Thanks...

@John - thanks, John. They have a really cute call as well. I love hearing it in spring and early summer.

@Roy - hahaha! Isn't that the way, Roy. Sometimes I go out without my camera just to make sure something cool comes my way. Just the other day a mamma turkey and 6 chicks crossed the trail right in front of me. No camera!!!!

@Janice - thanks, Janice. There are lot of neat sights at Magee Marsh. It truly is a gem.

@Roy - hehehe....these fellows are awesome to draw and paint...that yellow is mouthwatering!!! :-) Thanks