Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Witchety-witchety-witchety woo...

Common Yellowthroats were singing for all they were worth a few weeks ago along the Maumee Bay Lodge boardwalk. I was staying at the lodge for the Biggest Week in American Birding warblerfest, and I walked the boardwalk at the lodge many times. In the huge stands of phragmites on the way to the observation deck, Common Yellowthroats were busy staking out territory and singing nonstop...witchety-witchety-witchety-woo...

Male Common Yellowthroat singing along the boardwalk at Maumee Bay Lodge.

The song of the Common Yellowthroat is easy to recognize. It truly sounds like witchety-witchety-witchety-woo! I always hear the bird's song long before I see it. 

The contrast between the black mask and yellow throat and breast stand out through binoculars and the camera's lens, but when you view this bird from a distance with the naked eye, the disruptive pattern and the olive green color on his back help him blend into his surroundings. Thankfully, his loud song gives him away every time and makes easier to find him.

I see you...yes, I do!

A sapling along the boardwalk near the observation tower provided a convenient perch for this male Common Yellowthroat to sing his song. A slew of Marsh Wrens in the same area were singing as well, but they spent most of their time hunkered down in the phragmites. With the Common Yellowthroats and the Marsh Wrens singing loud and clear, this part of the Maumee Bay boardwalk really had it going on! 

I saw so many beautiful warblers at the Biggest Week (I'll try to get all the photos up in a timely fashion...but knowing me, it may take 6 months!). I also taught two field sketching classes and had a lot of fun helping the students discover their inner artists and learn how to become better observers. Observation is the key to drawing...and drawing is the key to observation. :-)

More to come...

21 comments:

Out To Pasture said...

Excellent photos of one of my favourite birds!

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

Always glad to see a new post from you, Kelly. Brightens up my day with great photos and information!

Frank Boxell said...

Super views of the Yellowthroat.

Sue said...

So happy to see you posting again.
Love the photos--what a sweetie he is.

Midmarsh John said...

Lovely photos of a very pretty bird.
Found some examples of the song on YouTube - just like your description.

Katherine Edison said...

I love these photos! Beautiful!

Kelly said...

@ Out to Pasture - Thank you! These are one of my favorite summer birds too! :-)

@ Mary Ann - Thanks, Mary Ann! I've been way too negligent with my birds! I have lots of photos, but not lots of time, but I'm going to stay on track. (I have a horse, named Sam, who has been taking up a lot of my time.)

@ Frank - Hi Frank! Thank you. The swamps around Lake Erie are so wonderful for close bird viewing. I just love being able to get so close to the birds without even trying! :-)

@ Sue - Thanks, Sue. I hope to be much better with regular posts. I have so many photos! I need to get cracking! :-)

@ John - Isn't their song great? It's one of the first birds I was able to ID by ear. Their song is so loud and distinct.

@ Katherine - Thanks, Katherine! :-)

Roy Norris said...

Lovely images Kelly of a beautiful colourful bird.

Kelly said...

@ Roy - Thanks, Roy! He is a sweetie too!

Tammie Lee said...

The boardwalk sounds like a wonderful thing to do. I have taken a lifetime to learn the tiniest amount about birds.

Your photos are lovely.

You make me wonder what bird is calling non-stop in our forest trees right now.Not sure how to go about figuring it out. Sweet end of spring to you Kelly.

JRandSue said...

These are amazing captures,top notch photography.
John.

Kelly said...

@ Tammie - Thank you! I hope you can figure out what your calling bird is! :-) I often only hear birds, so I like knowing a few bird songs.

@ JR & Sue - Thank you very much!! :-)

David said...

Great shots Kelly! Those lil warblies are hard to get in the open...
Dave

Kelly said...

Hi Dave! Gotta love the "warblies! This fella was so cooperative. I was on the stretch of the boardwalk near the observation tower, and people were walking up to the fork. I think they disturbed this guy and he flew toward me...then perched and sang hi heart out. :-)

Nick Morgan said...

What a lovely blog. I have enjoyed reading about the wildlife you have come across.

Janice K said...

Beautiful pictures, as always.

I have had a really colorful spring at my feeders this year; however, so far, I haven't seen a single warbler. I know, when they come through, they may only be around for a day or two, but maybe they are still coming.

In the meantime, I've enjoyed seeing yours.

Kelly said...

@ Nick - Thank you, Nick! :-)

@ Janice - Hi Janice! Thanks! I have so many photos of warblers to get posted from this trip. Hopefully I'll post a few more you like! :-)

Tammie Lee said...

such a colorful bird. i love looking at your photos and considering its song.
sounds like you had a wonderful time, yea. slowly i am learning about birds.... a little here a little there. I hear sounds and would love to know which birds are making them!

Kelly said...

Hi Tammie! I'm still learning to ID by song as well...and I often have to relearn the songs every spring. There are a few, such as this fella, that once you hear it, you know it forever! :-)

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

These are stunning photos, everything is so clean and crisp. And such a striking bird.

Regards
Guy

Kelly said...

Hi Guy! Thank you! He is a beautiful little bird. I always love hearing and seeing these fellas!