Blackpoll WarblerNovember 18, 2011
I was up all night last night reading, writing and playing on the internet. When 4:30 a.m. flashed on the digital clock I decided to have coffee, wait for the sun to come up and have an early morning walk. This is the second time this week I've done this. Insomnia stinks but I might as well make the best of it.
Unfortunately, it started to rain as the sky began to lighten. I changed back into my pajamas and had a coffee with Gene when he got up. The rain stopped after our coffee and I got re-dressed and went out. I only got to the old Handball Bldg.before the clouds let loose.
After my nap, I down-loaded my grainy photos while Gene made Spagetti with Italian sausages in a tomato sauce.
Notice the feet.
I decided I had a Blackpoll Warbler and went the Fort Sherman bird list I use and it wasn't there. I got out Ridgely and he says the bird is a very rare, but probably over-looked, visitor to Panama. I've sure had my share of uncommon birds the last month and a half! Fall plumages of Blackpoll and Bay-breasted can be similar so I went back to my photos and went online to compare and make sure I wasn't mistaken. The legs and feet are a good way to distinguish. Blackpoll are yellow and Bay-breasted dark. Unfortunately, my photos had the bird sitting on his feet or not showing! Typical. Then I saw one photo of the bird in a face forward shot showing yellow feet! I remembered there was a least one Yellow Warbler in the mix, but Yellow Feet showed wing-bars and was clearly not a Yellow Warbler. I'm convinced I have a Blackpoll. It is rare enough that I will get confirmation before listing. Whoo-Hoo! Lifer #919.
(Photo at the top of this post was taken the next morning Nov. 19. It is better than the original--it shows the feet too!)
Edit: Thanks to the birders on Surfbirds for confirmation. Here is a link to the post: