Saturday, August 18, 2012

Warbler Fall Migration: Northern Waterthrush

It's still only mid-August, but birders throughout Illinois are reporting that the fall migration has already begun. Indeed, shorebirds have been passing through the area for several weeks already. But just in the last few days there have been several sightings of Wood Warblers in Northern Illinois. The link below is one such report from the IL Birds Message Board from a birder who saw 14 different species of Warblers at the Montrose shore area in Chicago.

Northern Waterthrush, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL: 5/12/2012.
For myself with school starting, and working on several time-consuming projects, I probably will not be able to get out and do much birding this fall. I'll miss out on the fun, so I will feature photos of Warblers that I took during the spring migration and early summer. One such photo is from last May when I had a good look at a Northern Waterthrush (Above) as it was migrating the other direction. It was hopping around small branches in a thicket near the water's edge of Pierce Lake in Rock Cut State Park. It stayed pretty hidden for quite some time. I did not have a decent photo of this warbler, so I waited it out until it finally alit on a branch that was clear of obstacles so I could snap its portrait. Birding is a hobby that tests one's patience. Wildlife is not predictable and usually not all that cooperative to us photographers. So patience is indeed a virtue that pays off.
The same Northern Waterthrush, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL: 5/12/2012.
Northern Waterthrushes spend their summers in northerly habitats: Northern Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, spreading east to the Northeastern States from Pennsylvania up to Maine, and West in western Montana and Northern Idaho, as well as all of Alaska and coast to coast in Canada. Every once in a while I get a chance to see one of these guys as they travel through in the fall and the Spring.

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