Apr 28 2009
I spent much of the last several days leading trips and hanging out at various events associated with the Delmarva Birding Weekend. Though I had a great time, I took virtually no pictures. When you’re leading a big group of people it’s darned near impossible, in my experience, to take any time out even for scenic and group shots, to say nothing of bird photos. But when we had a major celebrity sighting at Thursday evening’s tally rally, generously and deliciously hosted by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware, I just had to snap a quick photo.
I knew I recognized her right away–that actress from The Matrix and Memento and so on–I just couldn’t remember her name. Fortunately, Jim Rapp, who is pretty much the Oz behind the entire birding weekend, in addition to being the Director of DLITE, whipped out his pathetically cracked but still-functional iPhone and looked her up. Carrie-Anne Moss–that’s her name! We were all excited to have such a hip pop culture icon out enjoying birding and natural history (and craft brewing) on the Delmarva Peninsula. The only cloud over the whole experience was that our friend Sally O’Byrne had apparently headed to the rest room or something and missed the whole thing. And sure enough, Sally re-appeared just a couple of seconds after Carrie-Anne vanished. And I do mean vanished–we tried to find Ms. Matrix again so that Sally could see her, too, but it was like she had just evaporated or something. Kinda trippy.
After the weekend, I was really itching to go out and take some bird photos, so Monday morning I decided to go to Redden State Forest and surrounding areas, where there are hundreds of newly arrived warblers and other neotropical migrants. I figured that in addition to taking some photos, I could work in a little scouting for the Delaware Bird-a-thon, which I’ll be participating in next week.
Redden has a nice mix of pine and deciduous forest types, plus lots of regenerating areas where the timber has been harvested. In one of those cutover spots, I found this Prairie Warbler.
He was happy enough perching and singing from trees both deciduous and evergreen.
Also singing were Black-and-white Warblers–two different ones this time–again in both gymnosperm and angiosperm settings.
I was especially hoping to get a really great portrait of a Worm-eating Warbler. These rather plain but still strikingly beautiful birds are surprisingly common around here.
This was the best I came up with. It’s not bad, but I’m definitely still looking for that ultimate Worm-eating shot.
This Kentucky Warbler proved to be a even more challenging target, but it’s such a cool bird and so seldom seen by most of us that I couldn’t resist including it.
Finally, an Ovenbird. These guys are downright abundant in decent forest around here. I spent less time on them than I did on the other species, but I still thought the pose here was pretty cool.
So that was my morning. Not officially part of the Delmarva Birding Weekend, but it gives you an idea of some of the birding we enjoyed. Tomorrow, I’m off to another great birding event: the New River Birding & Nature Festival. It’ll be great to see a bunch of old friends, plus this year’s event is chock-full of bird bloggers, many of whom I’ll be meeting F2F for the first time. Perhaps the best part, though, is that I’ll be heading out there with my Mom, who I know is going to love not only the birds and the birders, but also the fabulous botanizing. We’ll see how I do photo-wise there…I’m sure I’ll have something to show you when I get back.