Virginia’s Vindication

Just minutes after writing my last post about “dipping” on the Virginia’s Warbler for the past two days, I got a text saying it was being seen off-and-on and currently (somewhat) well. It was 11:50am … I was stoked, but now had SIX kids under my care and had to wait for relief!!

I had my gear ready and met Susan in the driveway as she pulled in at 12:39pm … I gave her a knowing wink as I rushed past her and jumped in the old car. Engine ignited … gear shift to “drive” … and BAM!! Something under my feet snapped very loudly and started lashing around!!! Not sure what it was yet, but the car was as good as dead!

I quickly switched keys with Susan and tore off down the rode in the other car … getting a message as I left that the bird was not being seen at the moment. I arrived a short while later to find a handful of people and cameras pointed at an apple tree where it had been two days ago. After 20+ minutes of chatting about the bird and the circumstances of recent observations, some Juncos & Goldfinch starting moving in around us. I honed in on every glimpse of movement in the dense apple tree … minutes passed … then, we heard the distinctive “chip” across the road. It was coming in!! Now I just had to see it!

I changed locations for what I felt was a better angle on the tree, settled in and waited … a few minutes later a dainty bird with a small flash of yellow in the rear end zipped in!! I got several short but clear glimpses as it foraged in the back of some thick, tangly branches … VIRGINIA’S WARBLER!!   I was wishing I had thought to tuck a bottle of good whiskey in my camera bag!!  A few celebratory handshakes and high fives later, it came back in. I took out the camera and followed it through the thick foliage for the next five minutes, snapping off mostly obscured and/or out of focus photos … but I did manage to walk away with four that show the bird relatively well. And, most importantly, I walked away HAPPY !!

VIWA_Nov162013_8032

I finally caught up with Newfoundland’s first Virginia’s Warbler in east St. John’s, after 2.5 days of agonizing misses. Taken at a measly 1/100 second and ISO800, the pic is grainy — but pure, sweet vindication.
– Photo: Jared Clarke (November 16, 2013)

It was very difficult to see the bird in the open, let alone capture a photo, as it foraged in the deepest, thickest parts of an apple tree. - Photo: Jared Clarke (November 16, 2013)

It was very difficult to see the bird in the open, let alone capture a photo, as it foraged in the deepest, thickest parts of an apple tree.
– Photo: Jared Clarke (November 16, 2013)

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