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 road 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 !!