Low Warblers in High Places

This is the part one of six of Birdfreak’s 72-hour birding extravaganza. Our goal was to find as many bird species as possible within Winnebago County, Illinois.

Olive-sided Flycatcher at Rock Cut State Park
Olive-sided Flycatcher

We began our 72-hour birding event at 0330 at Pecatonica Wetlands in the hopes of finding bitterns and rails. We struck out on both families, but we did find a Sedge Wren. Our first official bird, heard along the drive, was an American Robin. The first warbler of the count was the Common Yellowthroat.

Our next stop was a short jaunt through Pecatonica River Forest Preserve where we found Henslow’s Sparrows and Wood Thrushes, but none of the warblers that were present earlier in the week.

Blue-winged Warbler at Rock Cut State Park
Blue-winged Warbler

Next, we headed to Rock Cut State Park, a wonderful large park with many miles of trails to cover. Here we found the bulk of the first day’s totals including three Blue-winged Warblers, one Yellow-throated Warbler, and a Blackpoll Warbler.

Veery at Rock Cut State Park

One of our goals here was to find Cerulean Warblers, which nest at the park. Success! At four different locations we saw singing Ceruleans. We also saw three singing Veeries, and a photogenic Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Chestnut-sided Warbler at Rock Cut State Park
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Unfortunately, the camera’s battery died right after the Chestnut-sided Warbler so we went photoless until later in the evening.

After having lunch and checking a few more spots, we headed home for a much needed nap in preparation for the night-time birding activity at Deer Run Forest Preserve.

10 thoughts on “Low Warblers in High Places

  1. Love your photos and sometimes I wonder if the warblers will ever come low for their picture! Then again the underside is how I see them best!

  2. Lana – Don’t know if they nest in our area, but I’m sure they migrate through yours (although you may have to wait until fall?)

    Shelley – He was fun to watch especially at such a low level

    Zen – thanks much!! He’ll probably find a mate with ease 🙂

    Mon@rch – thank you!! Learning the undersides certainly helps with identification but not with neck pain!

  3. Mike – thanks much! The warbler migration has been a bit slow but steady and they always seem to be singing!

    Hannibal – thanks!! Hardly ever see them that low!!

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