Friday, May 09, 2008

WV Warbler Neck

Male black-throated blue warbler—my favorite among these stunning songsters.

When you're scanning for warblers in the treetops here in beautiful West Virginia you need to be mindful of the affliction known as warbler neck.

Birders on my High Country Birding field trip along Glade Creek Road, Fayette County, WV.

This is how it happens. The only solution is to go back to your cabin after the field trip and get into the hot tub. Works every time, as Billy Dee Williams used to say.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Three Days at Mohican

We had 26 folks on the Gorge Overlook field trip on Saturday. Best bird: A very cooperative Canada warbler.

Friday through Sunday afternoon the hills and hollers of Mohican State Park and the halls of the Mohican Resort resounded with the shouts, gasps, and laughter of 200+ bird watchers attending the Ohio Ornithological Society's annual conference.

This is how you get warbler neck.

We saw nearly 160 species in this fascinating hunk of special habitat (three glaciers met here a few thousand of years ago and made the landforms and subsequent plant and animal life a very north-meets-south feel.)
This river of sycamores (full of yellow-throated warblers) exactly follows the contour of the river itself.

I'm home now and weary. But we had us a good old time. Steve McKee lectured about Mohican's birds and plants on Friday. Donald Kroodsma lectured about bird songs and sounds on Saturday. Our brains grew. The coffers of OOS's Conservation Fund also grew by $1,800 thanks to the generous bidding on the silent auction items (and only a little coercion from me while at the podium).

A pair of wood ducks that sat tamely while we took photos from the van.

Since I was leading field trips on Sat. and Sun. I did not carry the big Canon camera. It's too heavy and besides, it's hard to lead a field trip AND take photos. So I've got lots of grab shots and a single keeper digiscoped image.

My only decent digiscoped image: a rough-winged swallow photographed from the covered bridge .

While waiting for the veery we lost ourselves in the skunk cabbage.

Group shot of Sunday's field trip. The gorge is in the background.

My favorite bird of the weekend? The veery we got last of all this afternoon just near a huge patch of skunk cabbage. He sang and preened and veered. And sat still for me to get him in the spotting scope for my group.

And the sun sets over Mohican's main lake on another great OOS convention.

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