Friday, August 5, 2016

Yellow Warbler and Western Tanager on the Tuolumne River

The pictures aren't up to my personal standards for non-fuzziness, but I was able to add some new birds to my tally of species seen along the Tuolumne River where it flows into the Great Valley at Waterford. Neither of the birds are rare, but it's the first time I've seen them along the Tuolumne Parkway Trail. My personal count is up to 55 species, and I know there are many more to be found.

There was a specific snag where I've seen a number of birds over the last two years, but much to my surprise, the snag was gone this morning. I worked my way through the brush and found the tree fallen into the ravine. And there on the branches of the fallen tree was a Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia). Yellow Warblers are common and widespread, ranging from Northern Alaska and Canada to the tropics of Central and South America. So why haven't I seen any before? I've gotta get better at this!
I will never get pictures of a Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) that can improve on those that I took in May of 2014 (below), but up to now I've not seen a tanager along the Parkway Trail. In a sense, I still haven't, because I snapped the picture above thinking it was something else. It wasn't until I was going over the shots that I realized this bird had an orange head. Just so you can see what these beautiful birds look like, here is one of the 2014 pictures:

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