Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chestnut-sided Warbler!

This morning I found a Chestnut-sided Warbler in my neighborhood in Orange around 8:00 a.m. I was able to get great looks at it as it foraged low in an exotic tree, sticking around for quite a bit. I managed to get some horrible pictures of it that will do for documenting it.

Though the photos don't show the field marks too well, here are some that I noticed:

-lime green back, crown, and rump
-gray face and underparts
-white eye ring
-rather short, heavy bill
-broad yellowish-white wing bars
-greenish wash on vent
-cocked tail

I found it again briefly around 12:30 p.m. nearby. If you're interested in chasing it, please contact me privately and I'll give you more details and directions.

On Monday I found some interesting birds around the lower lake of the neighborhood, namely American Pipit, American Wigeon, and Green-winged Teal. I was excited to find the wigeons right in the neighborhood - what cool birds! Here's a shot of the male (there were two females and one male).

The Green-winged Teal was a female. It's amazing how small it looked compared to the resident feral Mallards! It was quite skittish as well. I'm happy at how these two photos came out, since high winds made digiscoping a challenge.


Tim H said...


Hahaha! So coot!

parus said...

"Don't show field marks too well"? There's no question that's a Chestnut sided. Plain face, greenish cap and white wingbars. The tail shot really clinches it. Every warbler has a different tail pattern. I'd be suprised if that's not accepted. Nice find.

As for rarities here, the latest is a White-faced Ibis at Horicon. Only a state bird if I ever went after it. The Harlequin duck in Milwaukee caught my eye though. I might just run over and look for it. --Chris

Neil Gilbert said...

Actually, the Chestnut-sided doesn't have that distinctive of an undertail - there are quite a few other species that have similar undertail patterns (ie Pine & Golden-winged). Size/shape of tail spots can also vary with age and sex, so it can be hard to tell in some species. There are some species (Magnolia & American Redstart, for example) that can be IDed from undertail alone... oh well I just like to be thorough with my descriptions ;)

Good luck with the HADU... WFIB is a great bird for WI though...


parus said...

Difficult yes. Impossible, no. CSWA is similar to a few others but not identical. The black on the undertail curls inward only slightly but noticably. Your shot shows this (I think) quite clearly. There are other warblers that are more similar to each other than CS.
Take BTWA and HEWA for example. their tail pattern is very nearly identical. Both show the same amount of black and both have white coverts. With those, you can't tell just from the tail. CSWA is possible to tell from the tail. However, IDing ANY warbler except REST or MAWA from tail alone is very difficult but it can be done.
I myself can only ID about 1/3-1/2 from tail alone. Your notes on the other field marks are excellent.
What I was pointing out was that the tail pattern in combination with the green cap and white wingbars cliches it.
Happy Birding! --Chris
Oh yea, there was an AMAV in Milwaukee last week (a bird that keeps escaping me somehow) and an AMBI in my county last Tues! That's the second report this fall. that bird won't evade me much longer. lol

Sara said...

I'm enjoying your blog, it is very well done, nice work.
Great to see that the Southern California wildfire situation is improving. I imagine birds will concentrate now in unburned areas, perhaps a small positive result out
of this disaster. Good Birding !
Sara in Michigan