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Small World

November 15, 2011
Yellow-rumped Warbler

© jmillerphoto.com - Yellow-rumped Warbler

No, this is not an ode to Walt Disney and his theme parks around the world.  Instead, this is a quick reflection on small of a world it is.

I was out at South Llano River SP (report to come soon) on Sunday, making some images after having been cooped up for about three weeks.  Within the first ten minutes or so of being there I saw a bird that I knew was a life list add for me.  I just didn’t know what it was and I didn’t want to take the time to look in the books while I was there.  That’s why I have a camera.

One of the first things I do with my images when I get them home is keyword them.  That way they’re fresh in my head and that way I don’t put it off (which is really easy to do…keywording or digital asset management is my least favorite thing when it comes to my photography).

Sure enough, about 12 frames into my shooting for the day I come across this bird again.  And for the next twenty minutes or so I banged my head against the wall trying to figure out what this bird was.  Delbert Tarter’s words were speaking to me again as I kept hearing, “Look at the bill.”  Warbler for sure.  Then I grab the TPWD checklist for the area and there are like 3 dozen different warblers at various times of the year in the park.  And with this year’s warm weather there’s no telling how accurate the chart is.

So I start walking through the birds, one after another after another.  No luck.  But this is where the small world portion of the story comes into play.

I send an e-mail to 2 people who I regularly contact about bird ID questions.  Bob Zeller and Bill Yeates.  These gentlemen are first and foremost great photographers, but they also really know their birds.  So I crop and process the image a little bit, attach it to an e-mail and say, “Help, please.”

As it turns out, Bob had seen a bird Saturday at the water treatment ponds in Eldorado, Texas that he couldn’t identify either.  So after throwing it out to his readers he sends an e-mail to a friend in Austin for some additional assistance and/or confirmation.  And his bird turns out to be the same species as my bird–the myrtle form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.  He blogged about it, too… I just hadn’t read it yet.

Sixty or so miles via VFR and a day a part, and we were both stumped by the same species of bird.  I’m not sure if it was a life list add for him, but it is #119 for me 🙂

About the Image:

This Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata), myrtle form and winter plumage, was seen at the Acorn Blind (or Blind #4, or the blind closest to the powered camping sites) at South Llano River SP near Junction in Kimble County, Texas.  More about the trip later in the week.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2011 12:11 pm

    The guy that confirmed it for me is indeed an expert. His name is Eric Carpenter and he helps compile info for the Texas Offical Bird lists.

    • November 15, 2011 6:32 pm

      Never had a doubt that you’d go to an expert, Bob. Your skills with bird identification has gotten really good in the time that I’ve known you and if a bird had you confused you’d go to the best.

  2. November 15, 2011 12:13 pm

    P.S. No the Yellow-rumped Warbler wasn’t a lifer for me. They are quite abundant this time of year around here. My list is at 237 at the current time. I need to get to your part of the state and maybe add more.

    • November 15, 2011 6:33 pm

      Hooray! I’ve gained by one 🙂 And any time you and Ann would like to come down to this neck of the woods the welcome mat is out for you. Just give me a call or send me an e-mail.

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