Tuesday 1 January 2013

The First Day of birding 2013

New Years tradition for me is to be the first birder to see the sun in North America at Cape Spear  There is no competition, I've yet to see another birder out there at dawn on January 1st.
After a brief seawatch consisting of very ordinary species, I headed back into St. John's and the lower Waterford River to try for better pictures of the Townsend's Warbler (16th for Newfoundland) that has settled into a winter feeding territory.  This was the first sort of clear sky since the bird was discovered a week ago. 
There were several other birders pacing up and down the trail when I got there.  There had been no sightings yet in 2013.  When Jared Clarke and I finally located it, most of the birders had already left.  Numerous joggers on the trail stopped and asked us what we were looking at and we were able to point out the bird to some of them.  Good photographs were challenging as the bird hunted near the core of small but dense spruce trees.
The Townsend's Warbler rarely came out to the ends of spruce branches but usually fed within the dense branches near the trunk. 
By late morning  there was word of a 'greenish warbler' in east St. John's found by Lisa de Loen  It turned out to be a Pine Warbler,  a dull immature but still a welcome sight. 
 The immature Pine Warbler on Quidi Vidi Road.

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