April 30, 2013. Richmond Park East, Richmond, B.C. Sunny
Richmond Park East was teeming with newly arrived warblers. Several large flocks of Yellow-rumped and dozens of Orange-crown warblers are busy feeding on insects, probably stocking up for the next leg of their journey northward. I have never seen so many birds in one place.
Deep within the forest, a Rufous hummingbird incubates a clutch of eggs. The nest is perched at the very end of a flimsy cedar branch. Across a sun drenched glade an American Goldfinch sings loudly from a treetop, a Downy woodpecker drums on a stump, and the rasping sounds of the Pine Siskins can be heard everywhere. Meanwhile Black-capped chickadees, Varied and Hermit Thrushes were all busy going about their business.
There were so many birds to focus on that it took an hour to walk a 100 metres!
|Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)|
As mentioned in a previous blog, my highlight last week had been the Palm Warbler and the Dicksissel. Todays surprise, another 'lifer' was a colourful Townsend's Warbler. At the time I had been photographing the Yellow-rumped Warblers and thought that one of the birds had looked different but with so many hybrids I didn't realize what I had captured until later that evening while sorting through my files in Lightroom.
As I only have one frame (below) I'll include for identification purposes.
|Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) |
It seemed that a good proportion of the flocks encountered were hybridized Yellow-rumped warblers. This bird (below) has a white and yellow chin while some birds had very dark colouring and others were predominately white bodies with all white chins.
|Hybridized Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata)|
Myrtle and Audubon
|Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufu)|
A rufous hummingbird sits on a nest made of lichen. The nest was so close to the end of a flimsy branch that predators would have difficulty approaching.
|Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)|
Earlier in the day I stopped off at Queen Elizabeth Park where I photographed a Copper's Hawk, a Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall, Hutton's Vireo and this Hammond'a Flycatcher.