Warbler In The Bushes

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full-screen image.

Every day when I head out with my camera I ask myself what I’m likely to encounter and what photo opportunities will I have.  As it turns out, I seldom guess right, particularly this time of year when species are on the move with new arrivals almost daily.  Lately, I’ve been concentrating on walking the pathways at Sweetwater Wetlands — a surprisingly small and compact area of only a couple hundred acres (at most).  One would think that I would be pretty good at anticipating what’s likely to be present in such a compressed habitat, but I never really know for sure what I’m going to see.

The other day I spent an hour strolling on the paths and seeing absolutely nothing at all that I could photograph.  There were birds and animals present, but always at a distance or shielded by vegetation.  Or, I’d spot something fairly interesting and be defeated by the sun shining directly into my eyes.  After a while, I concluded that I was going to be skunked for the day, and decided to head for the parking lot.

The parking lot at the wetlands is separated from the ponds and marshes by a small bridge over a narrow man-made creek.  I was crossing the bridge, just a few yards from my car, when I saw some rustling in the bushes on the other side of the creek, no more than about 10-15 feet away from me.  I steadied my camera on the bridge’s railing, pointed the lens at the shrubbery, and waited.  And, after about five seconds, this popped out into plain view.

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It was an Orange-crowned Warbler, a species that I’ve photographed previously.  However, I’ve never had such a close encounter with one of these birds.  Any closer and it would have been within the minimum focusing distance of my lens.  The little warbler and I looked at each other for a couple of seconds.  Then, it casually resumed its foraging, rustling around in the bushes some more.  I assumed that I’d had my one and only photo opportunity with this bird.  But, after about 30 seconds it moved into plain view again.

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Once again, I photographed it.  The warbler then, and finally, disappeared from view for good.

Usually I have to work pretty hard to get shots like these.  Songbirds don’t like to be observed closely and they usually hide or fly away when I approach them.  I’ve spent more time than I can recall stalking some little bird only to have it fly off before I can take its picture.  These two images were a gift, and I’m immensely grateful.

Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 500.  The first image shot at f6.3 @ 1/2500, the second at f6.3 @ 1/800.

2 responses to “Warbler In The Bushes”

  1. Linda says :

    Love the warbler. Good job

  2. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    Beautiful shot of the Orange-crowned Warbler.

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