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yellow-rumped-warbler-860x640At daybreak Saturday, a gentle rain of warblers and kinglets fell on Monhegan Island. From the sea they came, most making their first migration south, blown off course and over the Atlantic, and then finding port on this tiny island to rest, feed and reorient. Another Monhegan fallout.

Most of the precipitation fell as Yellow-rumped Warbler and both kinglets – Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned. As the songbirds swirled from the skies toward waiting birdwatchers, my group stopped first to watch a Virginia Rail wander at the edge of the island’s wet meadow. (Usually, we see Sora in that spot.) Other highlights here now include Dickcissel, Blue Grosbeak, Clay-colored Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, and Nelson’s Sparrow (thanks to Derek Lovitch). The rest of the warblers (upwards of 20 species) come not in huge flocks, but rather in ones and twos and yet no less rewarding. (I will later blog on how not to look at a Yellow-rumped Warbler.)

At Lobster Cove, Peregrine Falcons swooped on songbirds and a seemingly indifferent Common Eider. Merlins now zoom across the island like fighter jets. And Northern Parulas offer us regular lessons in beauty and humility.

But the island now belongs to yellowrumps and kinglets. And we belong outside with them. So as we wander again today for more birds (in a thick fog here now), I’ll leave you with two predators. Note that I’m not hauling my serious (and heavy) camera gear on this outing. It’s an evolution of sorts away from photography and toward experience, at least now as warblers descend. So here are fuzzy digi-scoped shots (yeah, the iPhone) of Peregrine Falcon and Merlin.

In their wake are little piles of feathers.

Peregrine Falcon / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Peregrine Falcon / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Merlin / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Merlin / © Bryan Pfeiffer

  1. hoalawman says:

    Your prose is certainly as compelling as any photo! Thanks for a Sunday morning treat. It was the first thing we read as we awoke here in Portland this morning. Best. Rich and Paula Vial

  2. Bryan, I know zilch about I stuff. can you zoom and the like with the I phone? I’ve seen some nice I phone digiscopes from Joan Collins. She’s got a special adpater. john

  3. Raptors look like photos of paintings. You must be playing with a big zoom? j.

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