Warblers in my viewfinder at last in Estabrook Park

It is a very gray and cool morning, with a breeze off the lake, so I’m in no hurry to get out there.
Luckily for all of us, I finally caught a glimpse yesterday afternoon of my first warbler in the current migratory wave, about which I keep hearing.
Give a hearty welcome to the Nashville warbler, on his way from Mexico to breeding grounds that start just north of here. Note the little “chestnut crown patch” just visible on the top of his head. It looks more like magenta to me, but I’m no ornithologist!

I read “The Nashville Warbler does not regularly breed [nor winter] near Nashville, Tennessee, but was first observed there in 1811 by Alexander Wilson, who named the species.”
I was walking home after checking on the geese, who are all fine btw, when I spotted this little guy in the grass beside the road that cuts through the park. I was  just walking along and nearly stepped on him when he only flitted a few feet away. I thought to myself “Oh no! Maybe he got clipped by a car and can’t fly right. Poor little guy. Why is this a through-road anyway? Darn cars! When will it end?” As I pulled myself together and tried to decide what, if anything, I should or could do, he continued to alternate between flitting just a little further way, just hopping through the grass, and appearing not to be in any kind of distress at all. I finally realized he was completely fine, simply unintimidated by me, and merely intent on finding dinner. Ha!
So I just took out my camera and tried at least 25 times to capture an unblurry image. I think I got 2. Then I was all excited to get home and look this guy up. The Merlin App, by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which has usually been excellent, struggled mightily. There are plenty of small grey and yellow birds, but none looked quite like our little guy here. It turns out I needed to fib a little and say I saw him “in trees or bushes” instead of “on the ground”, where he obviously was. Then the Nashville Warbler comes up at the top of the list.
Meanwhile, the trillium is almost open, I finally found one grape hyacinth, and a seemingly endless variety of narcissus (described by various common names including daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil) is on display throughout the park. Image of these and my one other good Nashville warbler image are online at

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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