Saturday, December 8, 2012

Birds that Shouldn't Be Here, Part Two

While sorting through a mixed flock of Eastern Bluebirds, Chipping Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos at Andorra Natural Area today my wife said that there was a not completely surprising kinglet near the ground behind us. Then she yelled out "NO". Given the time of year my mind raced quickly to figure out what unusual bird that might look like a kinglet might be here at this time of year. Before I decided that nothing did she yelled out "MAGNOLIA." Sure enough we had a Magnolia Warbler six feet away hover-gleaning just a few feet off the ground. He was gone in about a minute and it was only by comparing what we'd seen that we could say that it undoubtedly was a Magnolia. Since I didn't do a sketch and wouldn't have had time to take a photo even if I had a camera the watercolor above is based on a photo I took of a breeding male changed to the non-breeding plumage we saw today. It leaves a lot to be desired but still it documents successfully I think a very unusual bird to be seeing in Philadelphia in December!

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